The act of making a baby can be fun, but when it takes more time than you expected, it can get exhausting and stressful. ou may peruse the internet for tips and tricks, and you will become all too familiar with the phrase TTC (trying to conceive) and the forums based around it where women share the methods they used to get pregnant. One popular method that is believed to help with fertility is acupressure, so if you want to try it out, you should know what pressure points help when trying to conceive.
According to Natural Fertility Info, the use of pressure points to stimulate fertility comes from traditional Chinese medicine, and is based on the same principles as acupuncture, just minus the needles. The website explained that when you put pressure on certain points on the body, it can stimulate and increase energy to other points of the body. These points, the article noted, are located along 14 healing pathways in the body called meridians, and they contain hundreds of pressure points, each corresponding to an organ in the body.
In an interview with Romper, Kristen Burris, L.Ac., M.S.T.O.M. infertility, women's health and menopause expert, acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Eagle Acupuncture, says that the most efficient way to increase fertility is to seek out the expertise of an acupuncturist whose specialty is women’s health, infertility, pregnancy and menopause, because they will have the most advanced training and expertise for increasing fertility. She says that although it may seem ironic, acupressure is a lot more painful than acupuncture. “Acupressure is the use of fingers, hands or specific tui na tools designed to stimulate acupuncture points,” explains Burris, “and the pressure must be intense and for long periods of time to be effective.”
Burris says that applying acupressure to your own body can be difficult and painful and she stresses that point location is critical for success, which is why she suggests that you must be trained in anatomy and cun measurements to get it just right. She adds that it can take years to properly learn the exact location of your pressure points. “Infertility is complicated and must be respected as thus,” says Burris, “and an acupuncturist and herbalist go to graduate school for a minimum of four years to be trained in what points work for which diagnoses specific to infertility.”
Burris suggests making an appointment with an experienced fertility acupuncturist and herbalist, who can show you the most effective points to use, depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, what your western medical diagnosis is (PCOS, endometriosis, unexplained infertility), and your traditional Chinese medical pattern. You can then continue with some acupressure stimulation at home with your thumbs, suggest Burris, or a Snapple bottle cap if your thumbs get tired.
If you still want to try to acupressure on your own, Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Angela Le, DACM, LAc of Fifth Avenue Fertility Wellness tells Romper that there are a number of ways to support and promote fertility through self-care and acupressure, including applying a firm downward pressure on acupuncture points that may benefit fertility by increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs, along with helping the body to manage stress levels.
The points Le suggests are:
- LI4 — Located in the web of the hand between the thumb and index finger
- Liv 3 — Located on the top of the foot, level with the ball of the foot, in between the big toe and second toe
- SP 6 — Located about four fingers width directly on the inner ankle bone
- St36 — Located about the width of two fingers below the knee, on the outer part of the lower leg, close to the tibia
- Ren 4 — On the midline of the abdomen, about four finger widths below the umbilicus (belly button).
Le recommends you take slow, deep breaths and apply pressure to each of these areas described below. “Pressure can be applied for about 30 seconds with a knuckle, end of a wooden spoon, or a pencil eraser to each point, cycling through the list of points,” suggest Le. She says this can be done three to six times daily, and although the time of day does not matter, she says it could be a nice routine to do each morning before starting your day. In addition to stimulating each of these points, Le suggests you can do some self-massage along the "v" from the hip bones to the pubic bone.
If you try these methods, but still have no luck, you may want to consider seeing a professional acupuncturist or fertility expert. Dealing with infertility can get harder as time progresses since it can be more stressful and frustrating, so getting the support and help of a medical professional can help ease the pressure, and have you on your way to a healthy, happy, pregnancy.
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