You might have experienced this. If you lie on your back on a flat surface and place your finger or thumb right over navel (men or women), and press softly down, you'd feel the beating just like heartbeats. I checked it with around 10 people and mostly it was right at the place of navel (i.e. vertically down to navel) or varied around 1 inch horizontally.

Now the question is here: If we suffer from any digestion related disease especially constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, does the location of of the beat we feel is affected? I'm asking this because many Indians and Indian blogs say this. They also say that the location should be almost vertically down to navel if you don't want to suffer from the diseases mentioned above. How much true it is?

  • I'm also finding the same question... I'm doing my MBBS course n find these things fascinating .my family literally believe the same about navel beat position. N they relief quickly from their digestive disorder when it lies just vertically down to navel. N they always said me...what is this....?.. See it's better than alot of medicine prescribed...is it really so?.....I want to know the mechanism of this...plz Mar 18, 2018 at 3:43
  • I don't know about biology but it's been an year. Now I know that belief is not right. But why it works is because of this: When they say location of beat has gone below, it means we face pain / or don't feel well. It's just because we've stopped playing / doing /exercise / Yoga or we have became weak. And at the same time they "feel" the beat has gone below. And hence the belief becomes strong. But when you're healthy, everyone ignores it even those who believes in it. They would just say nothing is wrong. You navel is perfect now!
    – user6525
    Mar 18, 2018 at 16:27
  • So, just know this fact: Whenver you don't feel well or any stomach issues, it's just that you've stopped physical work. Exercise and everything will work! Note that same people also suggest some methods to "fix the navel" by doing exercise.
    – user6525
    Mar 18, 2018 at 16:27

2 Answers 2


During my last course called "Physical Examination of the Abdomen" (at medical school), we learned to palpate the abdominal aorta, which can be easily palpated in +/- lean patients.

This book (freely available here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK350/) "Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition" gives you a description on how to palpate the abdominal aorta and listen to possible bruits:

The abdominal aorta is an upper abdominal, retroperitoneal structure which is best palpated by applying firm pressure with the flattened fingers of both hands to indent the epigastrium toward the vertebral column. For this examination, it is essential that the subject's abdominal muscles be completely relaxed; such relaxation can be encouraged by having the subject flex the hips and by providing a pillow to support the head.

Here a figure from the book:

Palpation abdominal aorta

The abdominal aorta is retroperitonal so it is possible that some bowel distension or feces impaction (which can occur in IBS) might influence the palpation but there is no direct correlation between IBS and the impossibility to palpate the abdominal aorta. Factors that for sure influence the palpation are obesity and massive abdominal musculature.

Finally (in contrast to what has been suggested in a previous answer), I have never heard about "palpating the celiac artery" and I don't think it is possible to really palpate (and be precise enough to say it is the celiac artery) it through all the organs which surround it (see image below, some parts of the liver have been removed to be able to see the artery)

Celiac Artery

Sources: Figure 2: wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celiac_artery

  • This answers my question. I asked this on the basis of a "belief" which is popular in Indian Yoga. Please watch this textual video on YouTube, youtube.com/watch?v=F6t9RQmagzI you'll understand why I asked this question. Furthe I would like to know the reason why the methods given in Yoga and this video cure diseases like Constipation or IBS? They say if you perform these Yogas or methods the navel beat is centered? Really?
    – user6525
    Aug 17, 2016 at 12:01
  • 2
    I am not sure about what you understand by navel beat so I can't help you on this. Concerning the influence of yoga on constipation and IBS, I have never heard of this (but haven't searched the medical literature tbh). Maybe you should ask this a separate new question? Cheers! Felipe
    – Felipe
    Aug 19, 2016 at 8:54

Sounds like voodoo to me.

There is large artery, called the celiac artery, that goes right down the center of the body. Undoubtedly this is what you would feel pulsing if you were to press on your navel. Where exactly you might feel a pulse has more to do with how much muscle and fat you have, than any health condition.

  • What if intestine is swollen because of any disease like IBS? Wouldn't that affect location of beat?
    – user6525
    Aug 17, 2016 at 10:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.