Accupressure for Constipation
Constipation can be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition. It’s usually easily treated, and rarely serious if detected early enough. In most cases eating more fiber, drinking more water and exercising solves the problem. However, there are people who continue to suffer after those avenues turn up empty. What’s a person to do when they’re suffering from accupressure constipation and all the fiber, water, and exercise in the world isn’t helping?
A popular treatment method that doesn’t include chemicals or a visit to the doctor is to use accupressure for constipation. For ages, naturalistic healers have been using pressure points in the body to soothe various problems. Nearly every condition the body experiences can be treated by utilizing pressure points and that includes constipation.
What is Accupressure?
Accupressure is the ancient practice of applying pressure to various points on the body, with the belief that specific nerves in that region affect the inflicted area. Similar in practice to that of acupuncture, both practices stem from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM states when the body’s yin, yang, and chi are out of balance, the body exhibits the imbalance by falling ill. The key purpose of accupressure is to stimulate the body’s meridian system to re-align and balance the yin, yang, and chi.
The meridian system is comprised of 12 lines running along the surfaces of the body. Within those 12 lines are points corresponding to various organs. The accupressure points get their names from the meridian and point on which they lie. For example, the LI-11 point, which we will look at later, lies on the Lower Intestine meridian line and is point 11 on that line.
Accupressure for constipation is a gentle practice and noninvasive. Some describe it as “acupuncture without needles”, and in many ways they’re right.
The pressure points are usually located in a different area than the part of the body that’s feeling pain. For another example, people who suffer from motion sickness can wear a special wristband that applies pressure to the P6 pressure point on the wrist to help alleviate nausea.
At one time, Western medicine disparaged the beliefs of TCM, but recently many doctors and medical experts have begun to realize the validity of some of these ancient healing methods along with the benefits of a natural approach.
Accupressure for Constipation Explained
Accupressure can be used to relax the abdomen and stimulate the digestive tract to get things moving again. Here is one method of accupressure for constipation that specifically relieves pain and discomfort.
- Find a comfortable place to lie down on your back
- Three finger-widths below the navel is a pressure point called CV-6 or the Sea of Energy Point
- Close your eyes and relax by taking deep breaths
- Press all of your fingers on the CV-6 pressure point, gradually increasing the pressure and holding them there for 2 minutes
Another popular accupressure for constipation point is the LI-11 or Crooked Pond site. The LI-11 pressure point is located on the outer edge of the elbow crease. Apply pressure to one LI-11 pressure point and hold for 30 seconds. Then switch to the other elbow. Repeat this process three times a day.
Yet another pressure point for helping with digestive disorders is the Three Mile Point. It’s located about 4 finger-widths below the kneecap and 1 finger-width away from the shinbone. If you feel a muscle flex when you move your foot up and down, then you know you’re in the right spot. Applying pressure to this point can help relieve stomach and intestinal disorders as well as aiding digestion.
The last pressure point for helping to relieve constipation is the Joining the Valley Point. It’s located at the highest point on the muscle on the back of the hand that protrudes when the thumb and index finger touch. Note—if you are pregnant, do not use this pressure point as it can stimulate the uterus and cause premature contractions.
Don’t Ignore Constipation
As stated earlier, constipation is not usually serious and it isn’t really a condition so much as it’s a symptom of some underlying problem. You need to find the reason for your constipation. The cause could be as simple as a change in eating or lifestyle habits, or something more serious such as diabetes. It’s important to note, if left untreated constipation can lead to more dangerous digestive disorders, such as:
- Bowel obstruction
- Chronic constipation
- Severe hemorrhoids
- Spastic colon
It’s interesting to discover the more advanced the field of medicine becomes, the more it looks to the Traditional Chinese Medicine methods of treatment. Finding alternative ways of treating various ailments, such as using the ancient technique of accupressure for constipation relief, can be quite beneficial for the patient. Also, as we progress to a more complete understanding of the body’s functions, Traditional Chinese Medicine seems to hold many exciting promises for the future of the healing arts.