Acupressure is an aspect of Chinese medicine that has been utilized as medical therapy for thousands of years. Acupressure involves the stimulation of active points that lie on imaginary lines, or meridians, throughout your body, which is similar to your circulatory or nervous system. Massaging acupressure points helps stimulate your body's qi -- life force energy -- and can help reduce pain, improve your health, balance your internal organs and help your brain to release chemicals and hormones that can treat and prevent disease. You can use acupressure to help stimulate ovulation and treat any negative symptoms you might experience around ovulation, such as bloating or pain.
Ovulation generally occurs at the middle of your menstrual cycle, approximately 12 to 16 days after your period starts. Ovulation occurs when a mature egg releases from your ovary and travels down the fallopian tube in anticipation for fertilization to take place and pregnancy to occur. If the egg is not fertilized by healthy sperm, your uterine lining is shed and menstruation occurs. Ovulation may be disrupted as a result of stress, hormone imbalance, infertilty, pregnancy or illness. Some women may also experience undesirable symptoms during ovulation, including pain, cramping, bloating, irritability, breast tenderness or spotting.
There are a number of acupressure points that can help stimulate ovulation and reduce some of the undesirable symptoms that you might experience mid-cycle. Spleen 6, located about 3 inches above the inside of your ankle bone, is a popular acupressure point that can enhance ovulation and reduce mid-cycle pain and cramping. Liver 3, located between your big toe and second toe, can help reduce irritability, breast tenderness and promote ovulation. Spleen 9, located approximately 3 inches below the inner aspect of your knee, may help reduce mid-cycle bloating.
Techniques and Tips
Use deep, firm pressure with your thumb, forefinger or the eraser end of a pencil to massage each acupuncture point. Once you locate the point, apply even pressure until you feel a slight tenderness, sensitivity or ache at the area. Hold the pressure for anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes, depending on your comfort level. Sit back, breathe evenly and relax as you stimulate each acupressure point. Alternate massaging each point until your symptoms reduce or subside.
Consult with your doctor prior to using acupressure, especially if you have undesirable symptoms around ovulation. Avoid using acupressure as a replacement for conventional medical treatment when necessary. Although acupressure is generally considered safe and produces few or no side effects, excessive pressure may cause pain or bruising. Consult with a licensed Chinese medicine practitioner for accurate point location and instructions for proper acupressure point stimulation.