The next time you have a headache, a stuffy nose, or insomnia, don’t fret! Try using your own hands to heal yourself with acupressure.
What is acupressure? Let’s start with an explanation of acupuncture, the 5000-year-old Chinese medical system that treats patients by inserting needles in the body at certain energy points to produce healing in the body. Acupressure follows the same principles as acupuncture, but you stimulate the energy points with your fingers instead of needles.
In my Traditional Chinese Medicine practice, I have seen many success stories with acupressure. Here is just one example: Recently, the 8-year-old daughter of one of my patients was suffering from a headache. I simply pressed the Valley of Harmony acupoint between her thumb and index finger, and the headache vanished within five minutes. Acupressure is that simple and accessible.
There are thousands of research articles on acupuncture and acupressure: The overall finding is that these healing techniques encourage self-regulation that leads to health and balance. Research has shown that acupuncture and acupressure exhibit effectiveness in treating a wide variety of conditions, including lower back pain, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, nausea, addiction, insomnia and diabetes – to name just a few.
Ready to try acupressure on yourself? Try these 3 points!
How to Get Started:
Make sure you have found the exact acupoint. They are only about 0.5 mm in diameter, so be as precise as possible. Use your index finger or a ballpoint pen (with the lid on) to press the point. If you are not feeling any sensation, try different spots close to the area until you feel a slight soreness. Keep your pressure moderate, and be patient: You may need to perform acupressure on the same point a few times a day over the course of several days to feel the results. Acupressure can sometimes be a gradual healing process. For best results, relax and breathe deeply during the acupressure.
Point 1: Sinus Support
For immediate relief of sinus allergies, use your own fingers to stimulate the acupressure point “Welcome Fragrance” (LI-20) on both sides of your nose, where your nose and cheek meet. Apply moderate pressure with both index fingers, one on each side of the nose. Hold for 3 minutes.
Point 2: Relax and Relieve Insomnia
“Gate of Spirit” (H-7) is the number-one point for emotional issues, especially excessive anxiety and worry. Stimulating this point calms the spirit and helps relieve insomnia. With your left hand palm-side up, find this acupoint at the end of your wrist crease, just below your little finger. Apply moderate pressure with your right thumb, holding for 5 minutes. Then repeat on your other hand.
Point 3: Alleviate Headaches and Pain
Commonly used in acupressure, “Valley of Harmony” (LI-4) is often used to bring relief from pain, and is considered good for the immune system. Mildly stimulating this point can strengthen and revitalize you. This point is helpful for cold and flu, cold hands and feet, constipation, eczema, headaches, menstrual disorders, sinus problems, sore throat, ulcers. Valley of Harmony is found in the center of the web – or the “V” – between your thumb and index finger on both hands. Apply steady pressure with your opposite thumb until you feel a slight soreness, and hold for 2 minutes. Repeat on your other hand. Do you feel a little more energized? I hope this point serves you well!