How to do hip drops and lifts in belly dancing
Core Movements of Belly Dancing
by adminpar | Feb 24, 2019 | Blog
In this artice, you will learn about core movements of belly Dancing. Following are the core movement that make up Modern & Classical Belly Dance, grouped according to the shape you are drawing with your body, and then sub-grouped according to the body part used to draw that shape.
Following are two core Movement that create Belly Dance:
- Drops and Lifts
Drop & Lift Movements
On Lower Body
Basic Hip Drops & Lifts
- Stand in Basic normal Pose.
- Bend your knee to drop the hip, then straighten the knee to lift the hip.
- Always lift before a drop and drop before a lift to highlight the movement.
- Always keep the knees released, never lock the knee while straightening.
- Activate your thigh muscles to either pull the hip down, or push it up. So the movement naturally comes from the knee and the thigh muscle/hip.
Classical Hip Drop
- Weight in supporting leg, knees soft, right foot forward on ball of foot (Toe position). Stay centered, don’t lean back.
- In this case lift your right hip, slightly upwards.
- Drop right hip downward in a strong accentuate move.
- Upper body stays steady.
- A big deep-seated drop on the count of 1 & 3 which is followed by a lighter “half drop” on the count of 2 & 4.
- Like brushing the sand off the carpet kick, working foot softly on the half drops on the 2 & 4 counts.
Classical Hip Lift
It is the opposite of the Drop, less grounded and more energetic. Lift the working hip upward and slightly forward in a strong accentuated move. Operate your hip and the outside of your thigh to give the movement oomph. And, as stated above, drop slightly first before you lift.
On the Mid BodyChest Drops and Chest Lifts
A small but effective thrust of the rib cage with an accent either downwards or upwards. Remember, to go down you must first go up and vice versa. Imagine a string attached to your spine in the center of your chest. Visualize a puppeteer pulling this string upwards on a 45 degree angle. Produce the movement from the inside of your body and you will have a much more juicy and beautiful movement.
On the Upper Body
The only way is to bring your shoulders up together, then let both go. Careful not to draw and shrug your shoulders forward and up to your ears which locks your upper back and your energy flow. Fast Shoulder Drops look great while shifting weight on legs and swaying your body from side-to-side.
The Slides Family of Movements
On the Lower Body
- Take Basic Pose with feet under hips etc.
- Shift your weight from one leg to another, straightening supporting knee and freeing the other.
- Get into the flow of this and then slide your hip out, to side as weight transfers into that foot, then back in connecting to your center, so on.
- Visualize you have your arms full of groceries and you push the car door shut with your hip!
- Isolated, small.
- Larger, more assertive, more thrusting to the side.
On the Mid BodyChest Slide
- Visualize a string attached to your spine behind your heart.
- A puppeteer pulls that string to the right, your rib cage moves to the side, independently from your hips and shoulders.
On the Upper BodyHead Slide
While facing ahead, keep your neck as horizontal as possible and use the muscles behind it to slide your head to the right, then to the left. Move when framed with your hands crossing above the head or crossing in front of your face. This movement needs to be very small to be effective, so do not strain yourself. This move takes time to master as it is difficult.
The other core movements of belly dancing are as follows:
- Figure 8’s
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You can dance with us for free! We have published the basic belly dance moves and regularly upload new videos for you. All workouts are playlists of several videos and contain a complete body warm up and a relaxing cool down Tell me moreBellydance Class #1
Start your training with this entry level class. You learn the fundamentals of belly dance: posture, seesaws, side sliding and mayas with your hips and chest.Bellydance Class #2
Do the moves fromclass #1 already feel smooth & juicy? In class #2 you'll learn more belly dance basics: tilting internal circles and vertical circles with your hips and chest. The afro with pelvic floor integration is our specialty.Bellydance Class #3
In class #3 you'll learn more of the essential belly dance basics: sliding forward and classical Egyptian horizontal circles with the hips and chest.Bellydance Class #4
In class #4 you'll learn more belly dance basics: camels with the hips and chest and your first sharp hips accents initiated by your gluteus muscles.Bellydance Class #5
In class #5 you'll learn more belly dance basics: twists and horizontal eights with pelvic floor integration as well as some basic arm movements like the snake arms.Bellydance Class #6
In class #6 you'll learn some advanced belly dance moves: hagala schimmy and variations as well as arm movements that lead up to the snake arms.Bellydance Class #7
In class #7 you'll learn some advanced belly dance moves: hip drops, accents, elegant eights with foot lifts, layered with chest camels and hip drops, as well as the secrets of a great hip shimmy.Bellydance Choreography
Intermediate - Advanced
Learn my beautiful belly dance choreography step by step! It's my interpretation of a classical Egyptian love song "Daret Al Ayam" (Days go by) by Um Kalsoum.Bellydance all moves
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Here you have an overview of all the belly dance moves you have learned so far. Step by step instructions.Bellydance all Drills
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Here you have an overview of all the Bellydance drills with music. Dance for as long as you can!Tips on Dance & Health
An overview of Coco's tips & the home of her new interview series Free Woman. Have fun!Bellydance Full classes
An overview on full length bellydance classes that we've recorded for you here in Berlin. The German video contains subtitles.Sensuous Dance Workout
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Here you can see a collection of Coco's belly dance shows. Enjoy!Teacher Training
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Hip movements.Belly dance. Master's Lessons. Advanced level
Starting position: standing on a full foot, legs slightly apart (about the width of the foot) and located on the same line parallel to each other, the body is slightly tilted back, the back is straight, the stomach is relaxed, the arms are lowered along the body, the knees are “soft”.
Performing an exercise “Swinging hips back and forth (“inward” and “awayward”)”. We take the buttocks back as much as possible, while we do not deviate back, hands are brought behind the back. Then we draw the buttocks into ourselves as much as possible, and bring our hands forward with a smooth movement. We tighten the hips, sharply reducing the muscles of the buttocks so that the pelvis leans forward and up a little.
Hold this position for a few seconds. Then we take the hips back as far as possible - the legs and body remain motionless - and arch.
We work in the vertical (frontal) plane. Again, we reduce (squeeze) only the muscles of the buttocks so that the pelvis leans forward and up a little ("inward"). Movement of the pelvis forward and up - back and up, emphasis at the farthest point of this movement - again the pelvis "in itself" - again back and up, emphasis, etc.
Try to keep the movement in the frontal plane along the path of the lower arc of the semicircle. Remember your posture: shoulders down, back straight.
Starting position: standing on a full foot, legs slightly apart (about the width of the foot) and located on the same line parallel to each other, the body is slightly tilted back, the back is straight, the stomach is relaxed, the buttocks are tightened, the knees are “soft” and slightly bent, arms to the sides. We perform a rocking chair with the hips.
The rocking chair is performed by alternately straightening the knees: without changing the position of the left leg, we straighten the right leg at the knee, due to which the right thigh is “pushed” up and we sort of pull it under the rib (in this case, the lateral abdominal muscles contract).
While moving, do not tear off the heels and do not shift the center of gravity from foot to foot. The top remains motionless and does not sway during the work of the hips. We make sure that the hips move only up and down, do not take them to the side or back. They should be relaxed - only the knees work. Now we bend the right leg at the knee - we lead the left thigh up.
We continue the alternating movement with one or the other hip, without deflecting the body and keeping the line of the shoulders in the same position - parallel to the floor.
Imagine that you have a bowl of water on your head and your task is not to spill the water. You can also try to put a book on your head during this exercise and try to move so that it does not sway, much less fall.
Execute rocking hips to the sides in three counts: right-left and a little more slowly to the right - slightly slow down the knee extension until the movement starts in the other direction (without a pause in the movement), left-right and slightly slower to the left, slightly slowing down the knee extension until the next movement starts in the other direction. Movements should be smooth, unhurried, but continuous. Simultaneously with the rocking chair, we perform circular movements with the hands. Again we make a rocking chair with our hips to the sides without pauses. At the same time, we raise our hands up, at the same time performing rotations with the wrists along the trajectory of the eight. Repeat the movement with the hips at a fast pace.
If desired, the pace of side rocking with the hips can be increased even more: increasing it gradually and maintaining the rhythm, move on to shaking the hips. When shaking-rocking chair, the pelvis swings due to the work of the muscles of the lower back, the legs become freer. With this shaking, you can learn to walk quite easily. For example, climb on the "half-toes" and try to go forward with shaking, and then back. The faster the hips move, the more they need to relax. But don't forget to work with your hands.
If at first the shaking is good for you, and after a minute or two the muscles begin to “stone” and the shaking rhythm is lost, it does not matter. Stop, shake your legs alternately, relax your muscles and start shaking again. The vibration of the body is given by muscles relaxed at your will, and not by tension.
Performing a rocking chair at a fast pace, we take the pelvis forward, then back and then move in a circle to the left. So we impose movement "rocking hips back and forth" for movement "small circle of the hips in the horizontal plane" plus circular movements of the hands.
We connect the side rocker with the hips pulling with the hips, continuing to perform rotations with the wrists.
Hip pull is a basic element of oriental dance, a movement from the group of slips. It should be done every day during every workout.
Starting position: we stand straight on a full foot (legs are located on the same line), the body is slightly tilted back, the back is straight, the legs are shoulder-width apart, the knees are “soft”, the arms are at the sides. We take the hip as far as possible to the left (without ceasing to perform the rocking chair at the same time), leave the legs and the upper part of the body motionless and transfer the body weight to the left leg. Shoulders, belt line during pulling remain parallel to the floor, knees do not bend. We pull the hips to the right and transfer the weight of the body to the right leg. The hips move to the right and left with maximum amplitude.
Pulling with the hips stretches the lateral muscles, strengthens the muscles of the lower back and abdomen, perfectly tones the muscles of the waist, and also helps to prepare the body for further performance of various oriental movements (in particular, amplitude volumetric eights and rotations).
By sliding your hips, you can move back and forth and right and left.
After pulling with the hips, we move on to another basic movement, simple to perform, but effective and easily combined in dance with other elements, - eights. Let's start with the execution of horizontal eights (movements are performed in a horizontal plane clockwise and counterclockwise).
Horizontal figure eight backwards (“away from you”). While pulling, we lingered for a moment in a position where the left hip was maximally abducted to the left and, accordingly, the weight of the body was on the left leg.
Now we lead the right thigh diagonally forward to the right, turn it as much as possible and begin to outline the first half of the imaginary figure eight - we turn this thigh back.
Next, the left thigh is brought forward (the weight of the body is gradually transferred to the left leg), turns as much as possible (until you see your left buttock out of the corner of your left eye) and begins to outline the second half of the figure eight: to the left until it stops, and then back to the left.
Only the lower part of the body moves. Breathing remains even and smooth, like the movement itself.
You can help yourself a little: when the hips are twisting in one direction, slightly twist the body in the other (so that the hips do not drag it along).
Straight knees, feet that remain parallel, and heels that stay on the floor will help to achieve a smooth, soft and continuous movement. Imagine that you are making your way forward without the help of your hands through some rather dense, viscous substance and, as it were, are raking it with your hips, alternately pushing it to one side or the other.
This exercise increases the elasticity of the ligaments.
Movement "horizontal figure eight forward ("inward")" schematically looks the same as the previous one, only performed in the opposite direction. We take the left thigh back diagonally to the maximum twisted position (in which the chest still remains motionless).
The weight of the body is transferred to the left leg. With a smooth circular motion, we describe half of the eight forward with the left thigh, maximally turning the right thigh back. We transfer the weight of the body to the right leg.
In a circular motion, move the right thigh forward and describe the remaining half of the figure eight. We try to bring the hips forward no less than back. We do not turn our shoulders. They must always look ahead. If you are still not very good at “separating” the top from the bottom, try doing the figure eight with your whole body first. I managed to catch the trajectory - you can move on to fixing the body and start moving only the hips.
Try to bring your hips forward no less than back, then the movement will be smooth and symmetrical. Keep an eye on the upper body: it should remain motionless, but not enslaved, keep the line of the shoulders parallel to the floor line.
When performing the figure eight, the legs should be placed parallel to one another and on the same line, not just for stability or beauty: if you put them in eversion positions (heels together, toes apart), then, involuntarily pinching the buttocks, limit the amplitude of their movement.
Another version of the eights with the hips - vertical eights, or, as they are also figuratively called, "pendulums". The second name of this dance component was not born by chance: remember how the pendulum of the clock moves, describing the lower semicircle of an imaginary circle, like a young crescent turned upside down with “horns”. The oriental dancer reproduces the described trajectory with the help of hip movements in a strictly vertical plane. Vertical eights can be performed, like horizontal ones, in two directions opposite to each other: “away from you” (from top to bottom) and “into yourself” (from bottom to top).
We still stand on a full foot (legs are on the same line and parallel to one another), the body is slightly tilted back, the back is straight, the buttocks are tucked up. But now, to perform the "pendulum", put your feet together. Body weight on the left leg. We tear off the right heel from the floor and raise the thigh as high as possible.
The weight of the body is gradually transferred to the right leg. Further, drawing a quarter of a circle to the right and down, we begin to lower the right thigh, at the same time pushing it as far as possible to the side, that is, to the right. From this extreme side point, we continue to lower the thigh to the lowest point of the circle thanks to the “soft” knee. Body weight on the right leg. We put the heel of the right foot on the floor and lower the right thigh down.
Now tear off the left heel (knee is relaxed), lift (due to lifting the heel off the floor) the left thigh up (as if leading to the armpit) and push it to the side as far as possible, without deflecting the body in the opposite direction and outlining a rather steep semicircle of the imaginary eights.
Pull the thigh towards you, returning to the starting position. We continue to draw symmetrical circles in a vertical plane. The body should remain motionless, and the line of the shoulders should be parallel to the floor line. Add hand movement to this dance element.
Hands in oriental dance move depending on the nature of the music, and therefore often their movements do not coincide with the movement of the hips: the hands work at least twice as slowly as the hips. If the hips are the rhythm, then the arms are the melody.
From the previous starting position, smoothly proceed to the next movement - step Suher Zaki, or "stilts".
We stand on straight lines, located on the same line parallel to one another on toes, the body is slightly tilted back, the back is straight, arms to the sides. We begin to alternately lower the heels to the floor in three counts. We lower the heel of the left leg - the left thigh goes down, then we raise the heel of the left leg, returning to its original position (on the toes), and lower the heel of the right leg.
Left - right - left - paused for a moment. Right - left - right - lingered for a moment. And so several times in a row in the rhythm of the sounding melody. We do not bend our knees - we only raise our hips. The head is on the same level: the movement occurs mainly only due to the hips. Continuing to perform the movement, alternately tear off the legs from the floor.
And now we “walk” on the spot without delays and stops, but still in time with the melody.
If this movement is performed correctly, you will feel the movement of the oblique muscles of the abdomen.
Performing the following exercise − hip dumps (otherwise - hip-down strikes). Starting position: standing in a half-squat and half-turned to the viewer. The body looks forward, the hips and legs are turned to the side at an angle of 45 °. We put the leg closest to the viewer (mirror) (working in this movement) in front of the one behind, on the toe, and expose its thigh and turn it forward (toward the viewer), as far as the body allows. The back is straight and slightly tilted back, arms are spread apart.
Try to keep your knees together while moving.
So, keep your chest and shoulders straight. We start the movement with the left foot, so we put it on the toe in front of the right, raise the right hand up, take the left hand to the side. Raise the thigh of the working leg up by straightening the knee, then sharply lower (throw) the thigh, again bending the working leg at the knee.
Do not lower the heel to the floor. We do the emphasis while moving down (at its maximum lower point). At the same time, the hands make smooth circular rotational movements. We repeat the movement a few more times, and then change the leg - we become half-turned to the viewer (mirror) with the right hip forward, respectively raise the left hand up, take the right hand to the side and work with the right hip.
If you relax your hips well and bend your leg at the knee, the hip will "fall" by itself.
Let's complicate the main movement "hip drop" with a leg extension, and we get a new movement - "classic key" (thigh drop with leg extension).
Starting position - as in the previous exercise: standing in a half-squat and half-turned to the viewer. The body looks forward, the hips and legs are turned to the side at an angle of 45 °. We put the leg closest to the viewer (working in this movement) in front of the one behind (supporting), on the toe, and expose its thigh and turn it forward (towards the viewer). The back is straight and slightly tilted back, the arms are spread apart (option - the arm of the same name as the supporting leg is raised up).
We perform one reset with the right hip, the emphasis is while moving down (at its lowest point). Raise the right thigh again, and then lower it, while throwing the right leg forward, the toe of the foot stretches forward and down.
Raising the hip up each time, we continue to alternate the impact with the hip down (hip drop) with the hip drop with leg extension. We perform this movement several times, and then change the leg - we work with the left thigh.
"Key" can be performed on weight. In this case, when the leg lunges forward, its toe does not touch the floor, that is, we keep the leg in the air.
We continue to develop the spine and back muscles.
We change the starting position: we stand on a full foot, legs slightly apart (about the width of the foot) and located on the same line parallel to each other. The body is slightly tilted back, the back is straight, the stomach is relaxed, the knees are “soft”, the arms are at the sides, the weight of the body is on the left leg (as in a pull).
Execute semicircle hips.
We take the hips forward - the body deviates back, but the head does not throw back in any case (!) - and take it to the right, outlining (with maximum amplitude) an imaginary semicircle.
Now let's do a full circle.
Hip circle is a movement familiar to each of us since school or even kindergarten times. He was certainly included and is still included in a variety of gymnastic complexes called "hip rotation".
At first, to help you check if your shoulders and upper chest are moving horizontally or vertically during the exercise, you can put your hands on your shoulders.
Combine the semicircle with the hips forward with the semicircle back and perform a full circle with the hips to the left on straight legs. The hips move along all four points: we take them forward (the body leans back, but the head does not throw back), we take them to the left, wrapping the hips, we take them back, transferring the body weight to the right leg, we take them to the right, etc.
While the hips make a circle, the head, shoulders and arms remain at the same level. We repeat the rotation of the hips to the left again, and then we perform a circle in the other direction: right - forward - left - back, trying not to move the upper body and keep the line of the shoulders parallel to the floor line.
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how to learn belly dancing at home
Do you want to learn how to dance belly dance correctly? It is enough to learn a few basic movements and add a special mood to them. We have compiled detailed instructions on how to learn belly dancing so that you can dance no worse than a Colombian pop star.
How to learn to dance a beautiful oriental belly dance at home? Of course, it's not easy. However, it is easier to dance it at home than any other dance style. Especially if you have never been into dancing before.
- Starting position
Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Then slightly bend your knees and raise your chest - this is the starting position for starting any movement in the belly dance. For smooth movements in the dance, you need to tighten the muscles of the lower abdomen and engage the pelvis.
- Hip lift or shimmy
Bend both knees. Then straighten your right leg to lift your right thigh up. Then lift the pelvis up to the chest, while the upper body should not be involved. The heels must not be lifted off the ground during this movement. When you "pull" up your right hip, lower it and repeat the movement with your left. Namely, straighten your left leg and lift your left hip up.
- Fast Pace Hip Lift
Repeat hip lift on both sides at a faster pace. Do not pause - first lift the right thigh up, and then smoothly - the left. At an accelerated pace, the hips will swing quickly from side to side - now you know how to perform the shimmy movement.
- Hip Drop
Start in the starting position with the right foot on the floor and the left foot slightly extended, about a few inches forward with the heel raised. Then bend both knees and keep your chest and arms up. Then straighten your left leg, lift your left thigh and immediately lower it to the level of your right thigh. At the same time, keep your right leg bent during the movement. Next, repeat the mini-bunch at a fast pace so that it looks smooth, without pauses and breaks.
How to quickly learn belly dancing at home? Easy, the main thing is not to miss a single basic movement, including the “tummy”. Starting position - feet are on the floor, the upper body is raised, and relaxed arms are at the sides. Then slightly bend your knees and tighten the muscles of your upper abdomen, pulling them in. Then relax your stomach and tense only the muscles of the lower abdomen. Consistently alternate, pulling in the lower, then the upper press. Repeat the movement smoothly and without pauses.
- Try a breast lift
The last basic movement that will help you understand how to dance belly dance correctly. The starting position is a raised chest, arms are located on the sides, legs are together, and the feet are on the floor. Next, we pull the chest up to the end so that the shoulder blades seem to slide along the back. Then lower your chest back down. Repeat the link at a fast pace, while alternately contracting the abdominal muscles.
Why do home belly dancing?
Oriental dance will help not only lose weight, but also cope with various pains.
- Back and Joint Pain
Gentle movements increase the flow of synovial fluid (natural lubrication) in the joints, as well as tone the back muscles, which improves posture and prevents back pain.
- Help in losing weight
How to learn belly dancing at home and lose weight? Easy - one hour session will help burn up to 300 calories.
- Preparing for childbirth
Belly dancing tones the abdominal and pelvic muscles involved in childbirth.
- Against stress
Oriental belly dance is not only beautiful, but also healing. The dance feels like a session of physical and psychological relaxation.
- Period Pain
Soothing dance bands help relieve pelvic congestion, improving circulation and reducing PMS pain.