Guest Blogger: Sarah Canga, LAc
If you are pregnant congratulations is a must! Below you will find 5 acupuncture points that will help make your pregnancy a little more enjoyable especially if you are suffering from fatigue, nausea, heartburn, hemorrhoids, constipation, or low back pain. The best way to experience relief using acu pressure is to locate the point and make circular motions into the point until it starts to feel heavy, sore or distended. This typically takes about 1-3 minutes. If your body is feeling particularly sensitive to touch during your pregnancy you can also apply a very light pressure and simply hold for several minutes. Having a friend or your partner do this for you is even better! Don’t worry about being exactly precise when looking for these acupressure points. They are about the size of a quarter. The more you practice the easier they will be to find.
#1 Du20 Baihui “Hundred Meetings”
DU20 can be useful in lifting your mood, energy levels and can even help prevent a threatened miscarriage and hemorrhoids. Du20 can also help keep your pelvic floor muscles toned to avoid prolapse later on. Hint: stimulate DU20 while doing your kegels! To find this point rest your thumbs on the highest point of your ears and let your middle fingers sweep over your head like a headband, DU20 will be right where your middle fingers fall. (you might notice this area is slightly flat feeling or tender to the touch, that tenderness will subside the more your work this point)
#2 CV17 Shanzhong “Chest Center”
This is an important point for gathering qi (energy) and so it is also useful for fatigue and anxiety. It can help alleviate a feeling of fullness in the chest especially as baby occupies more and more space and can help with as acid reflux, vomiting, and indigestion. CV17 is also helpful for distention and pain of the breasts and insufficient lactation. CV17 is found on the midline of the body at the same line as the nipples. Hint: Simply let your 4 finger tips rest in this space on the breastbone and take a few deep breaths to build energy and release discomfort.
#3 PC6 Neiguan “Inner Pass”
This point has many functions. Sometimes known as the seasickness point for its effectiveness for nausea, PC6 is helpful with vomiting, hiccup, and fullness of the abdomen. It can also assist with insomnia, poor memory (preggo brain), apprehension, fear, and depression. Amazingly, PC6 can also offer relief from carpal tunnel pain associated with pregnancy. (Many drug stores sell bands for acupressure for seasickness, Find PC6 just above the wrist, about the width of your 2 fingers in the center on the palmer side of the forearm. Hint: Massage PC6 on both arms before bed for a more relaxed night’s sleep.
#4 St36 Zusanli “Leg 3 Miles”
Known as Leg 3 miles because soldiers used to burn moxa over this point to give endurance to walk 3 more miles even when exhausted. St36 is one of the most tonifying points in the body and Qin Cheng-zu of the Song dynasty declared “Using St36, all diseases can be treated.” St36 is the command point of the abdomen and is especially helpful harmonizing the stomach and strengthening digestion. St36 is also known to help dizziness, especially post partum dizziness and hypertension. Breast pain and abscess can also be treated using ST36. To find this point measure the width of your 4 fingers from the top of your knee bone and one finger to the outside of your shin bone. Hint: Stimulate both legs first thing in the morning for an extra boost of energy and better digestion.
#5 GB41 Zulinqi “Foot governor of tears”
GB41 is the confluent point of the girdle vessel a channel that wraps around the waist helping to alleviate pain of the hip, lower leg, swelling of the feet, and contraction of the toes. GB41 also helps with fullness of the chest, headaches, distention and pain of the breasts. GB41 is also a great point to help assist conception. I especially like to use this point for sciatica pain. Hint: If your headache is one sided massage GB41 on the OPPOSITE foot for relief. This point is located on the outside top of the foot in between the 4th and 5th metatarsal bones, to the outside of the tendon. Reach your toes to your nose and look for the tendon to pop out on the side of your foot just above your pinky toe.