Acupressure has long been used to boost energy, reduce stress, and cure health ailments. Since the practice works with the body’s natural energy system and doesn’t require any special tools, it can be enjoyed by anyone who has a basic understanding of the ancient practice.
In our last blog post, we talked about the theory and principles that guide acupressure. Today, we’re going to continue exploring how it works, as well as talk about the specific benefits of various points.
Within each person exists a vast network of energy pathways that are constantly circulating Qi throughout the body. We call these pathways Meridians, and each has an important role for health and vitality.
Along each meridian are a series of acupressure points. Acupressure points are places at which energy can be activated within the meridian to cause a healing effect in a different part of the body.
To conceptualize meridians and acupressure points, it can be helpful to think about the electricity system within your home. More than likely, your house contains electric wires that connect to the various utilities that you use daily. Your refrigerator, dishwasher, and lights are a few of the features in your home that require electricity to function.
Your meridians are like the wires that bring electricity to your home’s utilities. Acupressure points are like the light switches and power buttons that “turn on” the various devices within your house.
Even when your home’s electrical system is perfectly set up, to use its power, you still need to activate the right controls. Similarly, your acupressure points often need a little activation to channel energy to various parts of your body. By doing so, it’s possible to heal many ailments simply and effectively.
Specific Acupressure Points
Here are a few specific acupressure points you can use for everyday ailments that you might experience.
Large Intestine 4: Large Intestine 4 is an acupressure point located in the webbing between your thumb and first finger (pointer finger). It is most commonly used for reducing headaches.
If you rub that point, it naturally and quickly balances the body’s internal energy by bringing Qi down from the head where it may have accumulated. Doing so helps to clear the mind and reduce pain.
Lee suggests rubbing that point on each hand in a circular motion. After doing so for a few moments on both sides, try to knock that point with the opposite hand to activate the energy.
Master Point of the Upper Back and Neck: This next point is located on the outer edge of the pinky finger right above the knuckle. It’s great for relieving pain and improving vitality in the upper back and neck region of the body.
Take your index finger of the opposite hand and rub that point in a circular direction. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, it’s also good for reducing shoulder tension and any tightness that might be present. After a few moments, tap those points on the right and left hands together.
Lung 1 and 2: Touch your collarbone with your fingers and work your way toward your shoulder until you find the pocket between your collarbone and shoulder.
Starting on one side, rub the area firmly with a couple of fingers in a circular motion. After a few moments, switch sides and do the same thing. These points are excellent for emotional balance and boosting the immune system. This practice can be done sitting, standing, or even laying down.
After massaging each of the points, tap each of them lightly with your opposite fist while you take a couple of deep breaths. As you do this, you’ll feel these lungs activate with Qi.
Ren Meridian: Next, put the back of your fingers together so that your hands are touching and the tips of your fingers are pointing toward your chest. Then, bring them to the middle of your chest so they’re touching your sternum. Press your fingers into your body and massage your sternum in a circular motion.
You are now touching your Ren Meridian, which is also known as the Sea of Yin. Yin is the energy of relaxation and turning inward. Massaging this point can help you to let go of stress, find flow with the world around you, and become comfortable with yourself. It’s well known that stress causes many health ailments, so working with this point can help you to stay healthy and well.
After a few moments, start to tap your fists lightly on your chest to further activate the Qi in your Ren Meridian.
Stomach 36: Next, we move to the legs. To prepare for this next meridian point, it can be helpful to tap your lower back, down the outside of your legs, and then up the inside of your legs. This activates your energy throughout the meridians in your legs and back.
Stomach 36 is located slightly below the kneecap on the outside of your leg. A simple way to find it is to hold four fingers (your pointer, middle finger, ring finger, and pinky) right below your kneecap, and then touch the point right below your fingers. Sometimes, it’s easiest to do this while you’re sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you.
Stomach 36 is known for increasing energy, strengthening the immune system, and improving digestion. It’s one of the most commonly used acupressure points in Chinese Medicine and is thought to increase longevity.
Like with the other points, use your hands to massage them gently as you continue to take deep breaths. After a few moments, bring your fingertips together so that each of your hands resembles little bird beaks. Then, tap each hand on its respective Stomach 36 acupressure point to stimulate the energy.
Spleen Meridian: When you’re done with Stomach 36, it’s time to move onto the Spean Meridian. Sitting on the ground, bring your feet together so that the bottoms of your feet are touching one another. Then, find the arch of each foot and start to massage it with your fingers.
These points are really helpful for digestion as well as hormone balance. After massaging the arch of your foot, start to bring your hands up your ankle until you’re a few inches above your ankle bone, also known as your medial malleolus. This point is Spean 6 and is another one that is great for hormone balance and sleep.
Liver 3: The liver meridian is right between your big toe and the toe right next to it. The point where the bones meet is called Liver 3. This point is powerful for overcoming headaches, clear thinking, and even reducing blood pressure. Often, working with this point is combined with Large Intestine 4. Massage this point on each foot for a few moments.
After working with acupressure points, it can be helpful to do some light tapping on your body and then transitioning into a relaxing meditation. By activating several acupressure points as we just did in this brief routine, you can enjoy the numerous health benefits that each point can bring.
If you enjoyed this exercise and want to learn more about acupressure theory and specific practices, we have a special online event taking place soon.
For another acupressure lesson directly from Lee, check out this brief video.
Pre-Recorded Acupressure Workshop
At Holden QiGong, we have a pre-recorded Acupressure Workshop to help students discover the wonderful healing benefits that the practice offers.
The workshop includes spoken lessons, Qi Gong routines, and acupressure practices to give participants a fully integrated experience. Since Qi Gong and acupressure are complementary practices, both are more powerful when they’re combined with the other.
Because this is a pre-recorded workshop, you can practice from the comfort of your own home.
Learning acupressure is like gaining access to your inner resources for health and healing. Whether you want to learn how to overcome headaches, digestive issues, insomnia, or emotional imbalances, acupressure can be a wonderful tool for personal empowerment. Click on the banner below to learn more learn acupressure for yourself.