Acupressure has been a part of Chinese medicine for at least 3000 years to help treat different health conditions whether it be a physical or mental condition. Basically, it works by channeling the energy within the body by applying pressure to certain points to alter the flow of energy.
There have been studies that prove acupressure can actually alter the levels of chemicals in the bloodstream, so it is possible that this alternative medicine can actually have an effect on certain illnesses, especially stress, tension, pain, and circulatory problems.
When looking at using acupressure to help relieve menstrual cramps,many women do prefer to use natural medicines instead of pain relievers. Dietary changes and herbal remedies are common to help relieve menstrual cramping, but acupressure is a growing solution to help aid the pain and discomfort.
Because menstrual cramping is caused by the change of hormones and neurochemicals in the blood, acupressure has been thought to be an ideal treatment to relieve the discomfort naturally.
When using acupressure to relieve menstrual pain, the professional will use a basic technique to apply pressure using the tips of the fingers, the knuckle, or a soft round object. The pressure will be applied for about 1 to 3 minutes to the acupressure point, or acupoint.
Acupoints that will help relieve menstrual pain and cramping include:
- Conception Vessel (CV-6): This point is about two finger widths below the belly button. It can also help aid digestion problems, edema, and bloating, in addition to menstrual pain.
- Pericardium (PC-6): This point is about two inches from the wrist on the inner arm. It can also relieve vomiting and abdominal pain during pregnancy.
- Large Intestine (LI-4): This point is in the webbing between the thumb and forefinger. It can also help relieve chronic pain.
- Gall Bladder (GB-20): This point is in the back of the skull about two to three inches from the ear. It can also help aid headaches and hypertension.
- Stomach (ST-36): This point is about one finger width from the juncture of the tibia on the outer side of the leg. This can also help relieve stomach and spleen problems.
Some acupressure professionals say that if you sit straight up in a chair with your legs out in front of you, you can put pressure on the crease of the groin where your leg moves to help relieve menstrual pain and cramping. You want the pressure about 1/3 to 1/2 way down between the hip bone and outside of the public bone.
Or, if you put pressure about one finger width from the inner wrist, where the crease of the thumb is, you can relieve menstrual cramping and heel pain.
Menstrual pain can affect about 60% to 93% of adolescent girls and a good percent of adult women, and for these females, it can be quite a discomfort. The pain will start before or during menstruation and can last up to 48 hours or so.
Sometimes women experience other symptoms, such as nausea, back pain, diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and bloating. All of these symptoms can be treated using acupoints, as acupressure helps to relax your body and rearrange your energy to help relieve the pain and discomfort.
Because these symptoms are associated with neurochemicals, the acupoints are a safe way to relieve the cramping by altering those chemicals.
If you are one of the women who suffer menstrual cramping every month, it may be time to try something different. Sometimes the over-the-counter or the prescription medicines aren't always the best for your body, and they can come with side effects you may want to avoid. Acupressure is an all natural and safe method to relieve your cramping, pain, and discomfort.
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Disclaimer: Please be aware that the advice in this article should in no way replace that of a licensed physician. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor to find the best method to soothe your symptoms of PMS, pregnancy, or menopause, or assist in fertility concerns.
dynamag on October 13, 2010:
Acupressure is relatively new in todays medical world
However, just like Yoga, and many others, these forms of treatment need to be looked at in depth before dismissing them outright. They may have benefits that are not visible initially.
Useful info. Thanks