Most women suffer from menstrual cramps--some cramps are severe, while others may be mild. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, University of Maryland Medical Center and The American Family Physician all recommend acupressure, or pressure point therapy, to relieve menstrual cramps. According to a University of Maryland study, acupressure and ibuprofen worked "significantly better" than a placebo at reducing pain.
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Bigger Rushing Point
The Bigger Rushing is located on the top of your foot, between your big toe and the toe next to it, the second toe. Locate the web of skin between these two toes and put your index finger between the bones at a depression 1/2 inch up. Using light pressure, press on this spot toward the direction of your second toe for one minute. Increase your pressure as you feel comfortable. Repeat on your other foot or try to push on both feet at the same time.
Pushing on the sacrum will help relax your uterus. For this pressure point, you may need someone to assist you. The sacrum is located between your lumbar spine and tailbone. Find the sacrum and move your finger to the point a few finger widths away from the middle of the sacrum. Apply light pressure and increase the pressure as long as you feel comfortable and do not feel pain at this spot.
Grandfather Grandson Point
The Grandfather Grandson point is one of the most important points to relieve any type of menstrual pain, according to "Healing with Pressure Point Therapy" by Jack Forem and licensed acupuncturist Steve Shimer. Locate the joint where your big toe meets the foot. From the joint, move your finger two thumb widths along the bone towards your ankle. Slide your finger just below the bone and apply moderate pressure with your thumbs.
Located two thumb widths to either side of your abdomen, the Returning Point gets its name because it's supposed to return your menstrual cycle to a normal rhythm and relieve cramps. Place your fingers at the pubic area above your genitals and lightly press until you feel your pubic bone. Move your fingers one thumb width above your pubic bone and then press at the points two thumb widths away on either side.
- ACOG The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Gynecologic Problems: Dysmenorrhea
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Menstrual Pain
- American Family Physician: Dysmenorrhea
- "Healing with Pressure Point Therapy"; Jack Forem and Steve Shimer, L.Ac.; 1999
- Fitness Magazine: Press to De-Stress: 7 Acupressure Cures for Aches and Pains