Acupuncture Points Mentioned in this Article
Gout is a painful arthritis caused by abnormal purine metabolism leading to high uric acid levels. It is a type of painful arthritis that is often associated with the overindulgence in rich foods. The primary cause of gout is due to the abnormal metabolism of purines, leading to an excessive amount of uric acid in the blood. When these uric acid levels rise, it results in the formation of urate crystals within joint cavities.
This can trigger an immune response and inflammation. The affected areas, often the big toe joint, exhibit redness, heat, and intense pain. Historically, gout was known as the "disease of kings" because it was common among the wealthy who consumed luxurious diets. However, in today's modern age, gout is frequently diagnosed among people of all economic backgrounds, especially those between the ages of 40 to 60.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Perspective on Gout?
From the TCM perspective, gout is linked to compromised kidney functions affecting metabolism and detoxification. Patients with gout often have compromised kidney functions which, according to TCM, affects the body's metabolism and detoxification processes. Thus, in addition to conventional treatments, TCM emphasizes dietary control, the use of medicinal diets, and acupressure as key measures to manage or prevent gout.
It's also recommended for gout patients to be cautious with their diets, avoiding foods high in purines like certain hot pot broths. Moreover, while foot massages can offer symptom relief, they should be used judiciously and in conjunction with a balanced lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a proper diet.
Pressure Points on Leg for Gout
Sea of Blood (Xuehai 血海) SP10 Acupoint
The Sea of Blood SP10 Point aids in improving blood flow, potentially benefiting gout conditions. This means it can assist with issues like irregular periods and menstrual pain. It can also help strengthen thigh muscles and reduce swelling in the legs. For general well-being, it can help ease shoulder pain, headaches, and skin problems. Since gout is related to blood circulation and inflammation, improving blood flow with this point might be beneficial.
Where is Acupressure Point SP10?
Sea of Blood SP10 Point is located above the inner side of the knee, about two inches from the kneecap edge.
How to find Acupuncture Point SP10?
- Starting from the inner edge of the kneecap.
- Measure approximately two inches upward (the width of three fingers)
- When the leg is straightened and the knee is flexed, an indentation will appear on the inner side of the knee
- Sea of Blood Point is just above this spot.
Bend Middle (Weizhong 委中) BL40 Acupoint
The Bend Middle BL40 point romotes lower body blood circulation, essential for managing gout symptoms. It is also great for back pain and foot pain relief. If you've ever had muscle cramps or felt numbness in your legs, this point might help. It also promotes better blood flow in the lower body. Good blood circulation is essential for managing conditions like gout, which can cause painful swelling in the foot and other joints.
Where is Acupressure Point BL40?
Bend Middle BL40 point is found at the center of the crease behind the knee, between two tendons.
How to find Acupuncture Point BL40?
- Sit with your leg extended or lie face down.
- Look for the horizontal crease on the backside of your knee.
- Within this crease, feel for two prominent tendons
- Weizhong is in the midpoint between them.
Reflexology Points for Gout on Feet
Three Yin Meeting (Sanyinjiao 三陰交) SP6 Acupoint
The Three Yin Meeting SP6 point helps in balancing hormones and kidney function, indirectly aiding gout management. It is a special spot where three important pathways meet. It's useful for stomach problems like diarrhea and bloating, women's health issues like irregular periods, and urinary issues. This point also helps with sleep problems, leg pain, and balancing hormones. Good hormone balance and proper kidney function can indirectly support gout management.
Where is Acupressure Point SP6?
Three Yin Meeting SP6 Point is positioned three inches above the inner ankle, behind the shinbone.
How to find Acupuncture Point SP6?
- Find the inner ankle's most protruding bone.
- From there, measure upwards about three inches (roughly the width of four fingers).
- It's located slightly behind the inner edge of the shinbone
- You might feel a slight tenderness or pain upon pressing.
Pressure Points for Gout on Back
Kidney Shu (Shenxu 腎俞) BL23 Acupoint
The Kidney Shu supports reproductive health and kidney function, essential in gout management. It is a powerhouse for reproductive health, assisting with issues both men and women might face. It also helps with water balance in the body, which is crucial for kidney function. Additionally, it can help with back pain and boost overall energy. Proper kidney function is key in gout management since the kidneys help remove excess uric acid—a major cause of gout.
Where is BL23 Acupressure Point?
Kidney Shu BL23 is located one and a half inches to the side of the spine, in line with the bottom rib of the waist.
How to find BL23 Acupuncture Point?
- Start by identifying the waist's bottom rib.
- Move to the spine and count to the second vertebra from the bottom.
- From this point, measure approximately one and a half inches outward (slightly wider than a thumb) on either side to find the Kidney Shu point.
- This is the Kidney Shu BL23 Point.
How to Relieve Gout With Acupressure Points?
Stimulating acupressure points can relieve gout discomfort by focusing on kidney qi and detoxification. Acupressure can potentially alleviate the discomfort associated with gout by stimulating specific points associated with kidney qi and detoxification, such as Sea of Blood, Three Yin Meeting, Bend Middle, and Kidney Shu.
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
If you're uncertain about pinpointing or applying pressure to these points, it's recommended to seek guidance from a trained expert.
Frequently Asked Questions about Gout
What Are the First Signs of Having Gout?
The first signs of having gout include a sudden, painful flare, typically in the big toe. The affected joint might also be swollen, warm, and have red, shiny skin around it, usually happening at night.
How Can Gout Go Away?
Gout can't completely go away but its symptoms can be managed and reduced. Even if it seems like the gout is gone, because you might not have symptoms for a while, the underlying issue of having too much uric acid and forming crystals in your joints is still there. Lifestyle changes like losing weight and avoiding certain foods and drinks can help manage it, as can treatments from a specialist known as a rheumatologist.
What Drink Gets Rid of Gout?
No drink gets rid of gout, but some might help manage it. Drinking a lot of water is good to help minimize uric acid crystal formation in joints. While no drink can totally remove gout, unsweetened cherry juice and skim milk might help reduce gout flares and lower the amount of uric acid.
Will Gout Go Away Without Seeing a Doctor?
Gout won’t go away without seeing a doctor, even though symptoms may temporarily subside. The condition will keep returning due to its root causes, and while minor flares can be managed at home with some general pain relief and rest, it’s crucial to get medical advice to avoid further complications. If not treated properly, gout can cause lasting damage and lead to more health issues.
Does Soaking in Hot Water Help Gout?
Soaking in hot water does not help gout during a flare. In fact, since the joint is already hot and inflamed during a gout attack, using cool treatments like ice packs or a cold cloth might be more beneficial to soothe the pain and inflammation.
Can Acupuncture Help With Gout?
Yes, acupuncture helps with gout from TCM perspective. A study that analyzed 28 experiments and a total of 2237 patients found that acupuncture could be better than regular drug treatments in several ways, such as "quickly relieving gout symptoms, reducing pain, and lowering some measurements in the blood that indicate inflammation." More thorough experiments are needed to confirm these findings.
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Incorporating acupressure into your daily regimen might be a traditional approach to managing gout symptoms, fostering overall health and well-being. Prioritize your health and explore this time-honored technique as a potential remedy.