This past Sunday, I had the pleasure and the privilege of running the Chicago Marathon. Somewhere between miles 18-20, I hit the proverbial wall—a moment when the physiological impact of the preceding miles makes those remaining feel insurmountable. And then it struck me. Motherhood is also an endurance test, a long-lasting exercise in which “hitting the wall” happens over and over again. Like marathoners, mothers need tools to fuel them along the way, to bolster them in those instances when the road ahead feels long, and the legs feel weary. So, this month’s Mother Matters post is dedicated to all the mother-marathoners, runners or not, who could use a quick and easy energy infusion for our well-deserving legs. After all, they carry us through motherhood, from one day to the next.
Developed 5000 years ago in China, acupressure is essentially a form of massage that works similarly to acupuncture. Instead of using specialized needles however, the practitioner uses fingers to apply pressure to particular points on the body. This makes acupressure an easy and effective tool for self-treatment.
Licensed acupuncturist Ashley Flores of Four Flowers Wellness in Chicago (http://fourflowerswellness.com) explains that treating the “Inner Yin” points on the body can enable healthy circulation, bringing blood from the legs back to the rest of the body, and can ease swelling in the lower extremities. These points are also treated in cases of lower abdominal pain and discomfort in the pubic and groin areas.
How to do it: Sit on the floor butterfly style, with the soles of the feet facing each other. Between the knee and the crease by the pubic area, right in the middle of the inner thigh, sit the Inner Yin points. Using the right elbow, begin by gently pressing down on the inside of the right thigh, above (but NOT on) the knee. Continue this application of pressure while working up toward the pubic area. Take about 30 seconds to complete one pass and then repeat four or five times, being sure to do both legs, one at at time. Those who prefer not to use an elbow may use a foam roller, or even a rolling pin from the kitchen. Treatment may be repeated twice a day, in the morning and the evening, for maximum effect.