Acupressure Points For Periods Pain
Acupressure August 30, 2022 By Originally published on Mentratution Matters Acupressure is the use of the fingers or thumbs to press on certain parts of the body to pressure points on the body that are used in traditional Chinese medicine and is similar to acupuncture but without needles.
Acupressure is low risk and can be learnt quite easily. You can perform the acupressure techniques on yourself, or if you like you can ask someone else to help. There have been a number of research studies on acupressure and how it can be used with period pain. One recent study suggests that using acupressure for at least three months can help reduce your period pain and the need to take pain relief medications.
The researchers followed participants for six months and found that the pain relief increased over time, so if you feel like the acupressure is working for you, it might be worth continuing to use it. The video links below show you how to apply the pressure correctly to three different pressure points; one on your foot, one just above your ankle, and one on your hand.
You should start massaging these points about five days before your period is due to start. So, if you are due on Saturday, you should start on Monday before.Ideally, you should massage these points twice per day. Before breakfast and before bed are ideal. If you can’t do twice a day, then try to make sure you do it at least once per day.You can use these points during your period as well, using the same technique as above. You can do this up to five times per day during your period.
We suggest you follow the same technique that the researchers provided for this study.
Make sure you find the most tender point in the area. The right spot should be more ‘sore’ than those in surrounding areas.Massage the area using medium pressure. It should be uncomfortable but not unbearable. You don’t want to bruise yourself.Massage each point in a circular motion, rather than back and forth or pressing up and down.Massage each point for one minute each. It’s a good idea to set a timer on your phone to do this.You need to massage the point on both foot, both ankles and both hands. You will need to massage six points in total. This should take you six minutes.
You need to apply enough pressure to make the area feel sore, heavy, numb, or tingling but it should not leave a bruise. If you do bruise yourself, please avoid pressing on that area until the bruise has gone, and make sure you use less pressure in future. Make a loose fist by pushing your thumb and index finger together. You will see a bulge in the muscle. Take note of where the highest point of this bulge is. Relax your hand and then apply pressure with your other hand onto the area that was the highest point. To find this point place four fingers together. Then place the four fingers on your ankle on the inside of your leg. Where these four fingers end, press just behind the bone. You might feel like there is a little hollow here. Look at the top of your foot. Press between the big toe and first toe, about 1cm away from the base of the toe.
It has been shown that acupressure used for three months can help reduce your period pain and the need to take pain-killing medications.There are three main acupressure points that have been linked to period pain relief: Large intestine 4 – He Gu, Spleen 6 – San Yin Jiao, Liver 3 – Tai Chong.Large intestine 4 – He Gu can be found between the thumb and the index finger.Spleen 6 – San Yin Jiao.Liver 3 – Tai chong.
Thank you to Menstrustaion Matters for this invaluable advice https://menstruationmatters.com.au/ : Acupressure
What area to massage for period cramps?
What pressure point relieves period cramps? – Pressure points can be used to relieve period cramps. The most common pressure points used for period cramps are in the feet and hands. In the feet, the points are located between the big toe and the second toe.
- In the hands, the points are located between the thumb and the index finger.
- Applying pressure to these points can help to reduce the intensity of the cramps and provide relief.
- In the legs, the point is located three finger widths above the inner ankle bone.
- Is heat or cold treatment better for period pains? Both heat and cold treatments can provide relief from period cramps.
Heat therapy, such as hot water bottles or electric heating pads, can help to relax the muscles and reduce the intensity of the cramps. Cold therapy, such as ice packs or cold compresses, can help to reduce inflammation and provide relief from the pain.
Can acupuncture reduce period pain?
Can acupuncture help with period pain? – Period pain (aka dysmenorrhea) is a debilitating condition for many women, particularly younger women. There is good evidence to show that acupuncture is very effective for reducing the intensity of menstrual cramps and the length of time the pain is experienced.
Bloating, breast tenderness and fluid retention Mood swings Food cravings Digestive irregularities Headaches
As holistic therapists we target these conditions as part of your treatment. Your acupuncture is tailored to suit you at each stage of your cycle. It’s recommended that you come for a course of 6 sessions in order to get the most benefit from the treatment.
When period pain becomes unbearable?
Why is my period so excruciatingly painful? – Periods may be very painful because of an underlying medical condition, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease. Doctors call this secondary dysmenorrhea. Other people may experience pain for no apparent reason. Doctors call this primary dysmenorrhea.
What is the Chinese medicine for menstruation?
Angelica sinensis; Chinese angelica; Danggui; Tan kue bai zhi; Tang kuei Dong quai ( Angelica sinensis ) root has been used for more than one thousand years as a spice, tonic, and medicine in China, Korea, and Japan. It is still used often in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), where it is usually combined with other herbs.
What is Chinese medicine for periods?
Dang Gui – Chinese Angelica Root – Dang Gui is the cultivated dried root of the Angelica Sinensus plant indigenous to China and often called the female ginseng due to its benefits in women’s health. From a Chinese medicine perspective it is used to invigorate the blood and regulate menses which in modern times we now use for the treatment of irregular period, period pain (dysmenorrhea) or absent menstruation (amenorrhea) and aid in digestion by unblocking the bowels.
Is lemon water good in periods?
Seven simple ways to get relief from period cramps! Irengbam Jenny We all deal with period cramps which make our lives hell during that time of the month. Even though we take medicines, it just provides short-term relief. Besides, consuming too many medicines is just not good for health.
But we surely can rely on some simple ways which brings temporary yet considerable relief from the agonizing pain.Here are some simple ways to get relief from cramps: Have a cup of chamomile tea
Always have a cup of chamomile tea when you are having menstrual cramps and stomach aches, as it will give you relief from the pain. Chamomile helps to ease out the pain as it works as an anti-inflammatory agent in the stomach and relaxes the smooth muscles of the upper digestive track. Use hot water bag Using hot water bag while having menstrual cramps is useful as the heat reduces the pain and helps to loosen and relax muscles. Put the hot water bag on your belly until the time the pain reduces. The warmth on the belly will give you relief from the dreadful pain and discomfort. Have warm lemon water One should have a glass of warm lemon water during period as it reduces the agonizing pain. It also keeps you hydrated which keeps the system flushed and running smoothly. Have a cup of ginger root tea Sipping on a cup of Ginger root tea will ease you from period cramps as ginger contains chemicals called gingerols and shogaols which relaxes smooth muscle that lines the intestinal track. Ginger root is also great for relieving nausea. Drink lots of water It may sound odd but drinking lots of water during period reduces pain. Drinking water helps avoid painful bloating during menstruation. But drinking warm or hot water is more effective as hot liquids increase blood flow and may relax cramped muscles. Exercise Doing exercise everyday especially during periods helps to get relief from menstrual cramps. Exercise releases hormones called endorphins which acts as natural pain killer. It also helps to increase the blood flow to the reproductive organs, gives relief from stress and relaxes your body. Acupuncture Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese treatment also provides relief from painful cramps. This chinese treatment involves sticking the skin with small needles which will stimulate the body at certain points to get rid of the pain. : Seven simple ways to get relief from period cramps!
Why should you not drink tea during menstruation?
Discussion – The present study found that more than half of Chinese reproductive age women (57.8%) had some degree of dysmenorrhoea. Exposure to secondhand smoke or consumption of coffee was positively associated with moderate-to-severe dysmenorrhoea.
After adjustment for the potential confounders, consumptions of green tea and possibly oolong tea were associated with lower prevalence of dysmenorrhoea. The prevalence of dysmenorrhoea in our population was consistent with previous studies. It was reported that at least 50% of women around the world 17 and 56.4% of university students in China suffered from dysmenorrhoea.5 However, the prevalence of severe dysmenorrhoea in this study was slightly lower than the previous study (3.5% vs 6.5%, respectively), 5 which may be explained by the age difference between the study populations (29.4±3.2 years in the current study vs 20.3±1.3 in Zhou et al ‘s study 5 ).
Previous literature indicated that menstrual pain was alleviated to some degree with advancing age.12 18 19 The relationships between dysmenorrhoea and menstrual characteristics (such as onset of menarche, regular menses, bleeding duration) are still uncertain.20 Some studies reported that older age at menarche was associated with a decreased risk of dysmenorrhoea, 18 21 while others showed no association.12 22 Unsal et al found that menstrual irregularity was one of risk factors for dysmenorrhoea (OR=1.90 (95% CI 1.22 to 32.95)).12 As for blood flow, some studies showed that reduced menstrual flow may be a sign of uterine constriction and it was associated with cramp pain 1 23 while others showed that the severity of dysmenorrhoea increased with increasing volume of blood flow.5 24 Our study was consistent with the latter finding, that is, women with heavy blood flow were more likely to have dysmenorrhoea.
However, we did not find any other relationship between menstrual health and dysmenorrhoea. Interestingly, our result showed that pregnancy history was inversely associated with dysmenorrhoea, in line with previous studies.12 18 Our results showed a tendency towards dysmenorrhoea relief when women drank tea in daily life.
Those who consumed 3–5 cups/day of tea were 51% less likely to report having mild dysmenorrhoea than non-drinkers. The observation of no relationship between high tea drinking (≥6 cups/day) and dysmenorrhoea may be true or due to chance; only 45 participants stated tea consumption of ≥6 cups/day.
In contrast, a small cross-sectional study with randomly selected 440 female university students in Ethiopia suggested that people drinking tea for more than 4 glasses/day had 19 times higher prevalence of dysmenorrhoea than non-drinkers, the corresponding aOR was 18.94 (95% CI 2.19 to 163.73).13 However, the very wide CI indicates that the conclusion is uncertain.
Among three types of tea, our study showed that consumption of green tea may be beneficial for relief of dysmenorrhoea while consumption of black tea was not. The latter finding is consistent with the results from a Turkey study—a cross-sectional study with 729 reproductive-age women, which found no association between tea consumption and dysmenorrhoea, 12 as the traditional tea in Turkey is black tea.
- Consumption of oolong tea had a boardline association with a lower prevalence of dysmenorrhoea, which may be ascribed to a small sample size.
- Our study may be underpowered to detect the desired difference between oolong tea drinkers and non-drinkers.
- To explore whether caffeine in tea was responsible to the relief of dysmenorrhoea, we examined the association between consumption of caffeinated beverages, especially coffee, and dysmenorrhoea.
Unlike tea, consumption of coffee was positively related to the severity of dysmenorrhoea in this study after adjustment of potential confounders. Previous studies showed that the risk of dysmenorrhoea was twice as high in high caffeine consumers (≥300 mg/day) compared with low/moderate caffeine consumers ( 25 and in coffee consumers (OR=2.08 (95% CI 1.34 to 3.24)).12 The mechanism through which caffeine could aggravate cramp-like pain is uncertain and further studies are warranted.
One possible mechanism is the vasoconstricting action of caffeine.26 A study in pregnant women indicates that caffeine stimulates uterine muscle and, consequently, causes increased uterine contraction.27 Uterine hypercontraction reduces blood flow and results in pain.1 Instead, catechins in green tea might partly explain the observed relationship with relieved severity of dysmenorrhoea.
The extent of the oxidative processing (also called ‘fermentation’) differs among three types of tea—green tea is minimally processed, while black tea is completed fermented. Hence, catechins are rich in green tea followed by oolong tea, while much lower in black tea, as it is unstable and sensitive to oxidisation.
A number of animal and in vitro studies suggest that green tea extract (catechins) is an effective inhibitor of COX-2 but not COX-1 10 11 thereby preventing overproduction of uterine prostaglandin levels, a major pathogenesis of primary dysmenorrhoea. In addition, catechins inhibit the activity of phospholipase A2, an enzyme involved in the production of arachidonic acid, and consequently decreases the production of additional prostaglandin from arachidonic acid.28 Given the high catechins content in green tea, it is convincingly expected green tea may be beneficial to relieve menstrual cramp by inhibiting prostaglandin level.
Further studies are needed to specify the role of catechins in dysmenorrhoea. Despite the promising effect of tea drinking in dysmenorrhoea, tea drinking during menstrual period may also have unwanted side effects. Catechins and tannic acid rich in tea can chelate iron, thus tend to interfere with iron absorption.29–31 As menstruating women lose iron through bleeding, caution of drinking too much tea during menstruation may be warranted.
- Several limitations of our study are worth mentioning.
- First, as our study collected data from the study population at a single point of time, it may be difficult to establish a causal relationship between tea drinking and dysmenorrhoea.
- Second, this study did not distinguish secondary dysmenorrhoea from primary dysmenorrhoea.
However, secondary dysmenorrhoea may share some of the same pathways of pain as the primary dysmenorrhoea, with an evidence of an increased level of prostaglandin in endometriosis and adenomyosis.32 33 On the other hand, an animal study has shown that green tea catechins inhibited the development of endometriosis through antiangiogenic effects.34 Thus, it is possible that green tea may potentially be beneficial to both primary and secondary dysmenorrhoea.
- Third, we did not include information on oral contraceptive pills use, which may cause potential bias due to residual confounding.
- However, this study recruited women of reproductive age who were planning to become pregnant.
- Therefore, the number of participants using oral contraceptive pills was negligible.
Fourth, the size of a tea serving and the biochemical quantity in a tea serving vary widely with different methods of preparing tea between individuals in China. We were unable to standardise the size of teacups. Finally, the information on dysmenorrhoea was based on participants’ self-report and, as such, it was subject to information bias.
However, it is difficult to explain why such a bias only occurred in certain types of tea but not all types. The strengths of this study are also worth noting. The large sample size made the results more precise. In addition, this study was based on a large cohort, which enables us to involve more potential confounders in the analyses.
The study population was women who were planning to be pregnant, so they were more likely to remember their health-related behaviours and characteristics, especially those related to reproduction, such as menstrual characteristics. In conclusion, our study suggests that drinking green tea was associated with a lower prevalence of dysmenorrhoea among reproductive-age women in China.