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How To Self-Treat Thanksgiving Bloating

Torso di Livorno

© 2013 Balingit Acupuncture, adapted from the original “Torso di Livorno,” Sailko (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sailko), under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license

Thanksgiving is not only a time to share thanks but to also share food. While some of us are better at moderation than others, overeating could be an issue this festive time of year. If so, an immediate side effect may be bloating and gas.

If you experience this, here’s a quick self-care tip to help your gut process all that stuffing:

Massage acupuncture point, Ren 12 (Zhong Wan)

Ren 12 is located on the centerline of your abdomen, midway between your sternocostal angle and umbilicus. The sternocostal angle is the notch below your breastbone.

Reference the illustration above to help you with point location.

Basic Technique:

  • Apply finger pressure at acupuncture point Ren 12, while “stirring” that finger in a small clockwise motion

Finger pressure should be firm, but relaxed.

Advanced Technique:

  1. Breathe using your diaphragm (i.e. abdomen should expand with inhalation, and shrink with exhalation)
  2. Apply finger pressure at acupuncture point Ren 12
  3. Hold steady resistance on the point as you inhale. (Pressure at Ren 12 will increase due to abdominal expansion.)
  4. Exhale. As you do, your abdomen should relax and shrink.
  5. Follow the collapse of your abdomen as you exhale by pressing deeper at Ren 12, while “stirring” the pressing finger in a a small clockwise motion.

Finger pressure should be firm, but relaxed.

Happy Thanksgiving.
Give thanks and enjoy your celebrations!

Carl Balingit is a former engineer who applies rational thought to the often subjective nature of traditional healing. He practices acupuncture in San Diego, CA.

He also prescribes Chinese herbal formulas. The herbs do not necessarily come from China.

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