10 Acupressure Points for Pain Relief That Will Upgrade Your QOL

6. Stomach Problems: Leg Three Miles The Leg Three Miles (ST 36), or Zusanli by its Chinese name, is an acupressure point commonly used to improve… Tayana - September 22, 2017

6. Stomach Problems: Leg Three Miles

The Leg Three Miles (ST 36), or Zusanli by its Chinese name, is an acupressure point commonly used to improve digestive disorders including indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. It has also been shown to strengthen the body, fight fatigue and boost the immune system. It got its name for its use by ancient Chinese soldiers to enable them to go the extra three miles in their marches, even at the point of exhaustion, due to their increased strength and elimination of fatigue.

The Leg Three Miles Point lies on the stomach meridian, and modern studies have shown that the continued stimulation of ST 36 shows marked changes in the areas of the brain related to gastric function. It is often used to address poor digestion in children and adults.

ST 36 is located on the front of the leg, four fingers width below the kneecap, on the outside, in the indentation between the shinbone and the leg muscle. To find it, you can bend your leg and place your fingers below the knee cap. Begin with the index finger at the base of the knee cap, four fingers down where your little finger rests just outside your shin bone where you will find this pressure point. As with all pressure points, you will usually feel increased sensitivity at the correct point, which is how you know you are in the right place.

When you have found the correct spot – use a finger nail or thumb nail to apply moderate to deep pressure for a few seconds. Apply moderate to deep pressure on this point for a few seconds daily. You can press this point on both legs at the same time.

7. Menstrual Pain: Sacral Points

This is not one, but four separate, but equally important, points all located on the sacrum, which is at the base of your spine directly above your tailbone.

The sacral points lie on the bladder meridian, and are called bladder (B)31,32,33,34. Targeting these points has been shown to be very effective for relaxing the uterus, and relieving menstrual cramps. Their positioning on the bladder meridian also means that, like the commanding middle point, they can also be effective at reducing sciatica and lower back pain. Their activation can help release Qi in the bladder meridian.

To find the sacral points, you need to feel the center of the sacrum. This is at the base of your spine directly above your tailbone. To do this, you can lie on your back with your hands under the base of your spine. If you apply light pressure on either side, you will feel little dips – these are the holes in the sacrum and the pressure points. Take your time and you should be able to feel four dips – to either side of the sacrum.

Apply firm pressure with one hand placed on top of the other to the sacrum points. You should concentrate on one side at a time – pressing both pressure points on the left or right, to begin with. Slowly increase the pressure and add a small amount of movement, combined with periods of stillness. If you are performing acupressure on another person make sure that you ask them if the pressure is comfortable for them as you go along. To encourage the movement of energy, you can gently press down on the back of the legs when you have finished applying pressure.

Note: You should not use the sacral points during pregnancy.

8. Quit Smoking: Shen Men

There are many techniques and therapies that claim to help people to quit smoking – from hypnotherapy to laser therapy and beyond. Acupressure and acupuncture have been proven to be successful in ending various types of addiction, including smoking.

One of the main focus points when tackling addiction through acupressure is the Shen Men point, or in Chinese ‘Gate to Heaven’. It is a master point, which means it is located on the upper half of the ear, above the apex of the triangular fossa. It is especially effective when used alongside other pressure points.

The Shen Men point has been shown to be effective not only in quitting smoking but also in helping to relieve stress, anxiety, depression, inflammatory diseases and insomnia. When tackling addition, it is best to use acupressure as a complementary therapy alongside the substance abuse treatment plan recommended by a medical professional.

To activate the Shen Men point, place your index finger on the point, and your thumb behind the ear on the same point. Apply firm pressure and massage this point for several minutes. As with all acupressure techniques, breathing deeply whilst applying pressure will help your body relax and increase the benefit. You can also use a q-tip to apply direct pressure to the exact pressure point. Doing this several times a day can have a significant impact on tackling addictions including smoking. It is recommended to do this shortly before going to sleep for maximum relaxation.

For best results, you should use it in conjunction with other points such as Broken sequence, sympathetic autonomic point and Tim Mee.

9. Insomnia and Stress: Heavenly Pillar

Stiff necks and eye strain are very common complaints in the modern day – with most of us spending hours looking down at our computers or phone screens.

The heavenly pillar acupressure points, or Tianzhu by their Chinese name, have been shown to be excellent for relieving eye strain and neck pain, as well as reducing stress, anxiety, exhaustion, and insomnia. It can also help with persistent skin problems such as acne.

Much upper neck pain is a result of the atlas (the first cervical vertebrae) being out of alignment or lacking movement – targeting the heavenly pillar helps to realign the vertebrae, and release trapped energy. Once again, the heavenly pillar pressure points lie on the bladder meridian – the longest meridian in the body with the most amount of points on its path. The bladder meridian is also a yang meridian which means it has to be paired with a ying meridian – the kidney meridian. Within the twelve meridians, there are two types of meridian a ying meridian and yang meridian which must always be paired.

The heavenly pillar points are a pair of pressure points located one finger-width below the base of the skull on each side. They can be found on the prominent neck muscles located half an inch out from the spine. Pressing these acupressure points for several minutes daily for several weeks can help relieve stress and tension, particularly in the back of the neck. As with any of the acupressure points – if you are performing them on another person – ensure that you are checking whether the level of pressure is comfortable. Pressure should always be gentle to firm but should never cause discomfort.

10. Improving Concentration: Bigger Rushing

Improving our concentration is something that many of us strive for in today’s fast-paced world where it can seem like we have a million tasks to do at any one time. One particular pressure point has been found to help with concentration and memory.

Bigger Rushing (LV 3) is an acupressure point, which lies on the liver meridian. It is located on the top of the foot, where the bones of the big toe and the second toe meet. It is thought to be a good pressure point for improving concentration and memory by encouraging clarity and focus. It also helps to relieve headaches, fight fatigue, soothe tired eyes, reduce hangovers, prevent allergies, and boost the immune system as it keeps the body’s energy flowing smoothly.

Press it gently but firmly with your fingertip for a couple of minutes, and then release. As with all acupressure techniques, take long, deep breaths as you are doing so to feel the maximum benefit.

Do this 2 or 3 times a day for several weeks to start seeing results. This can be particularly good to do in times where concentration is vital such as during exam periods or busy periods at work. By promoting clarity, it helps us to make decisions in a calm and rational way with a more focused approach.

General Warning:

Acupressure is generally considered safe, however, there are some pressure points which may not be safe for some people i.e if you are pregnant, suffering from arthritis, heart disease, cancer or other chronic conditions. If you have an existing medical condition please consult a medical professional before receiving acupressure treatments. Avoid applying pressure to points on a full or empty stomach. Broken and healing skin should also be avoided.

The science behind acupressure has been disputed by Western medicine, with most practitioners attributing any benefit to the release of muscle tension, a release of endorphins, and improved circulation. However, various studies have found that as an alternative therapy it can be very beneficial for relieving specific aches and pains.