Great Acupoints you should know:

Arm:

Foot:

 

PERICARDIUM 6 (known as NEIGUAN or INNER GATE)

  • For NAUSEA, VOMITING, CHEST TIGHTNESS

 

How do you find it?

This one should be easy to find! Three finger widths up your forearm from your wrist crease in between the two central, and usually prominent, tendons (the palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis).

What is it for?

Very accessible and useful point to know in order to help with nausea. This is backed up by numerous research papers which feature PC-6 with treating morning sickness and vomiting and I can vouch for its usefulness clinically. Traditionally however this point is more connected with your cardiovascular system and specifically your heart. Pressure and massage can also therefore help relieve a stuffy, tight chest. It is also supposed to be good in treating hiccups but I don’t use it for that (feel free to try it though!).

How do you massage the point?

Some of my acupuncture patients sure know this point as the needle can touch the median nerve just below and send an electrical sensation buzzing into their fingers. I’ve done this to myself lots of times too – so I know the feeling well!

When you put pressure on the point, you shouldn’t feel anything like this but it may feel sensitive so be cautious. Press and circle the point with your thumb, gradually increasing pressure but not too hard. Do this for a few minutes only and then stop, rest and repeat as necessary.

LARGE INTESTINE 4 (known as HE GU or JOINING VALLEY)

  • For HEADACHES, FACIAL PAIN, TOOTHACHE, COLDS

 

How do you find it?

Another easy point to find. It is in the web of flesh between your thumb and index finger on the back of your hand. This area between the metacarpal bones is packed with useful points but you will find LI-4 around the middle of the web in the area of muscle.

What is it for?

This is the go-to point for headaches anywhere on your head. This is a point which supposedly is not to be used if you are pregnant but having tested this theory clinically again and again over many years, I don't think this holds up. It really depends on your constitution. The origin of this prohibition is from a time when physicians inserted huge needles in points which we don't do now. Having said that, and here goes the cover your ass clause, be very cautious if you are pregnant. And if you are in any doubt, avoid this point as it is one of the points used to induce labor. Phew.

How do you massage the point?

This point can be sore (at least it usually is with me!) but it is an area where you can put a fair amount of pressure. You can press the point with your thumb or with a Gua sha tool. Press for 10 seconds and then circle the area with your thumb. Repeat unless it feels too uncomfortable.

 
 

GALL BLADDER 20 (known as FENG CHI or WIND POOL)

  • For HEADACHES, MIGRAINES NECK PAIN & STIFFNESS 

 

How do you find it?

Below the base of your skull, between the sternocleidomastoid muscle and the trapezius muscle. Roughly half way between the midline of the back of your neck and the mastoid bone below your ear.

What is it for?

This area gets a great deal of tension especially when you have headaches or suffer from stress. It affects the area above, i.e. your head, and the area below, your neck. It is a great point for helping to reduce the severity of headaches and neck stiffness. This area is so important to remove tightness and in my clinic I would use any technique at hand to help whether it be needles, Gua sha, massage, cupping or tapping.

How do you massage the point?

You can use your thumbs by interlocking your fingers and placing your hands at the back of your head. Your thumbs are then in prime position to press under the occiput bone. Keep the pressure for 10 seconds and then release. This is also a great area for Gua sha and you can press and move the tool up and down all along the gap between bond and muscle at the back of your head.

LARGE INTESTINE 11 (known as QU CHI or POOL AT THE BEND)

  • For HEADACHES, PAIN IN ABDOMEN/STOMACH AREA, SORE THROAT, SHOULDER/WRIST PAIN 

 

How do you find it?

It is at the end of the elbow crease when you flex your elbow (bring it towards your body). There are probably going to be a few sore spots in this area, a little further down/up the arm. Treat any sore spot like LI-11.

On most people this area is almost always sore when pressed and if you follow the muscle down the forearm, you'll find a sharp pain you never knew you had. Got it yet? This is closer to LI-10 and can also be included in your treatment.

What is it for?

This point is mainly associated with removing heat and is good for a sore, irritated throat. You'll also find it helps with abdominal discomfort and because of its location will affect the muscles above/below to help wrist or shoulder issues.  

How do you massage the point?

As you can see in the picture, this is a great point for pressing with a Gua sha tool and then circling with less pressure. You can also press with your thumb and move your thumb along as you press to cover the other sore points.

 

GALL BLADDER 34 (known as YANG LING QUAN or YANG MOUND SPRING)

  • For EFFECTS OF STRESS, TIGHT SHOULDERS, RELEASE TENDONS/LIGAMENTS, CHEST TIGHTNESS, ABDOMINAL DISCOMFORT 

 

How do you find it?

On the outside of your lower leg, below your knee you will find a knobbly bone. This is called the head of the fibula. You can find GB-34 below the outside corner (anterior and inferior) of this bony protrusion. If it feels more sore below the other corner then treat there too.

What is it for?

This is one of the big acupoints and is connected with releasing tension held in tendons and ligaments. It is also used to encourage blood flow through tissues and muscles so you can use it for anything involving muscle/tendon tightness. It is also used to affect your chest and abdomen.   

How do you massage the point?

Press the point and the surrounding area and hold for 10 seconds, circle and then release. Gua sha cover this area, but put a finger of your other hand on the head of the fibula so you don't scrape on it. 

 

LIVER 3 (known as TAI CHONG or GREAT SURGE)

  • For HEADACHES, EYE DISCOMFORT, EFFECTS OF STRESS, TIGHT SHOULDERS

 

How do you find it?

In the gap between the metatarsal bones that lead to the big and second toes. When you press between the bones, it usually feels sore. Feel up to where the two bones meet and the point is below this.

What is it for?

A great mutli-purpose acupoint which will affect your head, eyes and tensed muscles. It is good for releasing pent-up emotions like those that develop during a stressful day.

How do you massage the point?

Press the point and hold for 10-15 seconds. Be careful it might be sore here. Circle for another 10-15 seconds and then repeat. 

 

STOMACH 36 (known as ZUSANLI or LEG THREE MILES)

  • For STOMACH DISCOMFORT and TIREDNESS

 

How do you find it?

You will find it at a hand width below the bottom of your kneecap and one finger width outward from the tibia bone. Feel around this area until you feel a sore point. It is less the exact position and more where it feels tender in that approximate location.

What is it for?

This is the general point for the digestive system and the stomach/abdomen area. It can also help if you're exhausted and need a little boost to get through the day. I also use it to help with chest stuffiness. 

How do you massage the point?

Press the point (and any sore points nearby) and hold for 10-15 seconds. Circle for another 10-15 seconds and then repeat. You can happily use Gua sha in this area in order to cover more of the muscle. 

 
 

SPLEEN 6 (known as SAN YIN JIAO or THREE YIN INTERSECTION)

  • For ABDOMINAL DISCOMFORT, DIGESTIVE DISORDERS, MENSTRUAL ISSUES

 

How do you find it?

You will find it at a hand width above the highest point of the inside ankle bone (the medial malleolus), just behind the tibia bone. It's another common sore spot.

What is it for?

This is a versatile point which is used to treat a variety of issues but especially the lower abdomen and bloating. 

It is another point which is not supposed to be for pregnant women but in clinical practice works out just fine. Nevertheless, be cautious if pregnant and be aware that in theory it is a point used to induce labor.  

How do you massage the point?

Press the point (and any sore points nearby) and hold for 10-15 seconds. Circle for another 10-15 seconds and then repeat. You can use Gua sha in this area but watch out for the side of the tibia bone. 

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Learn how to do a general massage on your hand to help you stay healthy

©2019 Clive Witham

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