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3 Acupressure Points for PMS Relief That You Can Do Yourself (Photo Guide)

Did you know there are acupressure points for PMS relief? In general, acupressure for PMS can reduce fatigue and boost your energy and your mood. It can also help relieve pain. Read on to learn more about how acupressure, an ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine technique, is something you can do yourself for instant PMS relief.

Feeling achy, tired or on edge before your period? You’re not alone – these are common signs of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), which is estimated to affect about one in three women of reproductive age.

Experts say these symptoms tend to be cyclic and recurrent, often intensifying during the luteal phase which is the timeframe lasting one to two weeks before menstruation.

PMS affects 1 in 3 women.

In this article, you’ll learn about acupressure, an ancient yet simple and effective technique that I use and teach to my clients to help relieve aches and pain, manage your mood swings and combat PMS fatigue. You will also learn three effective PMS self-acupressure points.

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Acupressure for PMS Symptom Relief: An Introduction

Acupressure is an art of healing, a massage technique rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine that works by applying firm pressure through your finger or palms on key meridian points on your skin to trigger your body’s natural self-healing process.

Acupressure is similar to acupuncture in that specific meridian points are targeted. However, acupressure works through pressure massage while acupuncture works by inserting needles into specific meridian points by a licensed acupuncturist.

Want to learn more about acupuncture? Read: A Full Beginner’s Guide to Acupuncture

Used since ancient times for medical purposes to treat diseases and alleviate symptoms, acupressure has been shown to be effective in reducing dysmenorrhea (painful periods), lower back pain, head, neck and shoulder pains.

Acupressure is a massage technique on key meridian points to trigger your body’s natural self-healing process.

It is also widely used for women’s health across the lifespan of a woman including youth, middle age and perimenopause, especially for menstrual periods and symptoms to improve wellbeing.

Acupressure on meridian points triggers the release of cytokines like endorphins, helping to alleviate period pain.

Self-acupressure applies the same principles of acupressure with the difference that you massage the pressure points yourself, as opposed to having someone else do it for you.

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How to Apply Self-Acupressure (Plus How Often to Do It):

For each of the following self-acupressure points for PMS, be sure to follow these three steps.

1. Identify the Point

First, locate the point for acupressure and use the fleshy part of your thumb, finger or your palm. Begin by applying light pressure to the point.

2. Apply Pressure

Gradually increase the amount of pressure until you feel a tenderness or mild ache. Aside from holding a steady pressure, you can also try massaging in a circular motion or back and forth with one or two fingers or your palm.

3. Duration

For each point you can start with one to two minutes starting from when you first experience symptoms or five days before menstruation, whichever is sooner. You can repeat this once or twice daily, as advised by the Delphi acupressure protocol, developed by a board of reputable international acupuncturists.

It is ideal to include this as part of your daily ritual which could be your daily wake up, wind down routine or daily commute, alongside meditation, journaling or yoga. As the PMS self-acupressure points listed in this article are bilateral, remember to repeat on both the left and right side.

Try These 3 Self-Acupressure Points for PMS Relief:

To help you combat period pain, menstrual fatigue and mood swings, try these potent self-acupressure points for PMS relief and to support your overall menstrual health.

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1. Soothe Mood Swings With Great Rush
(Liver 3 Tai Chong 太冲)

Taichong Great Rush LV3
As the organ and meridian channel that stores blood, the liver organ and meridian channel governs fertility, physical and emotional balance and flexibility by supporting smooth flow of blood and Qi in a woman’s body.

Conversely, menstrual cycle disorders, including mood swings and menstrual cramps are signs of stagnant or deficient Liver Qi.

To soothe mood swings, feelings of frustration, anger and resentment, try self-acupressure on the Great Rush, a potent point to release stagnant Liver Qi. You can find it by tracing up two finger widths above the webbing of your big toe and second toe joint.

In addition to managing mood swings, this is a powerful point to relieve stress, lower back pain and high blood pressure.


2. Soothe Menstrual Pain With Three Yin Intersection
(Spleen 6 San Yin Jiao 三阴交)

Sanyinjiao 3 Yin Crossing SPL6
Along with the liver, the spleen and kidney are three important organs and meridian channels that support fertility and vitality in women. To soothe PMS and period cramps, try massaging on the Three Yin Intersection point.

The Three Yin Intersection acupoint, is a potent PMS self-acupressure point for women’s health as it is the intersection point of the spleen, kidney, and liver organs and meridian channels, three channels fundamental to promoting women’s health.

This point is commonly used to manage dysmenorrhea (painful cramps during periods) which is estimated to affect more than 50% of menstruating women.

Locate the Three Yin Intersection point by placing your four fingers (index finger to little finger) horizontally above the tip of the bony part of your inner ankle (medial malleolus), behind the tibia bone.

Note: if you are pregnant please avoid this point as this may promote uterine contractions.

3. Relieve PMS Fatigue With Three Leg Mile
(ST 36 Zu San Li 足三里)

Zusanli 3 Leg Mile ST36
Feeling tired and struggling to stay focused at work or school during your period? You’re not alone – a 2021 study found the most common PMS symptom is fatigue or decreased energy, experienced by almost 90% of women.

For an energy boost, try massaging on Three Leg Mile. Working directly through the stomach organ and meridian channel, Three Leg Mile acupoint was named so as it was said that soldiers would press and rub this point on their leg to boost their energy so they could march another three miles!

A stomach meridian point, acupressure on this point also helps manage digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhoea and vomiting while grounding your energy.

To find this acupoint place your hand on the outer side of your leg over your knee with your fingers pointing down. Between the tips of your fourth and fifth fingers, about two to three inches below your knee you’ll find a small dent beneath the kneecap and between the bones where this point is.

BONUS: Beat Insomnia and Relieve Headaches With Joining Valley
(Large Intestine 4 He Gu 合谷)

Hegu Joining Valley LI4
Joining Valley is my personal favorite. An acupressure point found on your palm, it is an easily-accessible and powerful point, which like Three Yin Intersection, helps menstrual pain. This can be easily massaged while you are outside, whether you’re working at your desk or on your daily commute home.

Of all points, this is what I use the most often, coupled with long, slow, deep breathing for pain relief during the first two days of my period when the cramping is intense. Aside from pain relief, this point has been shown to be effective in treating depression, insomnia, stress, irritability and severe PMS.

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As a point along the stomach meridian channel that also crosses the face, massaging this point improves blood and Qi circulation to the face and can help improve skin allergies, dark circles, and other facial skin problems.

You can find Joining Valley by locating your second knuckle of your thumb and index finger and slide your finger toward their intersection, stopping about halfway. This spot often feels slightly tender.

Note: if you are pregnant please avoid this point as this may promote uterine contractions.

Acupressure for PMS Relief: Final Tips and Takeaway

At the heart of self-acupressure lies the belief that prevention is better than cure. Massaging these potent acupressure points for PMS can relieve pain and fatigue and provide deep relaxation, but don’t wait until the pain, fatigue or irritability is severe to try this out.

Consistency is key with acupressure. For maximum benefits, include these self-acupressure points as part of your daily wake up, wind down routine or daily commute, alongside other self-care practices you may already be doing such as meditation, yoga, reading or affirmations.

Excited to get started? Have fun, enjoy and appreciate your own healing touch!

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.

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Wenlin Tan

Wenlin Tan is a women's health and wellness specialist who incorporates her extensive knowledge of Yoga, Qigong, Somatics, and Traditional Chinese Medicine into her work. Born in Singapore, Wenlin is now based in Turin, Italy. Visit her website to learn more.

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