4. Headaches: Joining the Valley
From the image above, you can see why this technique has its name – joining the valley, or in Chinese – Hegu.
Joining the Valley (LI 4) is a popular technique for getting rid of headaches, back and shoulder pain, and helping with arthritis. It has a nickname in the West ‘The Dentist’s point because it can effectively stop tooth pain. It has a clear connection to the body’s immune system and can act as a decongestant, to clear a stuffy nose and help eliminate colds and flu. It is also useful in aiding bowel movements, and therefore can be useful to tackle constipation.
To find ‘the Great Eliminator’ (the pressure point responsible for all the benefits just mentioned), massage the fleshy area between your thumb and finger at the highest point of muscle when thumb and finger are brought close together. To find it on another person, you can hold their hand with your opposite hand. If you hold your partner’s thumb against the hand and look for the crease in the mound, and then press slowly into the crease.
Applying moderate pressure, and massaging each of these points on both hands for several minutes should help relieve any pain that you’re feeling. Make sure that you are pressing into the bone of the hand, pressing the tip of your thumb along the bone. You can increase its effectiveness by taking slow, deep breaths whilst holding these points.
The acupressure points are to be pressed with moderate pressure for a few seconds up to a couple of minutes and then released. For best results, take slow, deep breaths as you hold the acupressure points.
Warning: This is one of the acupressure points you should not press during pregnancy.