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Acupressure for Beginners

Some of the most common acupressure points for treating everyday ailments like stress and chronic pain, and how to stimulate them.

What is Acupressure?

The role of acupressure has been paramount in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for more than 2000 years, and the fact that it is still in use today is a testimony to its effectiveness in the treatment of illness and pain. Acupressure is essentially a method of sending a signal to the body (by needle or other means) to “turn on” its own self-healing or regulatory mechanisms. Normally, Qi (vital energy) circulates through natural pathways in the body called meridians. Blockage of this flow or an imbalance in Yin and Yang can cause illness and pain. Acupressure helps to correct functional imbalances and restore the flow thus returning the body to a more natural state of well-being.

Acupressure is an effective form of stimulation used to help relax the muscles. If done regularly, this method of self-massage can sustain improvement and minimize recurrence of symptoms. Be patient and consistent when practicing acupressure on them. A simple way to stimulate these points is to press firmly with a finger in a rotary movement or an up-and-down movement for several minutes at a time. It is recommended that you use this information under the guidance of your physician.

How to Administer Acupressure

  • Use deep, firm pressure to massage and stimulate each point.
  • When massaging acupoints, try to relax in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and breathe deeply.
  • Repeat the massage as often as you like; there is no limit to the number of times a day.
  • Besides massaging these points on yourself, anyone can also help massage these points for you.


What Are Some of Common Acupressure Points to Learn?

Here is a list of eight commonly used acupressure points. Click the name to learn when to use each of the points and how to locate it.

Gallbladder 20 (GB20): Feng Chi 
This point is recommended for headache, migraine, eye blurriness or fatigue, low energy, and cold/flu symptoms. It is located by feeling the mastoid (ear) bone and following the groove back to where the neck muscles attach to the skull.

Gallbladder 21 (GB21): Jian Jing 
This point is located by pinching the shoulder muscle with your thumb and middle finger and is commonly used for stress, facial pain, headaches, toothaches and neck pain. Use with caution in pregnant women.

Large Intestine 4 (LI4): He Gu
This point is good for stress, headaches, toothaches, facial pain and neck pain. However, as a word of precaution, it can induce labor and must never be used during pregnancy.

Liver 3 (LV3): Tai Chong
You need to take off your shoe to find this point. This is an excellent area to stimulate for stress, low back pain, high blood pressure, limb pain, insomnia and emotional upset.

Pericardium 6 (P6): Nei Guan
This point can help provide relief for nausea, anxiety, carpal tunnel syndrome, upset stomach, motion sickness and headaches and is even used for regulation of heart palpitations.

Triple Energizer 3: Zhong Zhu
This point is located in the groove formed by the tendons of the 4th and 5th finger, behind the knuckles and is commonly used in the clinic for temporal headaches, shoulder and neck tension, and upper back pain.

Spleen 6 (SP6): San Yin Jiao
This point can be very helpful for many urological and pelvic disorders as well as fatigue and insomnia. Avoid during pregnancy.

Stomach36 (ST36): Zu San Li 
You can find this point useful for fatigue and depression as well as knee pain and gastrointestinal discomfort. Asians frequently stimulate this point for health promotion and longevity.


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