Nigerian Abdominal Massage

Published: Jan 15, 2021 | Revised: Jun 21, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Nigerian Abdominal Massage

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Abdominal Massage has a long history in Nigeria. It’s used for both obstetric and non-obstetric patients. By the way, the term obstetrics relates to childbirth and the processes associated with it.

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Abdominal Massage techniques in Nigeria are used as a healing modality, for instance, to alleviate or cure abdominal pains (within the pregnancy period or without being pregnant), regulate irregular periods, or promote fertility. There’s also a form of Abdominal Massage used that is applied as a means for deliberate abortion.

There’s very little documentation about Nigerian Abdominal Massage. Africa in general is the so-called “neglected” or “forgotten” continent, and moreover, most of the countries that exist in Africa today have artificial borders created by the West during colonization periods. This makes culture coherence blurred and targeted research difficult.

Unfortunately, African Abdominal Massage (and African Traditional Medicine) receives very little and often only negative attention. Yet, I’m sure it’s generally a safe modality, certainly not primarily applied to do abortions (a dangerous practice also done in many Asian countries, until today). If it was an overall harmful practice, it would already have been eradicated naturally centuries ago. Which mother-to-be would deliberately endanger a (wanted) pregnancy, for instance?

Of course, accidents happen, like even today within modern medicine practices. There are always practitioners who are either not well-trained or just make a horrible mistake. But to focus on that only doesn’t do right to a practice as a whole.

Maybe in a few years Traditional Medicine in Africa will get more attention, either from abroad, either from local people, with well documented research and experiences.

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