When we talk about pressure points for stomach pain, we are referring to the ancient practice of acupressure. Acupressure involves applying direct pressure to key places on the body in order to provide pain relief or promote healing to certain parts of the body.
History of Acupressure
Acupressure has been part of traditional Chinese medicine for more than 5,000 years. The Cochrane Collaboration and Bandolier have reviews of many clinical trials regarding the effectiveness of acupressure and have found it to be highly effective. The National Institutes of Health also recognizes acupressure as a viable complimentary treatment to Western medicine.
How Does Accupressure Work?
The ancient theory of acupressure is that the human body has set energy pathways. When direct pressure is applied to certain points along those pathways, the idea is that the person's flow of energy or "qi" will change or improve and endorphins will be released; thereby improving circulation, nerve function, muscle tension and overall sense of well-being.
Key Anatomical Pressure Points for Stomach Pain
John Hickey, author of "Shiatsu Anma Therapy" , mentions two commonly used acupressure points that help with stomach pain and distention:
The "Three Yin Intersection" is located three thumb widths above the tip of the inner ankle bone, and less than one finger width toward the back of the border of the shin bone.
The "Leg Three Miles" is located three thumb widths below the lower border of the knee cap, and one finger width to the outer edge of the shin bone. There is a small notch next to the shin bone at this point.
There is also a pressure point on the groove between the two large tendons on the inside of the wrist, just above the wrist bones, that may relieve nausea when pressure is applied there.
Contraindications to Acupressure
Acupressure therapy is not recommended in the following instances: pregnancy, acute infection or inflammation, severe skin diseases and other serious chronic diseases.
Acupressure therapy has been shown to be beneficial for treating stomach pain and many other ailments. It is always a good idea to consult with your doctor before beginning a regimen of acupressure and to receive treatment from a trained and licensed provider. Seek medical treatment for emergent or worsening symptoms.