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My Most Recommended Acupressure Points for Pain & Range of Motion, Nausea, Headaches, & Dysmenorrhea
I’ve been wanting to write this article for ages, as I so frequently have sent emails and texts to patients telling them which spots to press for various ailments. many of these points work remarkable well for acute strains, and pains, and are a fantastic thing to have in your internal medicine cabinet of knowledge. If you do not find them effective, its possible that the pattern of your condition doesn’t quite match the effect of the point, the method is incorrect, or it’s a more complicated case than is likely to be resolved by this method alone. Be encourages to use these points on yourself or a loved one. It’s usually more effective when someone else does it for you. Feel free to schedule an appointment or a free consult, where I will be happy to make sure you’re doing it right and help you trouble shoot! Let’s get started!
#1 Yao tong xue Yao, lumbar; tong, pain; xue, point. Effective for acute lumbar strain.
On the dorsum of the hand, between the second and third metacarpal bones, and between the fourth and fifth metacarpal bones, at the midpoint between the transverse crease of the wrist and the metacarpophalangeal joint
Direction Select the points on the opposite side of the strain The points should feel tender. You can cross compare with the opposite side. If the strain is bilateral you may use both sides. Squeeze and rub the most tender points in this area while exploring the outskirts of your safe range of motion. Do this for a few minutes. You should notice that your comfortable range of motion increases. Keep you back warm and avoid exposure to wind and cold.
Note I’ve seen cases where someone with a guarded injury and tight muscles surrounding it found the tension relief in their back made their injury more vulnerable. do exercise cautionand get in touch if you have any questions.
#2 Luozhen the name means fell off the pillow For acute neck strain, sprain, whiplash Location On the dorsum of the hand, between the second and third metacarpal bones, proximal to the second and third metacarpophalangeal joints Directions Select the point on the opposite side of the strain This point should feel tender. You can cross compare with the opposite side. If the strain is bilateral you may use both, or use whichever side is more tender Squeeze and rub the most tender point in this area while exploring the outskirts of your safe range of motion. Do this for a few minutes. You should notice that your comfortable range of motion increases. Keep you neck warm and avoid exposure to wind and cold, wear a scarf if going out. Location
On the dorsum of the hand, midway between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones, approximately in the middle of the 2nd metacarpal bone on the radial side.
#3 Hegu (LI 4 合谷) Hegu is the main point sedating pain, particularly in issues of the head face and teeth. I frequently recommend this point be stimulated for headache, particularly of the forehead.
*Note* this point is contraindicated during pregnancy, as it stimulates uterine contracions* There are many causes of headache, some this point will be effective for and some not. For assitance in pattern differentiation, feel free to get in touch. Directions You can stimulate them for a few minutes massaging the points on each side, or stimulate until the headache is alleviated. Make sure to stay hydrated while you’re at it.
#4 Shousanli (LI10, 手三里) For anterior shoulder pain
2/12th’s below end of elbow crease(Quchi LI11), on the line connecting end of elbow crease to anatomical snuffbox(Yangxi LI5) Story + Directions My mother learned of this method in acupressure school and referred to this point as shoulder release point. I find it very helpful. Use the same side as the shoulder pain. This point should be very tender, and actually has martial arts applications as a pressure point. Massage the tension in this point out. Afterward check on your shoulders comfortable range. Mobility exercises will be essential to fully benefiting the shoulder for true frozen shoulder, I highly recommend distal and local acupuncture for freeing it up. To the shoulder itself, outside of acute inflammation due to recent injury, I would generally advise against ice, and recommend a warm compress.
#5 Neiguan (PC6,内关) A main point for stopping nausea vomiting hiccup and reflux
3 finger breadths proximal to the transverse crease of the wrist, between the most prominant tendons if you press your palm forward (tendons of m.palmaris longus and m.flexor carpi radialis) Story This point is one of the most widely applied acupressure points in the west as an antinauseant. Most drug stores you go to will carry motion sickness wrist bands for about $5 which is basically a bead on the underside of a tight wrist band, designed to passively or actively stimulate this point. In acupuncture the point has many applications. I find it most effective for what we call stomach qi reversal, which manifests as: nausea, heartburn, vomiting, morning sickness, etc. During my wife’s pregnancy these wrist bands were a necessity. Directions You can stimulate them for a few minutes massaging the points on each side, or get the wrist bands and wear them while stimulating the points as needed. I do sell these wrist bands at the clinic and you can pick some up at your next appointment!
#6 Diji (SP8, 地机) for Dysmenorrhea Diji is the Xi-Cleft Point of the spleen. Generally points in this classification are either good for stopping bleeding, or stopping acute pain. In Diji’s case, it’s very helpful for painful menstrual cramps. with acupressure it often helps to take a bit, but not all of the edge off. Whenever I’m treating dysmenorrhea in the clinic, Diji is one of the primary points.
3 cun below the medial condyle of the tibia. To locate this point, feel for the boney protuberance just under the medial knee, using your hand as a measure the point is about 4 finger breadths below this.
Directions Feel around for the most tender area and massage it for a few minutes on each side. As always, keep your belly warm, and enjoy some warming tea. We usually use ginger & cinnamon, tea with red date or a little brown sugar.