I have so many clients apologising for their “noisy” stomach during massage. I hear “sorry, I just had breakfast” or “sorry, but I did not have any lunch”.

Has this happened to you? Don’t worry, it is actually a good thing! It means your autonomic nervous system is responding the way it should.

The autonomic nervous system includes the sympathetic nervous system which is associated with “fight and flight” and the parasympathetic nervous system associated with “rest and digest”.

In a stressful situation, for example when you are being chased by a dog, or just realised that you forgot about an important client meeting, your body is producing stress hormones to help you cope. The three main stress hormones are adrenalin, norepinephrine and cortisol.

The parasympathetic nervous system kicks in when we are in a relaxed state which usually happens during a massage session. The “Feel good hormone” oxytocin is released which influences the rest and digest mechanism in the nervous system. It is said to stimulate various digestive hormones and gastric juices. It is when the digestive system moves that the stomach makes noises.

I, as a massage therapist, always think it is a very positive thing of course, when my client’s stomach starts rumbling as it means the autonomic nervous system is responding the way you want it to.

So next time you go for a massage, do not be annoyed by your “rumbling tummy” but keep relaxing and enjoy it and book a few more regular massage sessions as your body is telling you it needs it!