According to a study, 84% of women experience menstrual pain. The longer the menstrual flow, the higher the probability of experiencing menstrual pain. Women smokers also have a high possibility of experiencing menstrual pain. Out of all these women in pain during their monthly period, 55% seek medication to ease their menstrual pain, while the others prefer to bear with it normally.
The good news is that over-the-counter drugs are not the only available relief for menstrual pain. Women could also seek the help of therapists for acupressure.
What Is Acupressure Therapy?
Acupressure traces its roots from traditional Chinese medicine. They believe that a vital life force known as qi is central to a person’s health and well-being, and it flows through the body via invisible channels known as meridians. 12 major meridians are believed to connect organs into networks, creating a coordinated system within the body beginning from the fingertips all the way to the brain.
Once the flow of the qi through the meridians becomes disrupted, becomes stagnant, or remains stuck, that’s when a person starts to feel pain. What acupoint therapy does is seeks to restore the balance of qi by targeting the acupuncture points that can be found in the body’s meridians. This way, it can help the qi flow accurately.
It is critical to establish the legitimacy of acupuncture in treating certain conditions. It has been endorsed by the United States National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
How Does It Work?
For acupressure, no longer needles but body parts such as fingers, palms, elbows, or feet, or specialized devices are used to apply pressure on specific points, which lie along the body’s meridians. The patient lies with full clothes on a massage table as the therapist presses on the acupressure points. This therapy lasts for about an hour. At times, it may also require a little bit of stretching or pressure massage, among others.
Acupressure increases the flow of blood to a woman’s uterus, allowing the muscles around it to relax. It then decreases the contractions in the womb, or what is usually called menstrual cramps.
Regarding hormone regulation, acupressure increases the level of endorphin in the body, thereby reducing pain, stress, agitation, and mood swings. It also relieves the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, the brain’s hormone regulator.
Where Are The Pressure Points?
The most critical acupressure points for menstrual pain relief are the abdominal muscles. About two finger-widths below the navel is an area called the “Sea of Energy.” Applying acupressure stimulation in this area helps to normalize irregular menstrual cycles, eases menstrual cramps, and treats problems on vaginal discharge and even for constipation. At the same time, it also relieves the body from digestive disorders and even headaches.
Another two finger-widths below the sea of energy is the “Gate Origin.” It also eases the pain of menstrual cramps and normalizes irregular menstrual periods. In addition, it relieves the body of reproductive problems and incontinence. Moreover, just as additional information, for men, it helps with treating impotence.
On the pelvic area, at the center of that point where the legs join the trunk is a pair of pressure points known as the “Mansion Cottage.” Applying pressure from the palms on this area relieves the body from painful abdominal cramps and the other discomforts felt by a woman during the monthly period. Same as the gate origin, this also helps treat infertility among women.
Just below the points of the mansion cottage are the points called “Rushing Door.” Just like mansion cottage, these points also provide relief for abdominal discomfort but they also ease the pains associated with bloating and cramps. They also treat hernias and dysuria.
Acupressure is generally safe, with no known side effects similar to when women take OTC medication. However, special conditions do require consultation with doctors and licensed therapists such as those who are available online like BetterHelp. What better way to relieve body pains than doing it a safe and natural way.