Do you sometimes get a headache, a toothache or a tummy ache and need a quick fix to make the pain go away? What if I told you that you could use Acupressure to give yourself a quick pain-relief top-up in between Acupuncture sessions?
ACUPRESSURE is an easy technique where you give yourself a brief massage using Acupuncture points. It works the same way as Acupuncture does by accessing our nervous system. It may feel a bit deep and intense but with a few well-chosen points you should feel the effects almost immediately. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a headache, your feeling stressed or you’ve got something silly like the hiccoughs (I always feel silly when I get the hiccoughs) you can give yourself a mini-treatment and before long you’ll be right as rain again.
HOW TO ACUPRESSURE
Pick your point, for example LI-4 for a toothache.
Use a finger (thumb or index work best) to press into the point. This should feel sore and a bit unpleasant.
Hold the pressure on for 60 seconds.
Repeat on the other side.
FOR TUMMY ACHES
| ST-25 | TIANSHU | HEAVEN’S PIVOT |
This particularly point is may be located on the abdomen but it’s actually the meeting area of Yin and Yang in the body. Cool, eh? Basically this location is a place of balance where the Upper and Lower parts of the body meet and the Yin and Yang mingle and transform. They don’t call it Heaven’s Pivot for nothing! Just to make this point a little bit cooler, it’s also located over a reflex area for the Large Intestine, meaning that it helps to move or let go of things that are a bit stuck in your belly or your brain. Have you ever found that you’re a bit twisted or circular in your thought patterns and then realised that you may also be constipated? This is the point for you! It also works wonders is you’re feeling a bit bloated or things in your tummy aren’t moving the way you’d like them to.
HOW TO FIND IT
Find your belly button and use your index finger to measure out two knuckles. Press straight in to your belly muscles and feel your intestines start to move around!
| CV-17 | SHAN ZHONG | CHEST CENTRE |
This point is known as the ‘Chest Centre’ as it sits smack-bang in the middle of your chest. This means that it helps to open your ribs and shoulders, soothe your Shen (mind) and strengthen your Heart. It also has several important connections to the Pericardium (the case of tissue that protects our Heart from damage), which joins it to the Heart and Lungs. All three of these organs have intense emotional connections. They deal with joy, grief and how we process our emotions, so this point is seen as the home of our emotional selves. CV-17 literally unbinds your chest - it reaches into those emotional meridians and gently unravels the Qi that might be stuck there, giving the point it’s extra name, ‘The Sea of Tranquility’. This is one of the easiest point to begin to learn Acupressure with - if you’re feeling stressed, if you’re dealing with emotional upset, feeling anxious or need to stop a panic attack before it escalates, press on this point.
HOW TO FIND IT
You just need to count down from the collarbone to the fourth rib and press into the middle of the sternum. It might feel a bit gunky or sore but try to breath in deeply into where you’re feeling those sensations and then breath those feelings out. Then begin to feel your chest unwind and open up.
| LI-4 | HEGU | JOINING VALLEY |
This is one of the most well known Acupuncture points - and for good reason! Even though it's on the index finger it's connected to your Large Intestine, but its neural connections go up to the head. How odd, eh? Your Large Intestine being located in your head is such a funny image and it's definitely something that completely confused me at Acupuncture school. Anywhoo. This point is good for pain - especially toothaches, which is perfect if you’re in dire need of a visit to the dentist.
HOW TO FIND IT
Grab the webbing between your thumb and index finger and press down hard. This is going to hurt, but I guarantee you the pain will go down within 30 seconds.
| M-HN-3 | YIN TANG | CELESTIAL PALACE |
Celestial Palace - that's got a certain je ne se quoi to it, doesn't it? You might feel like you get this point quite a lot during your monthly Acupuncture tune-up session. That's because it's a beauty. It sits right over your third eye and the pineal gland, which controls our sleep-wake cycles. That might just explain why we sleep so well after having it - the little acupuncture needle stimulates the pineal function allowing us to drift off promptly when we need to and wake up bright-eyed the next morning. From a TCM perspective, Yin Tang cracks open our mind, allowing us to integrate aspects of our daily life with our conscious and unconscious mind (which occurs during sleep) and also helps us to change our perceptions of the world and our experiences.
HOW TO FIND IT
Find the inside edges of your eyebrows and move your finger inwards until it is centred in between your eyebrows. Then move your finger up a 1/2cm and you’re at Yin Tang! Try massaging this spot with small circular motions if you’re having trouble sleeping at night.
| M-HN-1 | SI SHEN CONG | FOUR ALERT SPIRIT |
This point combination is known as the ‘Four Angels’, but I like to think of them as the ‘Four Guardian Angels’. These points gently work into your scalp to let out all the pent up steam that might be accumulating in your brainpan. They're fantastic if you’re feeling stressed, anxious or just a bit wound-up. I also think that they balance the left and right sides of the brain a bit too, helping you to integrate your physical Yang side with your emotional Yin side. Next time you're feeling stressed, just massage these points, lie back, feel the guardian angels gently giving you an internal Qi hug and relax!
HOW TO FIND IT
Find the highest point of your head by measuring from the top of your ears to the top of your head. These four points are roughly 1cm in front, behind and to the left and right of the highest point on the scalp. If you’re not quite sure which spot your looking for, just massage the whole area, making sure to pay extra attention to the spots that feel gummy or sore.
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PLEASE NOTE In saying all of this, its super important to listen to your body. What does it want? What is it telling you? Is it saying that you need something in particular? It’s really important to gather information to make the choices that are right for you and your body. This information isn’t personal medical advice – rather it’s a guideline on ways that could help you to live a healthier, happier lifestyle. It is always wise to consult with a qualified health practitioner before starting any new herbs, supplements or dietary and lifestyle programs.