Acupressure Points for Menstrual Cramping

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Certain acupressure points on a woman's body can greatly relieve the pain of menstrual cramping. Learn about acupressure points for menstrual cramping with help from a doctor of Oriental medicine in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Acupressure for Women
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Hilary Talbott, acupuncture physician and clinical herbalist. Today, we will be discussing acupressure for menstrual cramps. Now, there are several different reasons why you might be having menstrual cramps. It could be blood stagnation, which is usually observed with clots in the menses, or it could be as simple as Chi stagnation, which is an energetic stasis if you will. So, I'm going to show you points today for both, and give you just a couple tips to help alleviate your monthly cramps. Using a heating pad is always important. Generally, heat has a moving nature, so whether it's blood or Chi stasis that's involved, it will help expedite the time that you're experiencing the cramps. So, you want to use a heating pad on the abdomen if that's where you're experiencing the cramps or on the lower back if that's where you seem to experience them the most. So today, we've got just a heating pad here on the table to help out. The other thing that you can use is Castor Oil so if this is something that is a chronic problem for you, Castor Oil is great in the way that it helps draw out impurities and it will make your cramps pass a lot quicker. So, what you want to do is just put a little bit of this in a non-metallic pan, heat it to body temperature and then soak it in a cotton flannel or a wool flannel, apply it to the area of the cramps and then put a heating source on top of that and just try and rest for about 20 minutes. Acupressure points that will help especially if it's blood stasis, so if you know you are prone to cramps, would be Spleen 10. Spleen 10 is located on the thigh and to measure for it, you're just going to measure the actual kneecap so as large as your kneecap is, and then you're going to come to the top of the kneecap and to the medial border of it so on the inside and where your thumb lands, there's generally a trigger point here that's actually quite tender. And so you just want to massage with firm to moderate pressure on this for about a minute and repeat from side to side several times. The other set of points is a set that I've showed you before. It's referred to as Four Gates. These are best done contralaterally, so we're going to use LI 4 here in the hand. It's located between the first and second bones of the hand at the high point of the muscle at the end of the crease. Using this helps to move Chi throughout the entire body and so since I'm stimulating the point here on the right hand, what I'm going to do is I'm going to come down to the left foot and stimulate that right after to Liver 3, located between the first and second bones of the foot and a hollow here just before the bones come together. Notice the similarities if you were to mirror your hands and feet so it's an easy way to remember where these points are. Now, if you've got somebody else helping you out, you can stimulate both points at once. And these two would be more effective if it was Chi stagnation, or if you were experiencing any emotional side effects with the cramps as well. It's important to understand where your cramps are coming from and seek professional help if it's something that happens more than every now and again. I'm Hilary Talbott, and that was acupressure for menstrual cramps.

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