The older I get, my stomach seems to be less on board with some of the eating habits I used to get away with in my younger years. Downing a bag of greasy chips mid-afternoon or devouring that glazed doughnut from the office kitchen—purely because their existence beckoned me to do so—just doesn't sit as well with my belly. Even the smallest of questionable eating choices now holds the potential to throw off my system for the rest of the day, leaving me bloated, uncomfortable and completely unbalanced. Luckily, if any of the above rings true for you, a simple five-minute manoeuvre can help beat belly bloat and get your stomach and digestive tract back on track.
Paige Bourassa, licensed acupuncturist, Chinese herbologist and holistic nutritionist, recently shared her effective strategy for relieving bloat—an acupressure massage. As she explains to MindBodyGreen, Bourassa uses three acupressure points to activate digestion and resolve stagnation.
Ren 12. First, find the peak of your ribcage, and then use that point to trace the spot on your abdomen that is halfway between that and your belly button. This is Ren 12, which Bourassa explains is "one of the most important points for harmonising the stomach and intestines." Not only does it calm and rebalance your digestive tract, but it also regulates Qi. Pressing firmly here for 30 to 60 seconds begins activation before moving to the next step.
Stomach 25. Stomach 25 is the point two inches from your belly button on either side. Moving in a clockwise motion, begin pressing the first side for 30 to 60 seconds. This area, known as celestial pivot, "is responsible for regulating the stomach and spleen activities, as well as intestines."
Ren 6. Next up is Ren 6, "the sea of Qi acupressure point" right below the belly button that may feel the most tender but helps to regulate kidney health. After 30 to 60 seconds here, move to the next Stomach 25 on the other side of your belly button. You can continue these motions until your stomach feels settled or gently massage in a clockwise motion "to further stimulate the stomach, letting the energy you just released move around and, hopefully, out," advises Bourassa.
Interested in more ways acupressure can make a quick difference in your life? Discover the miraculous five-minute massage that will change the way you breathe.