Acupressure is a technique in traditional Chinese medicine that is similar in principle to acupuncture. Both acupressure and acupuncture are essentially methods of sending a signal to the body either by a needle or by hand to turn on its own self healing or regulatory mechanisms and is based on the concept of Chi or life energy which flows through natural pathways in the body called the meridians. When the flow of Chi is blocked or when there is an imbalance in yin and yang, we might experience illnesses and pain. In treatments physical pressure is applied to these points with the aim of clearing blockages in these meridians. Acupressure helps to correct these imbalances and restore the flow thus returning the body to a more natural state of well-being.
Below is a list of 10 acupressure points that you can use to treat common aches, pains, and conditions.
Feng Chi (GB20)
This point is also called the gal bladder 20 and is a very useful acupressure point to know because massaging it can help treat headaches, migraines, eye blurriness, fatigue, low energy and cold or flu symptoms. This point is in the groove of where the neck muscles attach to the skull. Once you find this point apply deep, firm pressure to the skull and massage the area for 4-5 seconds. While you are massaging this point try to relax and breathe deeply. Scientific studies have shown that This point in combination with other acupressure points help to manage migraines and dry eye symptoms.
Jian Jing (GB21)
Applying acupressure to this point can relieve stress, facial pain, headaches, toothaches, and neck pain. The point is located on the shoulder halfway between the arm and the spine. To find it pinch the shoulder muscle with your thumb and middle finger. Once you find the point apply downward pressure with your index finger or thumb and massage were for 4-5 seconds. But this point must never be utilized during pregnancy because it may induce labor. Unless that’s what you’re attempting to do.
Also known as the joining valley, this point is located on the highest spot of the muscle where the thumb and index fingers are brought close together. When stimulated it can provide relief for stress headaches toothaches, facial pain, and neck pain. Once you locate this point use a deep firm pressure to massage and stimulate area for again for 4–5 seconds. Ancient traditional Chinese medicine books sites many examples of how applying acupressure to this point has helped with anything from headaches and constipation to general pain and a delayed labor. More recent studies show that using it helped with jaw muscle pains and tensions headaches.
Tai Chong (LV3)
Known as big Russian point, the tai chong point is located on the feet and should be used for stress, low back pain, high blood pressure, insomnia, and emotional upset. In some ancient Chinese books, it is said to be able to relieve digestive issues, eye problems, headaches, canker sores and irritability. This point is located in the space between the big toe and second toe. Slide your finger along a space until you find the depression before your finger touches the bone. Once you locate the point apply pressure and massage for 4–5 seconds. There has been scientific literature that suggests stimulating this points can also help with post stroke depression.
Nei Guan (P6)
Also called inner gate, it can be used to cure nausea, anxiety, carpal tunnel syndrome, upset stomach motion sickness and headaches. It can even be used for regulation of heart palpitations. This point is located three finger widths below the wrist on the inner forearm in the depression between the two tendons. After you find the spot apply pressure for 4-5 seconds. Scientific studies have shown that stimulation of nei guan alleviates nausea and vomiting in pregnancy and helps prevent post operative nausea and vomiting.
Zhong Zhu (TE3)
This point is known to ease temporal headaches, shoulder and neck tension, and upper body pain if stimulated. This point is in the groove formed by the tendons of the 4th 5th fingers behind the knuckles. Once located, apply strong pressure into the depression and massage for 4 -5 seconds.
San Yin Jiao (SP6)
This point is stimulated for urological and pelvic disorders as well as fatigue, insomnia, and menstrual cramps. This point can be found on the inner side of the leg and is located four finger spaces above the ankle in the depression under the tibial bone. This point is very beneficial for the ladies because studies have shown that it is effective in alleviating menstrual pain.
Zu San Li (ST36)
This point is effective in lessening gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea and vomiting, stress, and fatigue. It is located four finger widths down from the bottom of your kneecap along the outer boundary of your shin bone. If you’re in the right place a muscle should pop out as you move your foot up and down. In traditional Chinese literature stimulating this point can promote health and longevity
Yin Tang (EX)
This is the third eye point and is located right between the two brows. This acupressure point is good for calming your mind, improving memory, relieving stress, chronic fatigue, headaches, eye strain, insomnia as well as anxiety and agitation. Because of the location of the Yin Tang, it can be an effective point to treat a frontal headache. Yin Tang also benefits the nose and is often used to treat nasal and sinus congestion as well as nose bleeds. To stimulate it use your finger to gently press on it for a few seconds to one minute and then release repeat several times a week.
Shan Zhong (REN-17)
Also known as the sea of tranquility, this point is very beneficial for restoring emotional health, it calms and relieves anxiety, nervousness, depression, hysteria, and other emotional imbalances, it also helps boost the immune system. This point is located at the center of the breastbone, four finger widths from the end of the bone. Apply pressure to stimulate it and you should feel much calmer and at peace.
So those are 10 acupressure points to help you with your common illnesses and pain. Keep in mind that some of these points can potentially induce labor so if your pregnant use caution.
As a retired registered massage therapist, I’ve always been interested in health. I grew up loving sports so that carried into my adult life in my chosen career paths and in my personal life. I now stay active with weight training, hiking and biking. My professional life has always been in health care. This has inspired me to seek out and adopt a life of natural health and wellness.