5 Must-Know Acupressure Points
Acupressure is an alternative medicine technique that originates from China. It involves applying pressure or massaging hundreds of “acupoints” along the body’s “Meridians” (energy flow channels) to restore health and balance yin and yang energy. Some believe that in addition to the physical benefits it may provide, it can also help treat mental, spiritual, and emotional issues. Here are a few of the most common acupressure points to get acquainted with. It’s worth noting that if you are pregnant, you must consult with a doctor before using any type of acupressure.
BL-1 (Bladder 1) or Jingming (Bright Eyes)
As the first point in the Bladder meridian and a meeting point between the Small Intestine, Stomach, Gall Bladder and Triple Heater meridians, this point helps turn your gaze inward. Traditionally it is used to help physical eye problems, such as tired eyes, pain, redness, itching, and bad vision, but the highly energetic location can also be used to enable clear spiritual vision. Reap its benefits by gently massaging both points with your middle fingers for ten seconds while breathing deeply.
P6 (Pericardium 6), or Nei Guan (Inner Gate)
This powerful and popular point can soothe anxiety, calm the mind, treat carpal tunnel, and promote deep sleep, but is most famous for relieving nausea. The next time you feel sick to your stomach try gently massaging the Inner Gate located between the two tendons in the inner forearm. In case you are having trouble locating it, note that some people have just one of these tendons.
SP6 (Spleen 6), or San Yin Jiao (Three Yin Meeting)
The Three Yin Meeting gets its name from being located at the intersection of the Spleen, Kidney, and Liver meridians. As such, it is very versatile and can treat conditions associated with all of the organs. It primarily helps treat menstrual cramps, menstrual irregularity, and women’s health in general. On the other hand, it is also great for treating stress, anxiety, and insomnia. You can find this acupoint above the tip of the inner ankle bone. Activate it by rubbing the area while taking ten long and slow breaths, then switching to the other side.
HT-1 (Heart 1), or Ji Quan (Supreme Spring)
The Supreme Spring is located at the center of the armpit along the Heart meridian. It can help heal heart and chest ailments, such as congestion, breathing problems, hemiplegia, apoplexy, and distention, and can even help provide balance to all of the body’s organs. Besides its physical benefits, it is believed to help relieve sadness, reduce anxiety, and strengthen your spiritual connection to the universe. This is because it has a connection to the “supreme controller,” aka the “emperor within us.” To receive its benefits, breathe deeply while massaging each point using the thumbs.
LI-4 (Large Intestine 4) or He Gu (Joining Valley)
This point strongly increases the flow of Qi (vital energy) through all meridians, especially the Large Intestine - hence it is helpful for detoxification and treating pain all over the body. In fact, this point is one of the most effective points for relieving pain symptoms in the head, face, and neck. Its detoxifying properties help with constipation, diarrhea, and even hangovers. Joining Valley is located on the fleshy web of the hand, right past where the bones of the thumb and finger meet. The next time you get a headache, massage this point in a circular motion for several minutes with gentle to moderate pressure, alternating hands every ten seconds.