A certain amount of bloating affects everyone from time to time. But if bloating is a real issue for you – it can be not only annoying, but uncomfortable and painful too. Renata Nunes, physiotherapist, acupuncturist and massage therapist offers her top tips to help get rid of bloating and gas using the Traditional Chinese Medicine practice of acupressure…
Both acupuncture and acupressure follow the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which consists of balancing of two opposite forces, the Yin energy and the Yang energy.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the energy (Qi) flows through channels called Meridians. The goal of both acupuncture and acupressure is to try to maintain the balance of energy in the various channels that circulate through the body.
In acupuncture, the stimulation occurs with the use of fine needles, applied at specific points, in order to tone or sedate a certain point (toning of weak Qi, sedation of overactive Qi, or the dispersion of blocked Qi)
Acupressure, on the other hand, has the same principle as acupuncture, but without the use of needles. The stimulus at the point is done through the pressure with the finger and circular movements — clockwise (for toning) and counterclockwise (for sedation).
First, we always need to assess the cause that leads to bloating.
People who have some degree of indigestion (such as slow digestion, gas, heartburn or a presence of mucus) should be evaluated and treated by a doctor or Chinese Medicine professional.
In this case, the acupressure performed by the patient at home will only work to relieve abdominal discomfort. It will not treat the cause but only the consequence.
The emotional state of the patient is also important in TCM. It’s believed that feelings such as anger, hurt and frustration can block the circulation of the liver which can damage the stomach and disrupt digestion.
Acupuncture treatment tends to be more effective and has the fastest and longest-lasting result.
Acupressure, on the other hand, is safe, easy to implement, and it is possible to be done by the patient at home.
Pregnant women should only perform acupressure under the supervision of a qualified professional, as there are points that could stimulate uterine contraction.