Acupressure for Menstrual Cramps: A Natural Remedy for Pain Relief

Acupressure for Menstrual Cramps: A Natural Remedy for Pain Relief


Menstrual cramps? Ugh. Many women suffer. Acupressure can help. It’s a natural remedy. Pressure is applied to points on the body. It stimulates energy flow. This article looks at the benefits and techniques.

Acupressure – an answer to menstrual cramp relief.

What is Acupressure?

Acupressure is an ancient healing technique that dates back to pre-historic times. It is a Chinese bodywork therapy. It uses pressure on specific points on the body. This helps rebalance the energy in the body and relieve pain.

These points are called acupoints or “tsubo“. Stimulating them with your fingers helps release tension and encourages blood circulation. This brings relief from physical and emotional ailments. It helps nourish tissues, calm emotions, improve sleep patterns and loosen tight joints.

The relaxing effects of acupressure help reduce pain, heal quicker, improve digestion and reduce anxiety symptoms.

Benefits of Acupressure

Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine-based therapy. It works by applying pressure to certain points on the body. It restores balance and promotes healing. It’s becoming popular as a natural remedy for pain relief. It has low risk and possible long-term health benefits.

Acupressure is great for relieving menstrual cramps. It reduces inflammation in the body and aches and pains. It targets pressure points associated with the area of pain. It also helps release muscle tension and increase circulation. This helps reduce cramp-related inflammation. Acupressure is an attractive option for anyone who doesn’t want to take over-the-counter medications or hormonal birth control.

Studies have concluded that regular acupressure may ease stress and improve overall moods. It calms our nervous system. It can reduce physical discomfort from menstrual cramps and PMS. It contributes to emotional wellbeing too.

Acupressure Points for Menstrual Cramps

Acupressure is a healing method that uses long-term pressure on certain spots on the body. It can help with menstrual cramps. These points are mainly along the flow of energy lines – also called meridians. They link to how your organs and hormones work.

Let’s look at how to use these points to naturally ease menstrual cramps:

Spleen 6 (SP6)

Spleen 6 (SP6) is a popular acupressure point for relieving menstrual cramps. It’s on the inner calf muscle, three finger widths above the inner anklebone. Use your thumb and press firmly, in a circular motion, for several minutes. You should feel pain relief in minutes.

This point can also stimulate labor and reduce edema in the lower limb. Nausea, fatigue, abdominal pain and mood swings can be helped too.

Gallbladder 20 (GB20)

Gallbladder 20 (GB20) is an acupressure point located near the base of your skull, on either side of your neck. It can help relieve tension in the head and neck, which can be useful for menstrual cramps. To get to GB20, put your index fingers above each earlobe. Use gentle pressure and feel two small depressions near the base of your skull. Keep steady pressure on each point for 5 minutes to reduce pain and relax tension.

The Gallbladder Meridian runs along the sides of the body, ending at Stomach 36 (ST36). Stimulating this pathway enhances circulation throughout the body’s energy channels, potentially decreasing menstrual cramps. Massage the meridian with your fingertips, beginning at GB20 and going down to ST36. You may sense a tingling or pulsing sensation. If it’s painful or causes discomfort, stop right away.

Urinary Bladder 40 (UB40)

The most effective acupressure point for relieving menstrual cramps and abdominal pain is called Urinary Bladder 40 (UB40). In Chinese medicine, it is known as “Spleen 6“.

It is located two finger-widths below the belly button, one finger-width away from the middle of the abdomen.

U40 can relieve discomfort before, during and after menstruation. It can also help with constipation and irregular periods.

Press firmly, with your index or middle finger, against the point for 1 minute before and during your period to reduce cramps. You may repeat this 5 times, if necessary.

For best results, stimulate UB40 regularly, not just when pain begins. This helps balance energy in your body over time, improving your health and reducing menstrual cramp symptoms.

Kidney 3 (K3)

Kidney 3 (K3), located between the big toe and second toe on the top of the foot, is an effective acupressure point for decreasing menstrual cramps. It brings together the water element and its Yin and Yang powers. The Chinese medicines of yore say Li is associated with Yang Ming meridian system near an acupuncture point. Yang Ming helps balance Qi or energy flow to enhance circulation, lymph drainage and mental clarity. Firmly applying pressure to this area boosts the Qi flow in the body and aids in pelvic muscle contraction during menstruation.

Additional advantages include:

  • Lessening menopause symptoms
  • Promoting active labour contractions
  • Relieving uterine cramping such as miscarriage
  • Reducing water retention during the menstrual cycle
  • Reducing depression caused by hormonal imbalances and more.

How to Use Acupressure for Menstrual Cramps

Acupressure is an old Chinese art of healing. It uses pressure on special points of the body. It has been used for many years to treat many issues, like menstrual cramps. Acupressure is a natural way to take care of pain without taking medicines.

In this article, we will talk about how to use acupressure for menstrual cramps and its possible benefits.

Find the right pressure points

To relieve menstrual cramps with acupressure, finding the right pressure points is key. Three pressure points are usually most effective: Sanyinjiao (Sp 6), Zigong (Ex-Hn 3), and Hegu (Liv 4).

  • Sanyinjiao (Sp 6) is on the inner side of the lower leg. Find it by massaging the leg in a circular motion until it’s tender. Then press or knead firmly on the spot.
  • Zigong (Ex-Hn 3) is close to Sanyinjiao. It’s at the lower edge of the knee, in line with the big toe crease. Finger pressure or kneading works here.
  • Finally, Hegu (Liv 4) is a common point for many kinds of pain, including menstrual cramps. It’s in the webbed area between thumb and index finger on both hands. Press or massage gently and firmly until you find a tender spot. Hold pressure here for several minutes until you feel relief.

Apply the right amount of pressure

When using acupressure for cramps, it’s vital to use the right pressure. Not enough could leave you disappointed and too much could cause further pain or bruising. Begin with light pressure and increase as the pain diminishes. Most people find a mild to moderate firmness works best. Hold the pressure for at least 30 seconds before releasing, so the healing energy of the acupoint can take effect.

Do not apply direct, painful pressure to any area that is tender. If it causes too much discomfort with even light pressure, stop and rest your hand there until you feel ready. Never press an area that is swollen, inflamed or painful beyond what you can tolerate. Though gentle massage, if recommended by your healthcare practitioner, can be useful with caution.

Use the correct technique

For effective relief from menstrual cramps, use the correct acupressure technique. Place thumb and index finger either side of the area you want to target and press. Make sure your fingers press down onto the muscle, not a nerve or tendon. Gradually release the pressure, taking 3-5 seconds. Do this until you feel relief.

Be gentle and mindful of any pain or tension. If you experience discomfort, stop and talk to a health care provider who knows acupressure techniques.

Other Remedies for Menstrual Cramps

Women in pain from menstrual cramps have more than acupressure to help. Diet changes, stress management, yoga and herbal supplements can be used too. Let us explore each one and how they benefit cramp relief:

  • Diet changes
  • Stress management
  • Yoga
  • Herbal supplements

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy is a great way to ease menstrual cramps and other PMS-related abdominal pain. Heating pads, hot water bottles, warm baths and compresses can help reduce pain, tension and stress. Heat relaxes muscles and soothes cramping. When using a heating pad or hot water bottle, keep it at a low-to-medium level to avoid burns.

Heat also has more benefits than just relaxing the muscles related to PMS cramps. It increases circulation in the lower abdomen, which allows more oxygen-rich blood to flow through the muscles and help relieve pain and tension. Nutrients are delivered to the muscles quicker, enabling them to heal faster and more effectively with heat therapy.

Heat has even been found to calm the central nervous system, which may reduce the levels of stress hormones that make cramps worse. Although there isn’t much scientific evidence to support using heat for menstrual cramps or PMS in general, many find it helps lessen discomfort during their period.


Workouts can be a good way to make menstrual cramps less painful. Endorphins, the body’s “feel-good” hormones, help to manage pain. Exercising also boosts blood flow, which helps to relax muscles in the uterus area.

Yoga is helpful. Poses like cat-cow and child’s pose can reduce pain by releasing tightness in your lower back and abdomen. Deep breathing helps to relax the body and mind.

Aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming, or cycling can reduce cramps. But don’t do too much! Intense workouts can make you more tired and uncomfortable.

Pelvic floor exercises can help too. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can reduce discomfort and other symptoms, such as urinary incontinence and digestion issues. Kegels are a popular exercise. Do 10 second contractions and releases several times a day for best results.

Herbal Remedies

Herbal remedies are an ancient way to ease menstrual cramps. Chamomile is often used, as it has calming and anti-inflammatory effects. Studies show it can reduce the severity and length of menstrual pain.

Other herbs which may help include:

  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Fennel
  • St. John’s wort
  • Peppermint oil
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Wild yam root

Note: always consult a doctor before using any herbal remedy.


Acupressure is a safe and natural way to ease menstrual cramps. Through massage of specific points, cramp intensity and duration can be reduced for improved comfort. Practicing this when the first symptoms hit, can bring even better results! Though not scientifically proven, practitioners claim it highly effective.

If you’re looking for a non-invasive way to relieve pain during your period, it’s worth giving acupressure a go! Seek out knowledgeable professionals in your area to get the best outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is acupressure?
A: Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy that involves the application of pressure to specific points on the body to treat various ailments, including menstrual cramps.

Q: How does acupressure help with menstrual cramps?
A: Acupressure helps relieve menstrual cramps by stimulating the body’s natural painkillers and promoting blood circulation, which reduces inflammation and muscle tension.

Q: Where do I apply pressure for menstrual cramps?
A: The most effective acupressure points for menstrual cramps are located in the lower abdomen, lower back, and inner thighs. Consult with a licensed acupuncturist or a certified acupressure practitioner for guidance on specific pressure points.

Q: Is acupressure safe for everyone?
A: Acupressure is generally considered safe for most people. However, individuals with certain conditions, such as pregnancy or severe chronic pain, should consult with a healthcare practitioner before trying acupressure.

Q: How often should I use acupressure for menstrual cramps?
A: It’s recommended to use acupressure for menstrual cramps once or twice a day for 10-15 minutes each time. The frequency and duration of acupressure may vary depending on the severity and frequency of menstrual cramps.

Q: Can acupressure be used as a standalone treatment for menstrual cramps?
A: Acupressure can be used as a complementary therapy for menstrual cramps, but it’s not recommended as a standalone treatment. It’s important to consult with a healthcare practitioner to determine the underlying cause of menstrual cramps and develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

the back recovery program by alex larsson
Jane Smith is a natural health enthusiast on a mission to uncover effective methods for achieving pain-free living. Through her personal journey with chronic back pain, she has become well-versed in holistic approaches such as yoga, Pilates, and essential oils.

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