Summer is the high season for gastro-intestinal (GI) discomfort. More people like to drink cold drinks, temperature changes may be abrupt (suddenly hot, suddenly cold), plus better growing conditions for bacteria all contribute to more incidents of bloating, diarrhea, stomach aches and other GI upsets. Chinese medicine texts offer a way to help adjust gastric function, and reduce pain by massaging Acupressure Points.
When applying pressure to an acupuncture point it’s recommended to use the thumb or middle finger, fingertips pressed on the point, with enough pressure to cause just a little pain.
In acupuncture, measurements are done using cun. The cun is a measurement relative to the patient’s body that is used to find acupuncture points. Generally speaking one cun is equal to the space between the distal interphalangeal joint and the proximal interphalangeal joint on the middle finger (the length of the middle bone in your middle finger). However, this cun can only be used on certain parts of the body when finding acupuncture points – on other points you use other relative landmarks. For example, the space from nipple to nipple is 8 cun and this 8 cun can be used to find points on the chest – the space from the center of the patella to the lateral malleolus is 16 cun and this 16 cun can be used to find points on the legs, etc. (quoted from http://www.yinyanghouse.com/acupuncturepoints/what_is_a_cun)
Below are several acupuncture points linked to easing gastrointestinal discomfort:
1. CV 12 Acupuncture Point – Zhong Wan – Conception Vessel Meridian
*Chinese Name Zhong Wan “http://tcmdiscovery.com/2007/8-27/200782710117.html”
English Name Central Venter (CV)
Location: Midway between CV 8 and CV 16, 4 cun above CV 8 (umbilicus).
Precautions: Do Not Use in advanced pregnancy.
Front Mu Point of the ST.
Hui Meeting Point of the Fu.
Intersection Point of the CV, TH, SI and ST Meridians.
Actions & Effects:
CV 12 is useful for middle warmer issues, whereas CV 10 is useful for lower warmer issues and CV 13 is useful for upper warmer issues.
ST patterns arising from an excess or a deficiency, tonify deficient SP patterns (moxa useful) – nearly all digestive issues – pain, bloating, reflux, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice.
Hui Meeting Point – broad effect on the Fu (hollow) organs in the body.
Stress related digestive disorders (nervous Stomach, heartburn, diarrhea) along with various symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, etc. particularly from worry and/or overthinking..
Use your middle fingers to press CV12 point. Then, using medium force and speed, rub in tiny circles slowly 6 seconds then lift your hand off. Repeated 10 times.
2. ST 25 Acupuncture Point – Tian Shu – Stomach Meridian
Chinese Name Tianshu “http://tcmdiscovery.com/2007/8-16/2007816151917.html”
English Name Celestial Pivot
Location: 2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 8.
Front Mu Point of the LI.
Actions & Effects:
All intestinal issues – constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, distention, pain, masses/ accumulations of any type.
Irregular menstruation, painful menstruation, fibroids/cysts, fertility issues and leucorrhea.
Connects the Upper and Lower Warmers (pre & post natal Qi).
Use your middle fingers to press your Shen Ting point. Then, using medium force and speed, rub in tiny circles two minutes.
3. ST 36 Acupuncture Point – Zu San Li – Stomach Meridian
Chinese Name: Zusanli “http://www.tcmadvisory.com/2007/8-16/200781615595.html”
English Name: Leg Three Li
Location: On the leg, one finger breadth lateral to the tibia’s anterior crest, 3 cm inferior to ST 35 in the depression to the lateral side of the patella.
Actions & Effects:
Tonifies deficient Qi a/or Blood.
Tonifies Wei Qi.
All issues involving the Stomach a/or the Spleen.
Clears disorders along the course of the channel – breast problems, lower leg pain.
Earth as the mother of Metal – will support Lung function in cases of asthma, wheezing, dyspnea.
Psychological/Emotional disorders – PMS, depression, nervousness.
Use your thumbs to press your Zu San Li point. Then, using strong force and slow speed, rub in tiny circles for two minutes.