Regardless of where one looks, it is women who bear most of the responsibility for holding societies together, be it at home, in health care, at school, or in caring for the elderly. In many countries including India, women perform these tasks without pay or even acknowledgement. Even in normal circumstances, the pressure on women to balance various aspects of their life in relation to their home and work had always been higher than that faced by men.
The pandemic has just made it worse in terms of both physical and psychological pressures – including domestic violence and abuse for some. With lockdowns in place, the workload for most women has just about doubled – not sparing any strata of society – to the point where social media is abuzz with stories of the fairer sex living in both “mindless and maid less” times.
The story gets much worse for women who were or have entered the stage of pregnancy. While the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) had clearly mandated guidelines that pregnant women must be provided with all essential maternal health services. However, despite this, taking cognizance of the rise in the numbers of those infected, many States have curtailed outreach services for immunization and maternal health services citing the importance of taking precautionary measures against the infection.
It is no secret that the majority of public health infrastructure and workforce at the primary to the tertiary level are engaged in COVID-19-related health activities. On the other hand, many private hospitals have stopped functioning completely as they do not want their staff to be exposed to the virus due to the shortage of even simple things like certified masks and PPE suits. Both issues have gravely exacerbated the problems of pregnant women in the country.
To put matter in context of pre-existing structural and social inequities – higher income group women have suffered anxiety due to cancellation of weekly check-ups, increased risk of COVID-19 infection during hospital visits, and delay in life-saving procedure like caesarean sections due to shortage of staff and lack of infrastructure like operation theatres. However, easy access to telemedicine, virtual doctor consultations and connections when it comes to traveling has made it relatively easier for them to cope with the situation. In contrast, the concerns of pregnant women from lesser socio-economic backgrounds are completely different.
With most ambulance services being diverted for COVID-19 related activities, and limitation of transportation facilities, women in labour are finding it increasingly difficult to access maternal health services. There has been a surge of cases of roadside deliveries. The worst affected though are women in hotspot and containment zones. As per the ICMR guideline all pregnant women in such zones, including those who are asymptomatic, and are likely to deliver in the next five days, have to get tested for COVID-19. These have led to additional hardships for women on the verge of childbirth as well as for the healthcare providers attending to them.
Keeping all this in mind, I thought of sharing some valuable holistic techniques for women faced with such a situation. These tips are no substitute for a regular checkups nor advice of a gynecologist. But, these are Preventive Health Care treatments that are complementary to what is being given by the gynecologist.
There are several Su-Jok therapies which have the potential to cure such problems. Acupressure, colour therapy, magnet therapy etc. are some of the options which can help women overcome aforementioned illnesses and disorders. But there are other major gateways which can give ladies optimum relief and other lesser known health benefits, which are called the meridian points. Ladies, all you have to do is find the meridian points on hands that denote the health issues you are suffering from any ‘women problem’.
Pressure points and problems (the numbers on the right indicate meridian points)
Miscarriage (premature expulsion of fetus from uterus) – SP 4 ↓
Inflammation in pelvic area, ovary, urethra or vagina – CV 7 ↓
Problem of pregnancy – K 9 ↑
Stopping or insufficiency of menses – K 5 ↑
Irregular menstrual cycle – Li 11 ↑
Acute burning sensation in urethra/vagina – CV 5 ↓
Painful period – Liv 8 ↑
Mastitis (inflammation of breasts) – GB 41 ↓ or GB 21 ↓ or Si 1 ↓
Menopausal syndrome – CV 2 ↓
Menorrhagia (Excessive mensuration) – Liv 2 ↓ or CV 3 ↓
For finding the meridian point, take a blunt pencil, with lead broken and smoothened to act like jimmy. Place it on the points and probe the area with slight pressure. Find the point that is painful. Painful point is the correct meridian point.
(Sketches/ diagrams with more details of meridian points are available on www.artofselfhealing.in.)