Chinese medicine recognizes 4 interrelated phases of the menstrual cycle that represent the elemental revolution spurred by the ebb and flow in the tide of Kidney Yin and Yang. You can read more about the four phases of the cycle here.
Part of learning to honor the ever-changing needs of our bodies is discovering the self-care rituals that bring us the most benefit. The Chinese medicine treasure chest of time-tested techniques is brimming with salubrious modalities to weave into the tapestry of your cyclical self-ministrations. Acupressure (akin to a gentle therapeutic massage) is one of the most potent of these practices.
What Is Acupressure?
The simplicity of acupressure underlies its power, for you can do it anywhere and anytime, requiring only a bit of time, guidance, and your own body and good will. You’ll find acupoint suggestions for each phase listed below (and more in our online course on cycle syncing), however I encourage you to explore beyond the text, and consult a licensed acupuncturist whenever possible.
A beautiful way to listen to and honor your body is to use your fingers to palpate along the acupuncture channels (perhaps starting with your hands and feet and moving inward; don’t worry about being exact). When you find a spot that feels more tender or receptive, slow down and give it some extra love.
How Do You Do Acupressure?
- Most points are best activated using your thumb or index finger, but feel free to use whichever finger(s) feels best to you
- Apply pressure with the tip of your finger and massage the point in a circular motion for about 30 seconds
- Repeat 3-4 times
- You may also try slowly pressing and releasing (pulsating) or quickly tapping on points if it feels good. It may also feel nice to use your whole fist to lightly knock on some of the points.
Acupressure Points and Therapeutic Intentions for Every Phase
Blood Phase Acupressure:
- Sea of Blood - Spleen 10: for all things blood, this point gets the blood flowing, cools things down, and helps harmonize your moon (hot tip: it also helps to clear skin conditions!)
- Massage Moxa salve on the lower abdomen and add Clary Sage and Sweet Marjoram essential oils to ease cramps
- Invigorate Blood. If bleeding is heavy, invigorate Blood and stop bleeding; regulate Qi and Blood
Yin Phase Acupressure:
- Three Yin Intersection - Spleen 6: as the meeting point of the Liver, Kidney, and Spleen meridians, this is a go-to point for gynecological (as well as digestive, urinary, and emotional) disorders; use it during every Phase!
- Avoid this point if you are pregnant.
- nourish Blood, tonify the Kidneys
- Returning Current - Kidney 7: regulates the water passages and tonifies Kidneys; “This Water point brings vitality back to our being. On the spirit level, it is a point of rebirth. It restores our faith in our own resiliency and re-awakens our desires, drives, and will to live.” (Lorie Dechar)
- tonify the Kidneys, strengthen the Spleen, resolve Dampness
Qi Phase Acupressure:
- Great Rushing - Liver 3: to get that stagnant Qi coursing again; good riddance stress!
- move Qi, stimulate free flow of Liver-Qi, invigorate Blood, warm the Uterus
You can access a plethora of cycle syncing resources (such as phase-specific nutrition, herbal medicine/supplements, mindset, and exercises), including professional tutorials for these and additional acupressure points for each phase in our online course! Can’t wait to see you there!