8 Natural Ways to Relieve Belly Pain
Belly pain. We’ve all had it at one time or another. While there are many reasons this may be happening, in my experience, the root cause is usually a leaky gut. This condition arises when the tight junctions in your intestinal wall open up, allowing toxins, microbes, and undigested food particles to escape into your bloodstream. This can cause a variety of issues including common digestive problems with symptoms of painful gas, bloating, diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome.
To truly solve this problem, you’ll need to heal your gut. Gut health is so important because your gut is home to 80% of your immune system. Fortunately, there is a natural way to fix a leaky gut. And while you are taking that first step toward healing your gut and eliminating those painful symptoms once and for all, I’ll share my seven quick ways to beat belly pain in the short term.
Remember, however, you know your body best. If you suspect another issue is the cause of your belly pain, or you wish to begin an exercise regimen, seek the advice of your healthcare professional. Now, let’s get started on getting to the root of the problem and then I’ll cover the tips that will give you some relief right now!
1. The 4R Approach
Take the steps you need to heal your leaky gut, support your digestive system, and return to optimal health. Repairing your gut is the first step in supporting your digestive system, and restoring your health. By overcoming leaky gut, you can reverse your symptoms and reduce your risk of the digestive issues that can lead to belly pain in the first place.
Remove: The first step is to remove the bad. This means ditching the inflammatory foods that can damage your gut such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and eggs. It also means avoiding ruly as toxic foods, including sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. You’ll also want to resolve any gut infections you may know even know you have. This could include Candida overgrowth, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), or parasites.
Replace: Next you’ll replace the bad with the good. At the same time you are eliminating elements that are harming your gut, you can add back the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption, such as digestive enzymes to assist your body’s intestinal repair and inflammation responses.
Reinoculate: Beneficial bacteria live in your gut and not only assist you with digestion, but they also form the basis of your immune system. These bacteria are easily killed off by medications including antibiotics or overwhelmed by infections or parasites. It’s critical to restore beneficial bacteria to re-establish a healthy balance of good bacteria. Fortunately, that’s easy to do with my four-strain probiotic that carries the maximum potency to restore gut balance.
Repair: It’s essential to provide the nutrients necessary to help your gut repair itself. My most comprehensive weapon is Leaky Gut Revive®, which nourishes and soothes your gut cells, restores your gut’s natural mucosal lining, and maximizes gut-mending fatty acid production. Another one of my favorite supplements for supporting great gut health is collagen, which is rich in amino acids that quite literally, “seal the leaks” or perforations in your gut by repairing damaged cells and building new tissue.
There are gentle movements to ease the pain from your gut and promote blood flow so that your stomach gets some relief. Although I do not recommend going full yogi when your gut is tight, uncomfortable, and possibly cramping, these stretches will provide you with soothing results.
Knee to chest: Pull your knees into your chest and hold them there. Feel free to rock side to side and forward and back to massage your lower back and ease tension in the middle of your body. This move is great if there is a build-up of gas or uncomfortable belly-bloat. It’s also called the “wind-relieving pose,” so you may want to save this for a time when you’re alone.
Ball to arrow pose: It is similar to the knee to chest pose and incorporates more movement. Pull your knees into your chest and hold them there, then stretch your arms above your head and point your toes so that you’re stretching as straight as an arrow.
Spinal twist: Lie down, hug your knees, and inhale. As you exhale, drop your knees to one side, using your hand to push them down gently. Then, turn your head and stretch your arm out to the opposite side. Stay in this position for a few breaths. Inhale, and return your hands and knees to the center. Repeat on the other side.
3. Walk It Off
A gentle walk will stimulate your digestion, and promote healthy blood flow and movement in your gut. In a small study investigating the effects of mild activity on bloating and pressure in the gut, researchers found that gentle exercise increased gas passage and helped prevent gas retention.1 This is true even for those suffering from IBS and other gastrointestinal conditions.
If a meal contaminated with inflammatory and toxic foods makes its way into your diet and you experience stomach pain soon afterward, a short walk will do a load of good to get the juices flowing and your digestion moving.
4. Belly Rub
Have you noticed immediate relief from belly pain when you press your hand against your stomach? It is practically a reflex to grip your abdomen at the onset of cramps or stomach pain. Similar to the way that a gentle back rub could be the soothing touch you need at the end of a long day, your stomach may need some help relaxing. A gentle massage around your stomach during times of discomfort increases circulation and eases feelings of tightness. The gentle pressure and relaxing effect improves organ function, stimulates digestion, and releases muscle spasms.
To gently massage your stomach—A.K.A. giving yourself a soothing belly rub—place the tips of your four fingers against your lower abdomen just inside the right hipbone. Press gently and move all four fingers up your abdomen. Staying below the rib cage, travel to the left side of your abdomen and move down toward just inside the left hipbone. Repeat this circular motion for 5-10 minutes.
If you feel any pain during this process, you can apply less pressure or try another one of these tips.
5. Hot Water Bottle
Have you ever seen someone put a hot water bottle on their stomach and thought, “Wow, I will never be that old-fashioned?” Let me tell you that when you’re in pain and need some fast relief, a hot water bottle works wonders. Applying warmth to your stomach will soothe aches, pains, and cramps by drawing blood to the area and improving circulation in the gut.
Heating pads require electricity and can get pretty hot which is why I prefer the more mild and soothing effect of a good old fashioned hot water bottle. Plus, you can sleep with a hot water bottle. I don’t recommend sleeping with a heating pad; you run the risk of burns or even an electrical fire.
6. Peppermint Oil
A compound in peppermint known as menthol helps calm spasms in the stomach and intestines, and it may also reduce gas build-up and pain.2 A cup of peppermint tea goes a long way to ease the pain and discomfort associated with belly bloat, stomach cramping, and other digestive issues. Peppermint oil can also be applied directly to the skin. Put a couple of drops on your middle and pointer finger, press them against your abdomen, and move your fingers in a clockwise motion around your belly (It’s a belly rub with a boost!). The leaves of peppermint can also be added to sweet and savory dishes alike to promote your digestion and reduce the risk of digestive discomfort.
7. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are aromatic and sweet, with a flavor similar to anise. You can use fennel seeds for various digestive concerns as they may help to relax the colon and encourage digestion in the gut. The easiest way to consume fennel seeds is, you guessed it, tea! Fennel is a common ingredient in store-bought digestive teas along with peppermint and caraway. You can make a pure fennel tea at home by crushing the seeds and steeping them in hot water for about 10 minutes. However, they can be inflammatory, so you’ll want to skip them during the first 30 days of an autoimmune regimen or The Myers Way® protocol.
8. Baking Soda
When your stomach is feeling bubbly and acidic, baking soda could be your best friend. Drinking a glass of water with ¼ to ½ teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in it will balance the pH levels in your stomach and neutralize the effects of stomach acid.3 Although this is an effective way to beat stomach pain, I don’t recommend using it every day or even within 2 hours of other medications. Do speak with your healthcare professional about the use of baking soda if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking medications.
Remember, if you’re experiencing something more than occasional discomfort, you’ll need to heal your gut to banish your belly pain for good. Leaky Gut Revive® is my number-one tool to heal your gut. My optimized formula includes slippery elm root and marshmallow root which help make Leaky Gut Revive® the absolute best supplement for anyone concerned about leaky gut and intestinal health. It dissolves easily into any liquid, hot or cold, so it’s easy to add to your everyday regimen.