By Dr. Ben
hernia is a condition that produces one or more of the following
Pain/discomfort behind the breast bone (sternum), usually towards
the bottom of the chest wall
swallowing - a feeling that an obstruction in the lower chest
wall is making it hard for food to pass through to the stomach
chest cavity is separated from your abdominal cavity by a large,
flat muscle called your diaphragm. Your diaphragm sits about halfway
down your torso, just below the border of your lowest ribs.
stomach sits just below your diaphragm, so is technically considered
to be in your abdominal cavity. Your esophagus (food pipe) sits
above your diaphragm, and is therefore considered to be in your
chest cavity. Your diaphragm has a hole, called your esophageal
hiatus, that allows your esophagus to travel from your chest cavity
into your abdominal cavity, where it immediately meets up with your
hernia is when a portion of the top of your stomach slides up through
the esophageal hiatus in your diaphragm towards your chest cavity.
The result is pressure on the walls of your esophagus, which can
lead to one or more of the symptoms listed above. What Causes A
people are born with one. But most commonly, a hiatal hernia is
caused by any lifestyle factor that causes weakening of the diaphragm
and the connective tissue that is in place in and around the esophageal
hiatus to help prevent a hernia. Emotional stress, physical stress,
lack of adequate rest, being overweight for your height, and smoking
cigarettes are the most common lifestyle factors that can contribute
to the development of a hiatal hernia. Hiatal Hernia Treatment Options
of heartburn that can accompany a hiatal hernia often respond positively
to one or more of the following measures:
Avoid smoking cigarettes.
2. Avoid or limit caffeine intake.
3. Avoid alcohol, especially hard liquor.
4. Do not overeat.
5. Wear loose, comfortable clothing around your torso.
a hiatal hernia can be corrected with the following physical measures:
Apply gentle massage to the uppermost portion of your abdominal
cavity. To do this, use your fingers to find the point at which
your breast bone (sternum) ends, right where the bottom rib on each
side of your chest cavity comes up to meet the breast bone. Place
your fingers just below this point, apply downward pressure, and
move slowly towards your belly button. You don't need to travel
all the way to your belly button; a few inches below the starting
point is adequate. Repeat this simple massage technique several
times while you are lying down and physically and emotionally relaxed.
You can follow this routine as often as you like until you experience
improvement in your symptoms. I recommend most people try this routine
two times per day, once in the morning, and once in the evening.
After a relaxation session of at least five minutes during which
time you have been lying down, drink a full glass of water. Then,
jump to the ground from a height that you are comfortable with -
anything ranging from the bottom step of a set of stairs to a sturdy
sofa seat or chair. The water is to add some weight to your stomach.
Jumping down from a height of a few inches to a few feet is to provide
downward impact upon landing that can help the portion of your stomach
that has herniated upward to slide back down, away from the esophageal
hiatus of your diaphragm.
When you feel warmed up and relaxed (not first thing upon awakening,
which is prime time for pulling a muscle or ligament), reach up
with one arm and hold onto a sturdy ledge that allows your body
to hang loosely and your trunk to experience a longitudinal stretch.
best option to hang off of is a monkey bar or any similar apparatus
at a local playground or on some exercise equipment. You could also
try the top of a door, but depending on your weight and the strength
of the door, hinges, and screws, you may end up doing some damage.
key is to find a solid, overhanging ledge that allows for you to
dangle and stretch out your torso. The hope is that such stretching
will encourage any protruded portion of your stomach to slide back
down into your abdominal cavity.
can try dangling on your right arm for a bit, then your left arm,
then both arms. Dangle as long as is comfortable, and try to breathe
deeply and steadily as you dangle to encourage your diaphragm to
move up and down over the affected site.
the tone and overall health of your digestive tract is very closely
connected with your stress levels via your autonomic nervous system,
one of the most important treatment considerations for a hiatal
hernia is physical and emotional relaxation work. Taking as much
time as is needed to address chronic emotional states like frustration,
anger, sadness, and hatred can be critically important in allowing
your digestive tract to experience optimal nerve tone, which I have
found can, in and of itself, cure some cases of hiatal hernia.
these suggestions prove to be helpful. If you have any natural remedies
for a hiatal hernia that have worked for you, please consider sharing
them in the comments section below. Thank you.
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