Feng Chi (GB20) is recommended for headache, migraine, eye blurriness or fatigue, low energy, and cold/flu symptoms.

Feng Chi (GB20) is located by feeling for the mastoid (ear) bone and following the groove back to where the neck muscles attach to the skull. To use acupressure on this point, locate the point and use a deep, firm pressure towards skull to massage and stimulate the area for 4-5 seconds. Clasp your hands together then gently open your palms with your fingers interlocked to form a cup shape, using your thumbs to massage.

When applying acupressure, try to relax and breath deeply as you massage the area. The massage and the acupressure can be done by yourself, or by someone else who is there to assist you.

In the scientific literature, a review article stated that Feng Chi (GB20), in combination with other acupoints, was used to help manage migraines and yielded positive results [1]. Feng Chi (GB20) was also used in studies for dry eyes where it showed acupuncture improved signs and symptoms in dry-eye patients after 4-weeks of treatment [2].

References

  1. Zheng H, Chen M, Wu X, Li Y, Liang FR. Manage migraine with acupuncture: a review of acupuncture protocols in randomized controlled trials. Am J Chin Med. 2010;38(4):639-50.
  2. Shin MS, Kim JI, Lee MS, et al. Acupuncture for treating dry eye: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Acta Ophthalmol. 2010 Dec;88(8):e328-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.2010.02027.x. Epub 2010 Nov 10.
  3. Takayama S, Seki T, Nakazawa T, et al. N. Short-term effects of acupuncture on open-angle glaucoma in retrobulbar circulation: additional therapy to standard medication. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:157090. Epub 2011 Mar 7. PubMed PMID: 21437193

Today, He Gu (LI4) is clinically used for stress, facial pain, headaches, toothaches and neck pain. He Gu (LI4) is located on the highest spot of the muscle when the thumb and index fingers are brought close together. To use acupressure on this point, (1) locate the point then (2) use a deep, firm pressure to massage and stimulate the area for 4-5 seconds.

The point is located at the highest point of the muscle when thumb and index fingers are held together.

Locate the point between the web of the first and second finger.

Massage the point for 4-5 seconds.

When applying acupressure, try to relax and breath deeply as you massage the area. The massage and the acupressure can be done by yourself, or by someone else who is there to assist you.

The ancient traditional Chinese medicine text includes a wide range of indications for He Gu (LI4) from headaches and constipation to general pain and delayed labor. A precaution for this point is that He Gu (LI4) may induce labor, thus must never be used during pregnancy.

He Gu (LI4) is a point that has been extensively studied through randomized controlled trials and clinical research. Recent studies from the Journal of Orofacial Pain showed that the stimulation of He Gu (LI4) significantly reduced myofascial pain of the jaw muscles [2]. A recent Cochrane systematic review on acupuncture in migraine and tension-type headaches suggests stimulation of acupoints as an effective and valuable option for alleviating migraines and tension-type headaches [1].

 

Tai Chong (LV3) is commonly used for stress, lower back pain, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, limb pain, insomnia and anxiety. Tai Chong (LV3) is located on your foot about two finger widths above the place where the skin of your big toe and the next toe join. To use acupressure on this point, (1) locate the point with your shoes off then (2) use deep, firm pressure to massage and stimulate the area for 4-5 seconds.

The point is located between the big toe and the second toe.

Slide your finger along the space between the first and second toe to the tip of the joint.The point is located in the depression before your finger touches the bone (metatarsal joint).

Apply pressure and massage for 2-3 seconds.

Its additional indications as stated in the ancient Chinese text include digestive issues, eye problems, genital pain, headaches, canker sores, and irritability.

In the scientific literature, a randomized trial has yielded a positive result with acupuncture stimulation on Tai Chong (LV3) and other points to manage post-stroke depression [1]. Animal studies have also shown that Tai Chong (LV3) lowers blood pressure and plasma endothelin-1 levels in hypertension subjects [2].

Nei Guan (P6 or PC6) is commonly used to help relieve nausea, upset stomach, motion sickness, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches. Nei Guan (P6) is located three finger breadths below the wrist on the inner forearm in between the two tendons. To find and use this acupressure point, (1) locate the point by turning your hands over so the palm is facing up then (2) apply downward pressure between the two tendons, massaging and stimulating the area for 4-5 seconds.

The point is located at the medial aspect of the hand.

Four-finger space below the wrist.

Located in the depression between the tendons.

Apply pressure and massage for 4-5 seconds.

It is cited in many research studies that the stimulation of Nei Guan (P6) alleviates nausea and vomiting in pregnancy[1] and also helps prevent post-operative nausea and vomiting [2]. The Journal of Autonomic Neuroscience also published an article that showed P6 and Zu San Li (ST36) have a combined, synergistic effect on gastrointestinal motility [3].  In another study, Nei Guan has also been shown to help alleviate intractable hiccups [4].

Zhong Zhu (TE3) is commonly used in the clinic for temporal headaches, shoulder and neck tension, and upper back pain. This point is located in the groove formed by the tendons of the 4th and 5th fingers behind the knuckles. To use acupressure on this point, (1) locate the point in the groove then (2) use a deep, firm pressure to massage and stimulate the area for 4-5 seconds.

Locate the point in the groove between the 4th and 5th knuckles

Apply strong pressure into the depression

Massage and simulate the point for 4-5 seconds

The stimulation of Zhong Zhu (TE3) was shown in a functional MRI scan to excite the frontal and temporal lobes as well as the occipital lobe and the cerebellum [1]. This suggests that Zhong Zhu (TE3) may have an effect for patients with clinical conditions related to those areas. In a clinical study, Zhong Zhu (TE3) was stimulated with acupuncture or moxibustion to treat cervical vertigo; both treatment methods showed good therapeutic effects but moxibustion yielded a higher effective rate out of the 78 clinical cases [2].

References

  1. Tian LF, Zhou C, Chen M, Zou MZ, Yang ZH. [Study of the relationship between the acupoints of Zhongzhu (TE 3), Yanglingquan (GB 34) and their corresponding cortical areas with the functional MRI]. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2009 Jul;29(7):561-4. [Article in Chinese]
  2. Xiaoxiang Z. Jinger [Ginger] moxibustion for treatment of cervical vertigo --a report of 40 cases. J Tradit Chin Med. 2006 Mar;26(1):17-8.

San Yin Jiao (SP6) is commonly used for urological, pelvic disorders, insomnia, and menstrual cramps. San Yin Jiao (SP6) is located on the inside of your leg, just above your ankle. To find this point, (1) locate the highest peak of the ankle then (2) four finger widths up your leg, apply deep pressure slightly behind the bone (tibia) and massage the area for 4-5 seconds. A precaution for this point: San Yin Jiao (SP6) should not be used in pregnancy because this point may induce labor.

The point is located in the medial side of the leg.

Point is located four finger space above the ankle in the depression under the bone (tibia).

Apply pressure and massage for 4-5 seconds.

Many studies have shown that using acupressure to stimulate San Yin Jiao (SP6) has effectively alleviated pain and menstrual distress in young women with menstrual cramps [2] as well as improving women’s general health [1].

Zu San Li (ST36) is commonly used for gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea and vomiting, and stress and fatigue. Zu San Li (ST36) is located four finger widths down from the bottom of your knee cap, along the outer boundary of your shin bone. If you are in the right place, a muscle should pop out as you move your foot up and down. To use this acupressure point, (1) locate the point then (2) apply downward pressure on the muscle, stimulating the area for 4-5 seconds.

The point is located on the lateral side of the leg below the knee (patella).

The point is located about four-finger space below the patella in the depression on the lateral side of the bone (tibia).

Apply pressure and massage for 4-5 seconds.

In traditional Chinese literature and practice, this point is frequently stimulated for health promotion and longevity.

There are many extensive studies conducted with Zu San Li (ST36) in the scientific literature. In neuroimaging studies, stimulation of Zu San Li (ST36) has been shown to affect the limbic and paralimbic systems in the brain[2] which may affect the body’s response to stress [3]. The Journal of Autonomic Neuroscience also published an article that showed that both Nei Guan (P6) and Zu San Li (ST 36) used together have an effect on gastrointestinal motility[1].

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