Acupressure

Originally published on Mentratution Matters

Acupressure is the use of the fingers or thumbs to press on certain parts of the body to pressure points on the body that are used in traditional Chinese medicine and is similar to acupuncture but without needles.

Acupressure is low risk and can be learnt quite easily. You can perform the acupressure techniques on yourself, or if you like you can ask someone else to help.

Acupressure And Periods

There have been a number of research studies on acupressure and how it can be used with period pain. One recent study suggests that using acupressure for at least three months can help reduce your period pain and the need to take pain relief medications. The researchers followed participants for six months and found that the pain relief increased over time, so if you feel like the acupressure is working for you, it might be worth continuing to use it.

What Can You Do?

The video links below show you how to apply the pressure correctly to three different pressure points; one on your foot, one just above your ankle, and one on your hand.

How Often And When?

  • You should start massaging these points about five days before your period is due to start. So, if you are due on Saturday, you should start on Monday before.
  • Ideally, you should massage these points twice per day. Before breakfast and before bed are ideal. If you can’t do twice a day, then try to make sure you do it at least once per day.
  • You can use these points during your period as well, using the same technique as above. You can do this up to five times per day during your period.

How to apply pressure on each of these points:

We suggest you follow the same technique that the researchers provided for this study.

  • Make sure you find the most tender point in the area. The right spot should be more ‘sore’ than those in surrounding areas.
  • Massage the area using medium pressure. It should be uncomfortable but not unbearable. You don’t want to bruise yourself.
  • Massage each point in a circular motion, rather than back and forth or pressing up and down.
  • Massage each point for one minute each. It’s a good idea to set a timer on your phone to do this.
  • You need to massage the point on both foot, both ankles and both hands. You will need to massage six points in total. This should take you six minutes.

You need to apply enough pressure to make the area feel sore, heavy, numb, or tingling but it should not leave a bruise. If you do bruise yourself, please avoid pressing on that area until the bruise has gone, and make sure you use less pressure in future. You will also need to log that in the monthly diary when you fill that in.

The following three-acupressure points may help relieve period pain:

Point 1 – Large Intestine 4

Make a loose fist by pushing your thumb and index finger together. You will see a bulge in the muscle. Take note of where the highest point of this bulge is.

Relax your hand and then apply pressure with your other hand onto the area that was the highest point.

Point 2 – Spleen 6

To find this point place four fingers together.

Then place the four fingers on your ankle on the inside of your leg.

Where these­­­­­ four fingers end, press just behind the bone. You might feel like there is a little hollow here.

Point 3 – Liver 3

Look at the top of your foot.

Press between the big toe and first toe, about 1cm away from the base of the toe.

Summary

  • It has been shown that acupressure used for three months can help reduce your period pain and the need to take pain-killing medications.
  • There are three main acupressure points that have been linked to period pain relief: Large intestine 4 – He Gu, Spleen 6 – San Yin Jiao, Liver 3 – Tai Chong.
  • Large intestine 4 – He Gu can be found between the thumb and the index finger.
  • Spleen 6 – San Yin Jiao.
  • Liver 3 – Tai chong.

Thank you to Menstrustaion Matters for this invaluable advice https://menstruationmatters.com.au/

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