Acupressure for Constipation: Natural Relief for Digestive Discomfort

February 18, 2023
3 mins

Acupuncture Points Mentioned in this Article

Are you struggling with constipation and looking for natural remedies to find relief? In traditional Chinese medicine, there are specific acupressure points that can help alleviate constipation and promote healthy digestion. Incorporating these points into your daily routine can make a significant difference in your overall well-being. So, let's explore three powerful acupuncture points that can help with constipation.

Background of Acupressure

Acupressure is based on acupuncture which has been practiced for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It's based on the idea that energy, known as "qi" or "chi", flows through the body's meridians or energy pathways. Blockages in these pathways can result in physical or emotional ailments, including digestive problems.

By applying pressure to specific points on the body, these blockages can be cleared, restoring the free flow of energy and promoting healing.

Pressure Points for Constipation

Try these acupuncture points daily to relieve constipation.

Union Valley Point (合谷 - Hégǔ)

The Union Valley Point, also known as Hégǔ in Chinese, is located on the large intestine meridian in traditional Chinese medicine. Found between the thumb and index finger, this magical point has multiple benefits for your body. Not only does it stimulate the large intestine, promoting bowel movements, but it is also the command point for the head and neck, making it effective for relieving headaches as well!

To locate LI4, find the fleshy depression just beyond the meeting point of your thumb and first finger bones, forming a "V" shape. Apply firm pressure or rub this point every day to stimulate bowel regularity. With a circular motion, massage this point for about a minute, and you may experience relief from constipation.

Celestial Pivot (天樞 - Tiānshū)

Celestial Pivot

The Celestial Pivot, or Tiānshū in Chinese, belongs to the Foot Yangming Stomach Meridian. It is an essential acupunture and acupressure point for treating constipation and improving digestive health.

To find this point, locate both sides of your abdomen, approximately three finger widths (about two inches) away from the belly button. Using your thumbs, massage the Tiānshū acupoint in circular motions for about a minute. This simple technique can help stimulate the abdominal muscles, enhance bowel movements, and ease constipation.

Branching Ditch (支溝 - Zhīgōu)

Zhi Gou point is particularly effective in addressing digestive issues, including abdominal bloating, constipation, and difficulties in urination. If you find yourself struggling with irregular bowel movements and the discomfort of constipation, stimulating this acupoint may be the answer you've been searching for Finding the precise location of Zhi Gou Acupoint is crucial for targeted acupressure.

To locate it, Start by locating the center of your forearm, on the back of your hand. Measure about three inches away from the wrist crease, which is roughly the width of four fingers. Zhi Gou Acupoint can be found on the lateral side of this measured point, on both forearms. Once you've located the acupoint, you can apply gentle pressure using your thumb or index finger. Massage in a circular motion for a few minutes, or until you feel a mild sensation or warmth in the area.

What Are Some Causes of Constipation?

There are many reasons for constipation, so it's important to identify the cause and treat it accordingly. Here are the most common causes of constipation:

  • Lack of exercise or movement: insufficient gastrointestinal motility can result in constipation.
  • Side effects of medications: antidepressants, antipsychotic medications, painkillers, etc. can slow down gastrointestinal motility.
  • Bad habits: delaying bowel movements, misuse of laxatives, relying on enemas for bowel movements.
  • Emotional factors: stress, tension, and depression can lead to a decrease in gastrointestinal motility.
  • Insufficient water intake: leads to dry stools.
  • Inadequate dietary fiber intake: fails to stimulate intestinal peristalsis.
  • Disease factors: diabetes, hypothyroidism, neurological damage, etc. can cause constipation.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to acupressure, it's important to focus on other lifestyle factors that contribute to your overall digestive health. Here are a few dietary tips that could help reduce constipation.

  • Natural foods like bananas, whole grains, and nuts have a stool-softening effect.
  • Soluble fiber can soften stools and promote gastrointestinal movement, as found in foods like black fungus, kelp, tomatoes, apples, and oats.
  • Fermented foods contain lactic acid bacteria which can adjust the number of bacteria in the intestines, aiding digestion. However, these foods often have higher salt and sugar content, so they should be consumed in moderation. Examples include kimchi, natto, miso, kefir, and yogurt.
  • If one is dehydrated, even consuming lots of dietary fiber and fermented foods won't help with bowel movements. Medical professionals suggest that each person should drink about 2,000 c.c. of water daily.

Remember to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, maintain a light and healthy diet, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, massage your abdomen regularly, and engage in regular exercise. These practices, along with acupressure, can help keep your digestive system functioning optimally.

While these acupressure points are effective for mild cases of constipation, chronic constipation may indicate underlying imbalances that may require professional evaluation. If you're dealing with chronic constipation, it's always advisable to consult with a qualified practitioner for a thorough assessment.

Practical Tips for Applying Acupressure

Before you start acupressure find a quiet and comfortable place where you can relax. Start with a calm mind: Before applying acupressure, take a few deep breaths to calm your mind and center yourself. Use clean hands: Ensure your hands are clean to prevent any infections, especially if you have any open wounds or cuts. Consistency is key: Like any other holistic practice, consistency in applying acupressure will yield better results. Read more practical tips for acupressure before you start.

Acupressure with Moxa

To take your journey to wellness a step further, consider downloading the Moxa Acupressure App. This app offers a wide range of rituals and personalized sessions to help restore balance to your body and improve your overall well-being. Let us take the complexity out of finding the right points, pacing the sessions, and tracking our progress. See how Moxa can you help find the right points for your body and help establish a routine.

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