In Traditional Chinese Medicine, stimulating acupressure points, or acupoints, can clear blockages, correct imbalances of Yin and Yang energy and promote self-healing of the body. Further benefits of acupressure range from relaxation to removing toxins to improving certain chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Many acupoints are easy to locate and remember, and basic techniques only involve applying pressure by pressing or kneading. With this do-it-yourself guide, you can learn how to relieve many types of discomfort and have more control over your well being.
Yin Tang 印堂
Location: Between the two tips of the eyebrows
• Clears head and brightens eyes, relieves nasal congestion
• Invigorates the brain and has calming effects (improves quality of sleep)
• Dispels wind, frees up congestion of the meridian and relieves pain
• Good for relieving headaches, dizziness and all types of forehead heatiness
• Good for nasal diseases: rhinitis, nasosinusitis, nosebleed
• Good for optical diseases: sore eyes, dizzy vision
• Good for the neurological system: helps alleviate insomnia, facial palsy, trigeminal neuralgia, neurasthenia, dementia, amnesia and forgetfulness
• Good for hypertension
• Press and knead on the Yin Tang acupoint using the fleshy part of either middle finger for 2- 3 minutes. Then using your thumb and index finger, lightly pinch this acupoint for about 1 minute.
• This massage can be done 3 times a day or whenever needed.
Ying Xiang 迎香
Location: Beside the midpoint of nosewing
• Drains lung fire
• Dispels wind and relieves congestion
• Regulates Qi and relieves pain
• Improves local blood circulation
• Good for deviated eyes and mouth, facial edema (puffy face), swollen lips, headache and sore eyes caused by heatiness, tearing on exposure to wind, boils on head or face, chronic conjunctivitis
• Good for nasal ailments: prevents nasal ailments, blocked nose, nosebleed, acute and chronic rhinitis, hyposmia (gradual loss of smell), nasal polyp, upper respiratory infection, gasping/wheezing
• Helps relieve constipation
• Using the tips of both index fingers, press on the Ying Xiang acupoint, about 1 minute each time. Then in an upwards – downwards direction, follow the outline of your laugh lines and the sides of the nose using both thumbs.
• This massage can be done 2 – 3 times per day or whenever needed, about 1 minute each time. Drink warm water after each massage.
Qiao Gong 桥弓
Location: Along the longitudinal muscle from below the ear to the collarbone
Benefits: Located near the carotid sinus, hence it is said to regulate blood pressure. Stimulating this area helps to slow down the heart rate and lower blood pressure.
• Press your thumb on the Yi Feng acupoint, which is behind the ear, pushing and pressing towards the indentation above the clavicle for 100 times. Push the left side before the right side. Do not push both sides at the same time.
• You should have the feeling of hardness and swelling. The style of massage should be soft and uniform.
Nei Guan 内关
Location: In the middle of the wrist, about two finger widths below the palm.
• Improves cardiac functions; prevents cardiovascular diseases such as angina, stuffy chest, palpitations
• Suppresses secretion of gastric acid, promote gastric motility, may prevent digestion disorders such as stomachache, nausea, vomiting, hiccup, bloating
• Calms the mind and promotes better quality of rest at night. Good for preventing depression and mental disorder
• Ensures smooth flow of Qi in chest, good for relieving pain when breathing
• Prevents stroke
• Regulates blood cholesterol
• Use your left thumb to press on the right Nei Guan acupoint, with the thumbnail placed laterally to the two tendons, press 20 times. Then, knead in circular motion for 2 minutes. Repeat with the right thumb in the left Nei Guan acupoint, 2 times daily.
• You can also wear a wristband with a bump that will press into Nei Guan acupoint when positioned properly. You should feel soreness, numbness or expanded stimulated feeling towards the middle finger or to the elbow when stimulating the Nei Guan acupoint.
Zu San Li 足三里
Location: On the outer calf, about four finger widths under the knee bone.
• Improves body resistance. Enhances immunological functions of the body and can keep illness at bay
• Strengthens the digestive system, alleviates stomachaches, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion and other gastrointestinal disorders or discomfort
• Helps in leg numbness/pain, difficulty in leg movement
Press with thumb/tap with object until soreness and numbness is felt. Do this massage for 5 minutes a day.
He Gu 合谷
Location: At the intersecting point between the thumb and index finger
• Relieves headaches, and other problems in the neck and head region related to teeth, nose, ears and eyes
• It is known for its dual direction of regulation. He Gu regulates the Qi of the stomach and intestines, thus promoting bowel movement and inhibiting diarrhea
• Press and release 30 times per minute for each side. You should press the He Gu acupoint until soreness or numbness is felt.
• For constipation: press and knead for 3 minutes, then rub the stomach in a clockwise direction.
• Strong stimulation is not suitable for weak people. Not recommended for pregnant women.