Acupuncture Points Mentioned in this Article
Constipation can result from factors like lack of exercise, medication side effects, bad habits, emotional factors, and diseases.
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.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective on Constipation
From the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, constipation can be understood in a holistic manner. It believes that our digestive health is influenced by factors like our diet and emotions. Eating irregularly can upset the balance in our stomach and intestines, causing what TCM describes as "accumulated heat".
Similarly, when our emotions are out of balance or when the flow of energy, known as "qi", is blocked, it can negatively impact our digestion. Extended periods of illness can weaken the body, and if there's an imbalance in the body's natural energies, namely qi, blood, yin, and yang, it can disrupt the function of vital organs like the liver, spleen, and kidneys. All these factors combined can lead to constipation.
Pressure Points for Constipation on Hand
Fish Border (Yuji 魚際) LU10 Acupoint
Fish Border helps relax the body to relieve constipation. It is used in acupressure mostly for the hands. It doesn't directly help with digestive system but can aid in relaxation. Reducing stress can help with constipation issues.
Where is Acupuncture Point LU10?
It's located where the palm and back of the hand meet, near the wrist and base of the thumb.
How to find Acupressure Point LU10?
- Hold your hand with the palm facing you.
- Find the base of your thumb.
- Go a bit towards your wrist.
- Find where your palm turns into the back of your hand.
Union Valley (Hégǔ 合谷) LI4 Acupoint
Union Valley Point stimulates the large intestine and promotes regular bowel movements. The Union Valley Point, often referred to as Hégǔ, offers a number of remarkable benefits for stomach and digestive issues. This point, particularly renowned for stimulating the large intestine and promoting healthy and regular bowel movements, is a potent ally for those dealing with constipation or irregularity. Moreover, it not only affects the digestive system but also serves as a key point for relieving headaches, given its status as a command point for the head and neck.
Where is Acupuncture Point LI4?
The Union Valley Point is located in the fleshy area between the thumb and index finger.
How to find Acupressure Point LI4?
- Start with your hand open and facing towards you.
- Find the fleshy area between your thumb and index finger.
- Feel for a slight depression in the muscle.
- This is where you'll apply pressure or massage to stimulate the point.
Pressure Points for Constipation on Arm
Pool at the Bend (Qu Chi 曲池) LI11 Acupoint
The Pool at the Bend point helps constipation. It improves blood and energy flow. This can help if you have trouble with bowel movements like constipation.
Where is Acupuncture Point LI11?
It's on the outside of the elbow crease, on the thumb side.
How to find Acupressure Point LI11?
- Bend your elbow and put your palm to your chest.
- Find the line that forms on your elbow.
- Go to the outer part of this line, towards the thumb side.
Branching Ditch (支溝 Zhīgōu) TH6 Acupoint
Branching Ditch aids digestive concerns, especially constipation, and promotes digestive harmony. Branching Ditch, or Zhīgōu, emerges as a savior for those grappling with troublesome digestive concerns, particularly constipation, abdominal bloating, and urination difficulties. For those experiencing the discomfort and irregularity that accompany these issues, a focused approach to this acupoint might bring about the much-needed relief and restoration of digestive harmony.
Where is Acupuncture Point TH6?
The Zhīgōu Acupoint can be found on the back of the forearm, approximately three inches away from the wrist crease.
How to find Acupressure Point TH6?
- Extend your arm in front of you, palm facing down.
- Locate the wrist crease.
- Measure three inches (about four finger-widths) up from the wrist crease, towards the elbow.
- The point is on the lateral side (towards the thumb) of the arm at this location.
- Apply pressure or massage gently to stimulate the point.
Pressure Points on Body for Constipation
Sea of Qi (Qi Hai 氣海) CV6 Acupoint
Pressing the Sea of Qi point can help with constipation. It helps balance energy and reduce stress. It's also good for kidney health which can help digestion.
Where is Acupuncture Point CV6?
It's about 1.5 inches below your belly button.
How to find Acupressure Point CV6?
- Stand or lie down in a relaxed way.
- Find your belly button.
- Go 1.5 inches below it.
- Press gently; it might be a bit sensitive.
Celestial Pivot (Tiānshū 天樞) ST25 Acupoint
Celestial Pivot facilitates smoother digestive processes and alleviates constipation. With a direct impact on digestive health, Celestial Pivot, or Tiānshū, stands out as a vital point for mitigating constipation and facilitating smoother digestive processes. Not only does stimulation of this point promote better bowel movements and alleviate distress related to constipation, but it also nurtures the abdominal muscles, rendering it an excellent point for those needing to enhance their digestive efficacy.
Tiānshū can be found on both sides of the abdomen, approximately two inches away from the belly button.
How to find Acupressure Point ST25?
- Lie down or sit comfortably.
- Locate your belly button.
- Measure three finger-widths (approximately two inches) to the side of your belly button on both sides.
- Apply gentle but firm pressure or massage in circular motions.
Lifestyle Changes to Relieve Constipation Naturally?
Here are a few dietary tips that could help reduce constipation naturally:
- 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.
How to Relieve Constipation with Acupressure Points
Stimulating acupressure points can naturally relieve constipation. Targeting specific points like Branching Ditch, Celestial Pivot, Union Valley, Fish Border and others can encourage regular bowel movement. Acupressure offers a natural method to potentially alleviate this discomfort of constipation.
Here are some practical tips to get the most out of these acupressure techniques:
Create a serene environment: Choose a quiet space where distractions are minimal. This calm setting will enhance your focus and heighten the healing effects of acupressure.
Deep breathing: Initiate your session by inhaling and exhaling deeply. This not only calms your mind but also prepares your body for the acupressure session, making it more receptive to the process.
Clean hands: Hygiene is essential. Ensure that your hands are clean before you start. This will prevent any potential infections, especially when dealing with sensitive areas.
Consistency is key: Regular application of these acupressure techniques is more beneficial than sporadic sessions. Aim to integrate these into your daily or weekly routine for a sustained impact
Individual responses can vary. If these acupressure techniques don't offer the relief you're seeking, consider consulting with a licensed acupuncturist or TCM practitioner for tailored advice.
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