Some studies suggest that acupressure may help relieve constipation. Many studies claim that acupuncture can have the same effect. However, there are limitations in this research.
Constipation involves infrequent, often difficult bowel movements.
It is a common childhood condition, affecting around
There are many ways to treat constipation. This article looks at whether pressure point-based therapies can help with constipation. It also outlines other treatment options for constipation.
Traditional Chinese medicine derives from the belief that triggering certain pressure points around the body offers health benefits.
However, there is mixed evidence that pressure point therapy can help with constipation. Acupuncture and acupressure are two different types of pressure point therapies.
During an acupuncture session, a specialist places very fine needles into various pressure points. In contrast, acupressure involves the use of fingers to stimulate pressure points.
Some research suggests that acupressure can improve constipation symptoms.
However, the small sample size of each study makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions from the results.
There are similar issues in the quality of research into acupuncture for constipation.
Additionally, a more recent
Ultimately, more research is necessary on the effects of pressure point-based treatments for constipation.
There is little evidence to suggest that acupressure can cause adverse effects.
- nerve damage
There are many ways to relieve constipation, such as:
- increasing dietary fiber
- drinking more water
- eating more wheat bran, oats, or linseed
- not waiting to pass stool
- passing stool at regular times
- increasing physical activity
If these lifestyle changes do not help with constipation, people can try laxatives, which make it easier to pass stool. Some are available over-the-counter (OTC), though doctors may also prescribe laxatives.
A person with chronic constipation or constipation that does not improve with OTC laxative use needs to consult a healthcare professional.
In some cases, constipation may have a serious underlying cause, such as a bowel obstruction.
- rectal bleeding
- bloody stool
- persistent abdominal pain
- trouble passing gas
- lower back pain
- unexplained weight loss
People with a family history of colon or rectal cancer should also speak with a doctor if they develop constipation.
Lifestyle changes, such as drinking more water or eating a high fiber diet, can help with constipation. Laxatives may also provide relief.
Some people believe that pressure point-based therapies can help improve constipation. However, the research to support this is limited.