What’s more uncomfortable: constipation or having to talk about being constipated? Even though it’s awkward to talk about constipation, it is an extremely common digestive problem that many people struggle with. Sometimes it can be hard to decipher what causes your constipation because there are so many factors to consider like dehydration, not getting enough fiber, change in routine, and more. But it can sometimes take a long time to find relief without a little help when it happens. While some people turn to over the counter products to help them relieve constipation, there are other options that won’t cost you a dollar and don’t require you to go out and get any supplements or medications.
Acupressure for constipation can be a useful treatment that you can do anywhere, at any time. Plus, as a bonus, it doesn’t come with the potential side effects that some constipation relief products do. To utilize acupressure for constipation, you will need to understand how it works and what points to apply pressure to. There are 361 acupressure points on the body, so it’s crucial to be informed about which ones will be most effective for helping with constipation.
Once you know how to use acupressure points to relieve constipation, you will have the tools and knowledge to find relief at any time. Below are the top acupressure points to help with constipation. As you try out these acupressure points for constipation keep in mind which ones work as everyone responds differently and it’ll be helpful to know which points your body responds to the best.
Large Intestine 4 (LI 4)
One of the most well known and more useful points is Large Intestine 4 (LI4). It helps relieve pain like headaches but also is one of the most effective acupressure points to relieve constipation.
You will find Large Intestine 4 between the thumb and the index finger, it’s on that fleshy part of your skin that connects the two. Pinch gently with your opposite hand’s thumb and index finger to massage this spot and then move your thumb in a circular motion. Apply enough pressure to feel resistance, but not so much that you feel pain.
To use this point for constipation, use deep firm pressure and circular massaging motion while breathing slowly and deeply. Massage the point for 2-3 minutes switching hands as needed.
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Stomach 25 (ST 25)
Another useful point for constipation, Stomach 25, works to regulate the spleen, stomach, and intestines which will help you find relief from your constipation. To find Stomach 25, locate your belly button and measure out to the left or right two to three inches.
To use this point, start with the point on your right side pressing firmly for 30 seconds. Then you want to knead in small, clockwise circles for one minute. Once you’ve completed this routine on the right side, do the same on the left side. This should bring you some relief shortly.
Stomach 36 and 37 (ST 36, ST 37)
Stomach 36 functions to harmonize and strengthen the spleen and stomach. This can help relieve you from constipation but is also helpful for gastric pain, diarrhea, and vomiting so it’s a good point to know how to use. To locate ST36, find the top of your shin approximately a palms lengths below your knee. ST37 is right under it, one more palm width down from ST36.
To use ST36, use two fingers gradually applying pressure in a circular motion. With this point, you can dig deep and use a lot of pressure, but not to the point of feeling any pain. Take deep breaths as you do this for about 30 seconds and then switch sides. Once you’ve worked with ST36, you can move down to ST37 and do the same.
Stomach 44 (ST 44)
Located on the foot, Stomach 44 clears heat from the stomach meridian and resolves damp heat in the intestines making it helpful for constipation.
To find Stomach 44, find the spot just above the gap between your second and third toes. Apply pressure to this point using the tip of one finger for one to two minutes and then switch to the other foot. You can do this a few times until you feel a release.
Spleen 15 (SP 15)
Spleen 15 regulates the intestine, making it an effective acupressure point to relieve constipation. It is located at the intersection of the nipple line and belly button line. So if you draw a line from your nipple down towards your stomach, and draw a line out from your belly button towards the side, it’s located where these two lines meet.
To use SP15, locate it, and apply steady pressure using either your fingers or knuckles for one to two minutes. Pressure should be firm enough that it hurts just a little, but if it feels extremely sensitive or painful, gradually decrease the pressure until it lessens. Once you have worked on one side, you can repeat on the other side.
One lesser-known acupressure point for constipation is Kidney 6. To locate Kidney 6, which is just below your inner ankle bone, find the tip of your ankle, and measure the width of one thumb down. You’ll find Kidney 6 in a slight groove between two ligaments.
To use Kidney 6, press directly on the point and hold for two to three minutes. Repeat on the other ankle.
When you’re constipated you are likely to feel very full and uncomfortable. Luckily, there are several acupressure points to relieve constipation that you can try. If you find one that works well for you, take a mental note so that the next time you start to feel blocked up you can try it right away before you start to feel too uncomfortable.