Acupressure is a holistic natural and preventive way of healing that has been of immense value in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for more than 2000 years. Let us learn 12 essential acupressure points for self healing which are safe to practice.
Let us first understand the science behind acupressure. It is based on the concept of life force energy “Qi” or Prana which flows throughout the body, through the “meridians” or Nadis in the body. It is replenished from the air we breathe and the food we eat. There are 12 Primary Meridians and 500 odd acupressure points along those meridians throughout the human body. These points can be stimulated with needles as you may have heard in acupuncture practice, or massage pressure, or suction using cupping therapy. The “Qi” is either deficient or in excess or gets blocked that causes imbalance in the Yin and Yang energy system and can cause illness and pain. As mentioned earlier its preventive medicine can heal at mind, body subtle level before it becomes a full on disease.
Yin and Yang are two complementary forces that make up all aspects of life. Yin is considered as a female principle, receptive while the Yang is considered as the masculine principle, active and positive. Yin and Yang are interdependent upon each other, one requires the other to be complete. Yang is the sympathetic nervous system responsible for fight and flight while the Yin represents the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for rest and digest . Both systems need to be in balance for a strong and healthy life.
Acupressure treatment is all about applying pressure to a selection of points to clear blockages in the meridian system to bring about relief by rebalancing yin, yang and qi (chi) bringing the body to a more natural state of balance. Pressure may be applied by hand, by elbow, or with various devices.
By learning Acupressure technique for self healing, you can promote the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body, called endorphins. bring relief to fatigue, muscle or joint pain, alleviate mental stress, emotional imbalances, enhance immunity, blood circulation, detoxify the body for greater health and more.
Please note if you are pregnant or have a serious medical condition please consult your doctor or registered Acupressure specialist for advice.
Here are 12 proven safe essential Acupressure points for self healing:
- Heavenly Pillar -Gallbladder 20 – GB20:
Top of the neck, half inch below the base of the skull , one and half inch away from the spine on both sides. Apply gentle pressure with your index and middle fingers on these pressure points and massage them in circular movements for 10 seconds. This pressure point is used to treat neck pain, headaches, dizziness or blurred vision.
- Shoulder Well – Gall Bladder 21- GB21
This point is located at the Shoulder muscle halfway between the point of your shoulder and the base of your neck. Apply gentle, firm pressure with your index finger and massage the point for four to five seconds. Not recommended for pregnant women. Stimulating this point helps in relieving stress and tension and unhindered flow of energy.
- Third Eye Point:
This point is located right between your eyebrows; This pressure point stimulates the pituitary gland. Place your index finger and massage this area by pressing slightly for at least 60 seconds It helps relieves insomnia, restlessness, fear or anger,
- Union Valley- Large Intestine 4- LI4
This point is located in the webbing between the thumb and the index finger. Apply pressure for three minutes and take deep breaths while applying pressure. Not recommended for pregnant women. Stimulating this point helps in reducing muscle tension and relieving stress.
- Shu Mansion – Kidney 27 -KI27:
This point is located just below the collar bone on both sides. Spend 20-30 on each point to stimulate the point. This helps in regulating the functions of the kidney, detoxifies and flushes out toxins. Alleviates upper respiratory infections, relieves nasal congestion, breathing issues, cough, asthma, anxiety and depression.
- Central Treasury– Lung 1- LU1
This point is located in the upper chest, under the clavicle. Massage both sides with the middle finger for 10 seconds, breathing deeply. Stimulating this point helps in beep breathing, increasing blood flow and balancing the emotions, relieving grief.
- Inner Gate:
This point is located on the palm side of the hand, three finger widths above the wrist crease, in the middle of the arm. Apply pressure for about a minute or two. Stimulating this point on both arms alternately helps in regulating stomach, heart and liver qi. It also helps in relieving persistent coughs, chest congestion, cardiac pain, anxiety, dizziness, irritability and asthma.
- Spirit Gate -Heart 7 -H7
You can locate it on the wrist, just on the outside of a small bone that is in line with the little finger. Apply pressure for about a minute or two. Calms the mind and relieves worry and anxiety. Helps you sleep better and relieves heart palpitation or tightness.
- Three Mile Point– Stomach36 -ST36
Another great point to remember. Three mile point is located four finger widths down from the bottom of your knee cap. Ancient Chinese doctors believed that stimulating this point could treat all diseases. It is called “three mile point” because Chinese foot soldiers used to stop every three miles and massage ST36 point for renewed energy to walk another 3 miles. It is the master point for Digestive disorders. This point helps improve digestion, relieve gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, PMS, depression, nervousness, insomnia. Apply pressure for 10 seconds while breathing deeply.
- Three Yin Crossing – Spleen 6- SP6:
Three Yin crossing is a point where the Spleen, Kidney and Liver meridians intersect and is a very powerful point. It can treat many conditions associated with all three organs.This point is located four finger-widths above the inner ankle bone along the back of the tibia. Not recommended for pregnant women. Stimulating this point on both the legs alternately helps in proper flow of energy and blood throughout the body. It also helps in reducing knee pain, lower back pain, treating gynecological problems like PMS, painful or irregular menstruation, insomnia, dizziness and helps in stress reduction. Massage for 4-5 seconds.
11. Ankle Point – KD3
This point is located just above the heel on the inside of the foot, finding the deep hollow between the ankle bone and the Achilles tendon. Massage for four to five seconds. Not recommended for pregnant women. Acupressure on these points improves sleep quality and lowers
12. Great Surge Point – Liver 3 – LV3
This point is located two fingers below the webbing between the big and the second toe in the hollow just above the bone. Applying pressure on this point helps in unblocking the choked meridians and maintaining smooth flow of energy through the meridians. It relieves anger, irritability and calms you down. Detoxifies and cleanses the liver. Help reduce anxiety and stress, pain, insomnia, and menstrual cramps. Massage for four to five seconds.
Tools for acupressure you can buy:
The foot roller is a wooden carved object with spikes on the surface that is meant to stimulate the thousands of nerve endings in the feet, that’s connected to the body’s internal organs, making it a powerful tool used in reflexology for healing benefits.
Acupressure Finger massager kits includes : 1 finger massager, 1 wooden jimmy, 1 k-roll ,2 sujok thumb pad, 2 sujok rings, 2 sujok power ball. Acupressure spikes will stimulate nerve endings on each finger while massaging the meridian points.Massage for total of 5-10 minutes on a daily basis.
Deep tissue Massage tool: Helps you apply the perfect amount of pressure with minimal effort to get a deep trigger point massage, Calm painful muscle knots and aches in your back, neck, shoulders, and more with a few easy moves. Effective pressure point therapy eases tension headaches and sore muscles & helps athletes recover.
If you like to read more on Acupressure, I can highly recommend the below book Acupressure Potent Point for Self care by Michael Reed Gach, founder and director of the Acupressure Institute of America.
Hope you found the 12 essential acupressure points for self healing useful. You can also watch it on YouTube channel TLVTalks below: