pain

Rub Away Period Pain

Massage these three body parts to ease cramps.

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THE SCIENCE
New research from Germany found that by applying pressure to certain parts of their bodies during their periods, women can reduce menstrual pain by 50 percent in six months.
EXPERT INSIGHT

Consistency is key, says study author Claudia Witt, MD, director of the Institute for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. The women in the study made a habit of massaging three pressure points (known to acupuncturists as SP6/Sanyinjiao, LI4/Hegu, and LR3/Taichong).They used an app to guide them through it but you can do it on your own, too, once you locate the sweet spots.

The first is located four fingers’ width above the malleolus, the bone on the inside of your ankle. To find the second, press your thumb and pointer finger together; the pressure point is the area where the bulge develops on the top of your hand next to your thumb. The third is about one finger’s width up from the base of your first and second toes, on the top of your foot.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Starting five days before the start of your period and every day until it ends, massage the above areas with medium force in circular motions twice daily for one minute each, Witt says. If your periods cause severe pain, she recommends visiting your gynecologist to rule out an underlying condition.



Photo: Getty Images