By: Cybil Kendrick, L.Ac.,MSOM, C.SMA, RMT
Acupressure is a form of self massage that is used to stimulate acupuncture points and their effect on the systems of the body. By massaging acupuncture points you are stimulating the body’s ability to heal or self regulate certain systems. In this time of physical distancing acupressure to yourself or your loved ones can help to relieve stress, support the immune system and benefit overall well being. To apply acupressure find a comfortable position where you can relax, locate the desired point and use deep, firm pressure to massage. There is no limit to how much or how often you can massage the points.
There are over 400 points on the body but here are a few points that are easy to access and very beneficial:
1. Yin Tang - at the midpoint between the ends of the eyebrows above the nose. This area is often ascribed to the “third eye” by many cultures. It is an effective point to calm the mind for insomnia & anxiety
2. Gall Bladder 21 (JianJing) - at the top of the upper trap usually the most tender spot to squeeze. This point is effective for moving Qi (energy) especially when under stress or frustrated, it is such a strong mover of Qi that it is contraindicated in pregnancy until the 40th week. It can help with cough and labored breathing.
3. Large Intestine 4 (HeGu) - on the dorsal aspect of the hand in the webbing between the thumb and index finger just under the mid point of the second metacarpal bone (bone in hand attached to the index finger). This point is a very strong Qi mover that can be helpful for one sided or whole head headaches, early stages of sickness to stimulate the defense Qi, and when combined with Liver 3 is effective for pain. This point is to be avoided during pregnancy until the 40th week.
4. Stomach 36 (ZuSanLi) - found 4 finger breadths below the knee cap and just off of the tibia in the muscle that moves when you flex your ankle. This point is big in size, energy and actions, it is used to support the Qi of the body in all aspects. It nourishes the blood and fluids of the body and is therefore a very important point in supporting all over health especially the immune system. It benefits all systems of the body, especially the digestive system.
5. Liver 3 (TaiChong) - on the dorsal aspect of the foot, in the hollow between the foot bone of the big toe and the second toe. Just up from the joint of the big toe as you are heading toward the ankle. Liver 3 is another all star point that is very effective point to move Qi and blood in the system which is often blocked with levels of high stress.
This is obviously a very brief list of options and actions for each point, please reach out to our acupuncturist, Cybil Kendrick at firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions.
Cybil Kendrick, L.Ac.,MSOM, C.SMA, RMT is a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.) with her masters in Oriental medicine (MSOM) and is certified in Sports Medicine Acupuncture® (C.SMA) and massage therapy (RMT).