Does This TikTok Hack Really Help Relieve Constipation?

A TikTok video making the rounds claims that constipation can be relieved by rubbing your fists together — but does this viral hack actually work? Created by TikTok user and acupuncturist Anita Tadavarthy, the video shows users how to ease constipation and get things going quickly so they can pass stools in a matter of minutes (via Insider). The hack, which is intended for people who typically have irregular bowel movements, involves pressing the sides of your fists together and rubbing them, thumb to thumb, for a couple of minutes at a time.

According to Tadavarthy, the motion is supposed to stimulate the colon and large intestine using a technique known as acupressure, which uses physical pressure to engage specific areas of the body. As it turns out, the pressure point for your digestive system is located between your thumb and your index finger. Rubbing your fists together can help create friction in this area.

Proven techniques to alleviate constipation

However, there is no evidence that this technique can actually alleviate constipation (via Health). While it is true that moving around can help stimulate a bowel movement, you would need to move more than just your hands to really get things going. According to Dr. Rabia De Latour, a gastroenterologist at NYU Langone, you would need to move and stimulate parts of the body that directly connect to the digestive system. "There are certain abdominal massage maneuvers and techniques and yoga poses that are thought to help," De Latour told Health.

For example, there are certain exercises you can perform, under the direction of a physical therapist, to help you pass stools more easily by improving the coordination of your pelvis, pelvic floor, and lower back. For most people who have occasional constipation, however, staying active, drinking more water, and adding more fiber to your diet should be sufficient enough to help aid digestion and relieve constipation.