By Ian Chow, Certified Massage Therapist
Acupressure point is a traditional chinese medicine healing method used in China since thousand years ago. Simply put, it is acupuncture without the needle but using mainly our fingers (sometimes palm and elbow) pressing on the points. Acupressure point lies along our meridian or channel that flows a vital life force energy known as “chi” (“Qi”). When a point is blocked or imbalanced, it is believed that it can create various illnesses or dysfunctions to the body.
I do understand not many massage therapist would engage or believe in this method. This article is not meant to convince one to do so. It is mainly to share the 10 points that I use in my massage therapy. You too can certainly use this to self massage or apply it on your loved one (or get him or her to do it on you instead). Do it as part of your self care ritual.
a). You can be fully clothed or dress down as comfortable as you and the giver/receiver are. Lie down or sit comfortable on your sofa, bed or the massage table.
a). Use a firm pressure and press on the point. I find using my thumb is easier for me to feel as well as to gauge my pressure according to the recipient tolerance.
b). Hold it for 10 seconds and then relax for another 10 seconds. Repeat as many times as you want but I will do for 3 cycles (with this, each point will take about 60 seconds and for the ten points, you can complete it within 10 minutes). Or you may stagger it and do it at any time of the day.
c). For the recipient, don’t forget to relax, close your eyes and inhale deeply (abdominal breathing) during the sequence.
d). You may also choose to massage on the points (small circulation motion) instead of solely maintaining firm pressure.
Note: For more information or benefits related to these points, you may click on the reference link at the end of this article. Images gotten from www.points-pc.com .
Liver 3 @ Tai Chong: Locate it between your first and second toe, slide down from top of the foot webbing til before your finger touches the metatarsal bone (where you can also feel a depression).
Note: This point is a good calming emotion point to eliminate anger and irritation (like the chinese saying, negative emotion arises from the “liver fire”)
Spleen 6 @ San Yin Jiao: Locate it on the medial of your leg. Place four fingers above your malleolus (ankle). Then find the depression to your tibia bone.
Kidney 3 @ Tai Xi: Locate it at the medial of your leg, at the depression between the high point of your malleolus bone to the Achilles tendon.
Note: I will usually use the above three points during my manhood therapy session as it is closely related to alleviating lower back problem as well as pain associated in the pelvic region (among many other benefits).
Large intestine 4 @ He Gu : Locate it at the thick part of the muscle between your thumb and index finger.
Caution: Spleen 6 and Large Intestine 4 points may also induce labor hence please use it with caution on pregnant women or you may want to avoid it completely.
Heart 7 @ Shen Men: Locate it at the hollow space underneath your pisiform bone, at the inner wrist beside your ulnar bone.
Note: Large Intestine 4 and Heart 7 are possibly the two easiest and known points to overcome stress and anxiety. You can definitely self massage on these points (very useful during this pandemic time).
Pericardium 6 @ Nei Guan: Locate it in the middle of your wrist, two fingers down from the palm.
Extra 1 @ Yin Tang: At the forehead, in the middle of your eyebrows.
Note: Extra 1 also correspond to the third eye under the Chakra system. Meanwhile, if you are having insomnia, this point with Pericardium 6 are good points to work on (another useful point during this pandemic time)
Conception Vessel 6 @ Qihai – Locate it two fingers width below your umbilicus (navel).
Conception Vessel 12 @ Zhongwan – Locate it four fingers width above your umbilicus
Note: These both Conception Vessel are points that I will incorporate into my stomach massage routine as it is good to restore general energy to your body as well as help in digestion issues.
Conception Vessel 20 @ Hua Gai: Just right underneath your sternum, the depression that you feel immediately.
Note: This Conception Vessel also correspond to the Solar Plexus Chakra and I use this at the end of my massage as it lesser the restriction on chest area and promote a deep sense of relaxation. Just be careful that you don’t press too hard on it as this area is full of nerves.
Bonus: Conception Vessel 1 @ Hui Yin: This correspond to the Root Chakra and it is widely use by therapist who does manhood therapy (urut batin). It is a point that one can use as well to alleviate various gynecology and urology issues. Be careful though if you are doing it on someone else, as the location is within the perineum area, it can be deemed invasive and inappropriate.