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.