Unlocking Relief: Pressure Points For Constipation
Constipation & Acupressure
People can relieve complicated bowel movements with acupressure. Acupressure is the application of manual pressure on specific body points to promote digestion and stimulate defecation. People can get constipated for various reasons, such as indigestion, dehydration, mental stress, or medication. Constipation is when an individual has difficulty clearing the bowels or passing out stools. Luckily, one can ease constipation with natural therapy viz; acupressure. One can get acupressure from a qualified health professional or do it alone. Acupressure benefits most people, but one must also consider the potential adverse effects to get the full benefit. The article will describe the pressure points for constipation in adults and babies, its working, and its potential side effects. It will also answer some general popular queries regarding pressure points and constipation .
Understanding Pressure Points
Functions of the pressure points
- Acupressure is a kind of therapy that involves pressure at specific definite body points to relieve health issues ranging from muscle pain, headache, travel- sickness, sleep difficulty, and constipation. The technique is similar to the acupuncture technique of conventional Chinese medicine, except that acupuncture utilizes fine needles instead of manual pressure to stimulate the points.
- Traditional Chinese medicine advocates that each body has an essential energy known as Qi that travels through the body’s passages called meridians. The body’s meridians connect each organ, cell, and tissue.
- A well-maintained Qi is indispensable for maintaining overall good health. Any unevenness in the Qi can lead to potential health issues viz; soreness, uneasiness, and complicated bowel movements.
- Acupressure treatment balances the Qi in one’s body to prevent illness. In the technique, the health provider utilizes hands and fingers to give force to the definite points on the energy passages. There are around two thousand pressure points for acupressure, each used to treat different health issues .
Pressure Points for Constipation in Adults
As per conventional Chinese medicine, the specific body points connect with the organs responsible for constipation. The pressure points for relieving constipation are listed below-
- Celestial pivot
- Branching ditch
- Great surge
- Joint valley
- Shining Sea
- Great horizontal
Celestial pivot (stomach 25)
- ST25 or stomach 25 enables the stabilization of the gastrointestinal system. It assists in preventing diarrhea and complicated bowel movements.
Steps to use the ST25 point:
- Put pressure on two fingers wideness on the right side of the navel point
- Put circular force for around three minutes with the first finger or thumb
- Do the same for the left side as well
Branching ditch (San Jiao 6)
- SJ6 (San Jiao 6) is the usual pressure for relieving difficult bowels.
- The pressure point arouses the small and large intestine, bladder, and kidneys.
Steps to use the San Jiao 6-point:
- Put circular pressure on the external side of the arm, three fingers away from the wrist lines, for about three minutes.
- Do the same for the other arm
Great surge (Liver 3)
- The pressure point Liver 3 (LV 3) relieves stress when constipation is because of tension and stress.
- The point controls the liver Qi and eases anxiety.
Steps to use the Great Surge (Liver 3):
- Put circular force for around three minutes on the soft skin linking the first and the second toe.
- Do the same for the other foot
Joint valley (large intestine 4)
- Large intestine 4 (LV 4) is used to release anxiety. It helps in easy defecation if the constipation is the effect of constant worry.
Steps to use the large intestine 4:
- Circularly put force for around three minutes on the outer surface of the hand, connecting the thumb and first finger.
- Do the same process for the other hand, too.
Shining Sea (Kidney 6)
Kidney 6 (KI 6) is the pressure point on the foot area to stimulate defecation. It alleviates constipation by enhancing the fluid secretion.
Steps to use the Kidney 6-point:
- Put circular force for around three minutes on the internal ankle bone with the first finger and thumb.
- Do the same procedure for the other foot, too.
Great horizontal (Spleen 15)
- Spleen 15 (SP 15) is situated near the stomach 25 points. It arouses the contraction and relaxation movement of the bowels and boosts the outcomes of ST25.
Steps to use the Spleen 15-point:
- Put circular force for around two to three minutes with the first finger and thumb on the four-finger wideness on the right side of the navel point.
- Do the same procedure for the left side as well .
Pressure Points for Constipation in Babies
- The central point just under the balls of the foot is the solar plexus point that helps give peace and pleasure. The solar plexus point helps ease constipation in babies.
- Massaging the points at the bottom of the foot to arouse the large intestine helps ease constipation.
- To ease the hard stool trapped within the large intestine, one can massage with warm hands in the area just below the baby’s navel point .
Baby massage for constipation
If one feels that the baby is having difficulty clearing bowels and stomach gas, one can try the following baby massage to ease the constipation. Some essential touch that one can follow during a baby massage is as follows-
- Paddle stroke
- Moon and Sun stroke
- ILU Stroke
- Foot Reflexology
- It is best for babies with colic pain.
- Massage the baby’s breastbone up to the stomach. Use slight force and observe the baby’s reaction to it.
- Then, raise both legs in a leaped frog or crouching position and straighten them again to free the accumulated gas.
Moon and sunstroke
- Perform the belly massage clockwise for around 8 to 10 minutes each day.
- Perform it slowly and with alternate hands and touch the head area in between to ease gas and obstructions in the abdominal area.
ILU (I love you) stroke
- In this massage, one has to write the ILU on the baby’s body with the fingers.
- Start with one side of the belly and use the fingertips to trace the letter ” I” beneath the baby’s ribs. Do it several times.
- Then, move to the other side of the belly and trace the reverse “L” on the baby’s belly. Start away from the ribs, slowly proceed towards the center, and straight towards the navel point. Do it several times.
- Finally, trace a reverse “U” on the baby’s tummy. Begin from the baby’s hip on one side, trace with a finger a reverse “U,” proceed to the baby’s breast bone, and then slowly proceed to the other hip.
- It is best for babies who are gassy and constipated
- People perform foot reflexology by making clockwise circular motions for around 4 to 5 minutes in the center of the baby’s foot.
- The method stimulates the baby’s digestive tract enabling them to poop better and pass out gas .
Acupressure for Constipation: Does it Relieve?
- Acupressure can ease specific difficult bowel symptoms.
- Pressure point therapy stimulates the intestinal muscle movements that assist in passing stool through the gut.
- It also arouses the vagus nerve, which is responsible for overall digestion. The vagus nerve transmits messages between the digestive tract and the brain.
- One research suggests that pressure point therapy enhances the endorphin hormone production, easing the muscles and relieving anxiety. It promotes easy defecation if the constipation is due to body stress .
Adverse effects of acupressure
Acupressure is safe for the majority of people. However, acupressure might not suit some sections of people.
Be alert if one is pregnant because acupressure might cause early labor (uterine contractions for delivery).
Always speak to a health professional before taking acupressure to avert the risk.
Some of the risks people who should avoid acupressure are listed below-
- People with pacemakers
- Heart issue
- Kidney problem
- Lung disease
Some of the side effects that some people might experience are listed below-
- Marks on the skin
- Tenderness and discomfort .
So, individuals must stay away from intense pressure while taking acupressure to avert the risk listed above.
Other Ways to Relieve Constipation
Other approaches to relieve constipation are as follows:
- Drink adequate water
- Regularly walk and exercise to stay active
- Eat fibrous foods viz; vegetables, fruits, legumes
- Avoid stress
- Use the toilet in the first urge of defecation
- Speak to the doctor to alter medications that causes constipation
- Use over-the-counter medications viz, stool softeners, laxatives for relieving constipation with prior health professional’s consultation .
Self-acupressure for constipation
Several people belief that perineal massage can ease difficult bowels, but random trial studies have not confirmed the method.
Perineal self-acupressure method
- Perineum is the skin area between the anus and the genital areas viz; scrotum or vagina.
- In self-acupressure for constipation, individuals apply manual pressure in the perineal area for some time, making people feel the urge to defecate.
- Research has shown that individuals with perineal self-acupressure have better bowel regularity and quality of life when compared with people with only usual constipation therapy .
FAQs on Pressure Points for Constipation
Q. Are there pressure points to help poop?
Yes, many pressure points in the body relieve constipation. The following list provides the names of some of the most common pressure points in the body used to relieve constipation
- Stomach 25(ST25)
- Spleen 6(SP6)
- Stomach 36(ST36)
- Spleen 15(SP15)
- Conception vessel (CV6)
- Large intestine 4 (LI4) .
Q. How to unblock the intestine naturally?
Some of the natural ways to unblock the intestine are as follows-
- Staying oneself hydrated by drinking at least two liters of water each day
- Eat fiber-rich vegetables and fruits
- Drinking lemon, apple, and vegetable juices can promote fast colon cleaning.
- Eating probiotics such as pickles, yogurt, and fermented food promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria and enhances bowel regularity.
- Eating resistant starches, viz; rice, legumes, potatoes, bananas, can enhance the gut bacteria and promote digestion.
- Drinking herbal teas might also help clean the colon
- Eating laxative herbs viz; aloe vera, psyllium, and marshmallow root might also relieve constipation. However, one should always talk with the doctor before including any of the herbs into the diet to prevent severe effects .
Q. What causes hard stool?
Some of the common causes of hard stool are listed below-
- Eating low fiber diet
- Insufficient water intake
- Lack of exercise and movement
- Pregnancy (due to hormonal changes)
- Retaining the bowels for a longer duration (in the case of children)
- Taking certain medications viz; pain killers and antidepressant drugs
- Other medical illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid, diabetes, and cancer 12 FAQs | Researched based study from ScienceDiirect.
Q. What home remedy softens stools?
Some of the home remedies that might soften stool are as follows-
- Drinking lots of water daily (preferably 2 liters)
- Adding lots of fiber into one’s diet
- Avoiding processed and fried foods
- Regular exercise, walking, and running
- Belly massage in circular motions might stimulate the intestine and relieve constipation.
- Taking over-the-counter laxative medicines might help soften the stool .
Acupressure for Constipation: A Natural Remedy
- Acupressure is a usual therapy for people finding difficulty in clearing bowels. It enhances bowel movement by stimulating digestive juice secretion and improving intestinal muscle movement.
- Acupressure also helps relieve anxiety and tension, which is most people’s leading cause of constipation.
- Individuals can do acupressure at home to ease constipation symptoms. However, always avoid applying too intense pressure on the points as it can lead to tenderness and pain in the skin area.
- Pregnant women and people with persistent ailments must consult a healthcare professional before taking or applying acupressure.