Our modern eating habits and increasing dependence on packed and ready to eat meals has led not only to increased risk of heart diseases, obesity, and diabetes, but has also disrupted our digestive system causing several problems like indigestion, gas, constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), heartburn, sour stomach, and diarrhea. One of the best ways to treat all these issues is changing the eating pattern for good. Additionally, you may apply acupressure points for indigestion to treat an upset digestive system.
Before discussing Acupressure Therapy to treat digestive problems, let us discuss the digestive problems.
Common Causes Of Digestive Problems
The causes of stomach ailments are multiple and in most cases, they work together. It is really difficult to determine the root cause, and it is often treated according to the symptoms. Some of the common causes for digestive disorder are the following:-
- Poor Diet
- Nutritional Deficiency or Excess
- Bacterial Infection
- Chronic Medical Conditions
- Inflammation of the Digestive Tract
Types Of Digestion Related Medical Problems
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
When stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, you may feel a burning pain in the middle of your chest. It often occurs after meals or at night. It is common to experience acid reflux and heartburn once in a while. If you experience constant heartburn, bad breath, tooth erosion, nausea, pain in your chest or upper part of your abdomen, or have trouble while swallowing the food or breathing, you must consult your doctor.
You may find some relief by avoiding the foods and beverages that trigger their symptoms and/or taking over-the-counter antacids or other medication that reduces stomach acid production and inflammation of the esophagus. Further, adopting certain lifestyle changes like elevating the head of the bed, not lying down immediately after a meal, and quitting smoking can also help. In mild cases, you may opt for acupressure points for immediate gas relief.
Gallstones are generally described as the hard deposits that form in your gallbladder. These are small, pear-shaped sacs that store and secrete bile for digestion. The formation of gallstones takes place when there is excessive cholesterol or waste in your bile, or if your gallbladder doesn’t empty properly.
If the ducts are blocked leading from your gallbladder to your intestines, it can cause sharp pain in your upper-right abdomen. Many times, the right kind of mediation dissolves gallstones. But, if medications don’t work, the next step may be undergoing surgery to remove the gallbladder.
Celiac disease is described as a serious sensitivity to gluten. It is a type of protein usually found in wheat, rye, and barley. If you consume gluten, your immune system goes on attacking your villi. These are the finger-like protrusions in your small intestines. It helps you absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. Some of its symptoms in children may include abdominal pain and bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and weight loss. Its symptoms in adults include anemia, fatigue, bone loss, depression, and seizures.
It is part of a group of digestive conditions called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This disease can affect any part of the GI tract. However, it mainly affects the terminal ileum, which connects the end of the small bowel and the beginning of the colon. Some of the common symptoms of Crohn’s Disease are abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, and fever. Avoiding trigger foods like dairy products, alcohol, coffee, and foods that are fatty, fried, spicy, or gas-producing can also help prevent flares.
How Acupressure Treats Digestive Problems?
Acupressure Therapy originated in China more than 5,000 years ago. It is based on the theory that an ailment can be treated by balancing the unbalanced “qi” energy in various regions of the body. Generally, digestive disorders arise from inflammation of the digestive tract that leads to decreased digestion and absorption of nutrients. Acupressure for digestion helps in healing the inflamed digestive linings by restoring the balanced flow of energy throughout the body. It helps regulate the digestive system and strengthen its ability to break down food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate waste.
9 Effective Acupressure Regions for Treating Digestive Problems:
Stimulating these 9 specific points can help in relieving the pain caused by indigestion and treating problems like constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, and bloating.
1. Union Valley
You find this pressure point in the webbing between your thumb and index finger. Stimulating this point is said to reduce stress, headaches, and digestive problems. It can also induce labor, so avoid this point if you are pregnant.
2. Crooked Pond
Located on the top, the outer side of the elbow crease, this acupressure point is believed to relieve inflamed skin conditions, itching, and fever. It is also quite effective in minimizing digestive problems.
3. Outer Gate
The outer gate point can be found between two tendons on the backside of the arm. Place three fingers from your other hand above your wrist. Use those fingers to apply firm pressure to this part of your hand to potentially reduce digestive issues.
4. Inner Gate
To find it, place the hand palm up and use three fingers to measure roughly an inch down the wrist. You may massage this pressure point to relieve nausea, stomach pain, and digestive disorders.
5. Three-Point Mile
This point is found four finger widths down from the bottom of your kneecap, along the outer boundary of your shin bone. If you are in the right place, a muscle should pop out as you move your foot up and down.
This pressure point is located three finger widths behind the base of your big toe, on the inside side of your foot. Applying pressure to this point will help balance energy circulation and relieve your digestive problems.
7. Three Yin Crossing
It is located on the inside of your leg, just above your ankle. To find this point, locate the highest peak of the ankle then four finger widths up your leg. It is commonly used for urological, pelvic disorders, insomnia, and menstrual cramps.
8. Great Rushing
This point is on the top of the foot, making it easy to find. Place the tip of your index finger at the webbing between the big toe and second toe. You may apply this pressure point for relief from digestive issues.
9. REN 12
Ren is a pressure point for indigestion. It is also called Zhong Wan or the middle cavity. You can find your belly button and feel for the point where your ribs come together, and where there will be a soft depression. If you try to draw a line from the point where your ribs meet to your belly button, Ren 12 is in the center of this line. According to the chakra system, this relates to the solar plexus.
This pressure point is believed to help treat lack of appetite and indigestion. It is possible that excess emotion while eating, especially anger, can damage the function of the stomach. This is one of the most effective acupressure points for stomach problems. It may help relieve stomach upsets related to emotions. Additionally, it may also help lessen fullness from overeating, gas, bloating, and acid regurgitation.
All the pressure points mentioned above help in opening up the digestive channel, and it will benefit any digestive condition effectively. So, in case if you feel bloated and full, you need not just reach out for an antacid, you must opt for easy and simple reflexology procedures for long-term relief from digestive problems.
Most of us spend the majority of the working week sitting in an office chair, therefore, we often end up suffering from muscle tension and digestive problems such as constipation, bloating, and diarrhea. These digestive issues can be solved by simply adjusting our behavior and trying out acupressure therapy. Abdominal massages performed properly have also been seen as a highly effective way to rebalance and stimulate intestinal function for more effective digestion and enhanced food absorption.
Is acupressure safe during pregnancy?
It is important to note that even the research that did not find acupressure to be effective has not uncovered any risk to the pregnant woman or the developing baby. Hence, acupressure therapy is probably safe for most pregnant women when performed under the supervision of a doctor or midwife.
How does Acupressure help in digestion?
Applying pressure to acupuncture points helps to stimulate the flow of energy throughout the body and communicates with the nervous system which leads to improving basic life functions like sleep and digestion, thus, bringing us back to homeostasis.
Does lemon water help digestion?
Drinking water can help to reduce the risk of constipation, and adding lemon to it will help to stimulate healthy digestion and elimination of waste. The acid present in lemon juice will help to break down your food more efficiently. Thereby, making it easier for your body to extract maximum nutrients from every meal.
What is the best way to improve your digestion naturally?
You must consume plenty of fiber and stay hydrated. A high-fiber diet has been linked to a reduced risk of digestive conditions, including ulcers, reflux, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, and IBS.