I couldn’t move. Fully laid out, face down on my bed, tears welling in my eyes, a sharp stabbing pain punctured the space beneath my ribs and pushed its way further and further up into my centre.
“BABE,” I cried from the bedroom, “Please, come in, quick, I think there’s something wrong…”
“What’s up?” called Dewey, as he came padding into the bedroom.
“My side, I think there’s – ah – something wrong with my-IT REALLY FUCKING HURTS!”
I can feel him smile behind me, “Alright, babe, I’m just going to rub your back.”
I snapped my head round to fix him with a glare. “Rub my back? What good is rubbing my back going to do, it’s my side that’s killing me?” I tried to follow that train of thought but the pain was way too intense, it felt like someone had slipped a butter knife, bluntly forcing its way between my lower ribs and was twisting it for their own satisfaction. Flopping my forehead head back into my purple duvet, I gave in. He continued rubbing my back in soft, circular motions until a gurgling growl bubbles in my stomach. After a couple more minutes of back rubs and pathetic cries from me, something happens.
My back immediately tenses. Silence. The pregnant, awful, awkward silence. Did he hear it? Of course he heard it, I can hear him stifling laughter behind me, the bed shaking as he keeps rubbing my back.
Smaller, but possibly deadlier.
This time we both couldn’t take it, laughter peeling out of both of us as we lay side by side on our bed.
Trapped wind is not fun. It can be super painful, depending on how bad it is, and often can have no rhyme or reason as to why its stuck there in the first place. Now I know that I need to eat regularly, stay away from dairy and keep moving, but sometimes it can still catch me unawares, leaving me doubled over, bloated and often tearful (because I’m a bit of a baby, I’ll be honest).
Aside from back rubs, there are lots of things that you can do if you find yourself number one resident of the Windy City:
Understanding the beast
Wind is caused by the fermentation of food in your gut which is transformed into gas and heat, most of the gas is absorbed into your bloodstream but the rest causes wind. When your wind gets trapped you are feeling pressure in your gut from this excess gas which needs somewhere to go, and there are usually only two routes.
What can you do to shift it?
Just like a baby, if you live with a partner or friend you can ask them to rub and pat your lower back in circular motions to try and shift the block for you. It can be embarrassing and awkward but everyone farts, and it could almost be a silly bonding experience for you. However, if you don’t want to do that (pretty reasonable) or you live alone, there are plenty of different avenues for you to take.
I strongly recommend investing in peppermint tea if you are a frequent flyer on Gassy Airlines. Peppermint relaxes the digestive system which can reduce bloating, indigestion and help get out the gas that may be trapped in the system. This is why many indigestion products are flavoured with peppermint, for the soothing, sweet relaxing properties it provides.
Hot water bottle
A hot water bottle will help relax the tense muscles and will in turn help the gut ‘do it’s thing’, as it were.
This is so hard when you’re in a lot of pain, but relaxing though meditation or a quiet moment lying down can help ease the pain of trapped wind.
There are a few poses which can really help ease the pain of wind, but my go-to is Head to Knee pose.
Head to knee pose: how to
Lying on your back, bring a knee up to your chest. Relax your shoulders and arms, just wrap your hands around your shin and pull your knee in towards your chest. Your other leg is outstretched, foot engaged. You are breathing the full length of your body, feeling engaged from tip-to-toe. Without clenching your shoulders, lift your head up off the floor and round towards your knee, trying to meet your forehead to your knee. Hold this pose for 5 breaths and then switch to the other side. This pose contracts and lengthens the stomach which in turn will be contracting and lengthening your digestive system. Gently moving in this way will help release your trapped wind.
If your pain is in your sides, a Reclined Twist could be a better option for you.
Reclined Twist pose: how to
Lie on your back and relax into the mat. Take your arms out to shoulder height and either keep your arms straight with palms on the ground or bend at your elbows with your palms facing up, in line with your head (so you look like goal posts).
Take one knee up into your chest and then bring that knee to the opposite side of the mat (so if you brought up your right knee, take it over to connect your inner knee to the left hand side of the mat). Turn your head to the opposite side and breathe. Send you breath to your lower back and try to keep both shoulder blades connecting to the mat. Hold this position for 5 breaths and then change to the opposite side – this should help shift any tightness and get you moving and grooving.
Happy Baby can sometimes be too painful for me to do while I have trapped wind, but it is nice preventative pose if you can feel it coming on.
Happy Baby: how to
Start by lying down on the mat, relaxing your shoulder blades in and down and extending fully through your body, arms by your sides. Bring both knees up to your chest and start moving your knees round in a circular motion, bringing your lower back up rhythmically from the floor and massaging your sacrum (this is also warming up your hips). Bring both knees to a stop and pull them up to your chest, making sure that your chin is tucked and your neck is lengthening, whilst gently engaging your core and keeping your lower back now flat to the mat. Now, lift the soles of your feet horizontal to the sky, making sure your knees are still resting on your chest. Take your hands to the outside of your feet, all the while making sure that your lower back is still flat against the earth and your chin is tucked. Bring your shoulder blades together and down and then breathe down into the bottom of your spine, lengthening from crown to tail bone.
Hold this pose for 10 breaths, rocking side to side to help disperse any tightness.
I hope that these tips will find you relief. Don’t feel embarrassed and don’t ignore it, by acknowledging and taking the time to look after yourself you are starting a practice of self-love.
All my love, always.