to Use Acupressure for Best Overall Health
By Dr. Ben
is a healing art that involves applying pressure to specific points
on your body to produce health-promoting effects.
can applying pressure to different areas of your body help your
health? The answer lies in understanding your nervous system.
a healthy nervous system is an absolute must if you want to have
a healthy body, as the activities of every cell in your body are
governed by your nervous system.
essential requirement for maintaining a healthy nervous system is
to provide your largest nerves with optimal blood flow and stimulation,
which promote optimal nerve tone - this is akin
to regular resistance work and stretching promoting optimal muscle
direct pressure to specific nerves throughout your body on a regular
basis is a simple and powerfully effective way to stimulate your
nerves and bring them optimal blood flow. Put another way, applying
pressure to specific nerves can promote healthy nerve tone, which
in turn, promotes good overall health.
of the best features of acupressure is that you don't need to spend
thousands of dollars and many months or years to learn how to use
it to help your health.
a 300-hour postgraduate medical acupuncture program I took several
years ago, after spending a number of days reviewing dozens of key
nerve and blood vessel points throughout the body and face, I distinctly
remember the lead professor saying that even if we treated the same
five most powerful points on every patient, irrespective of the
health conditions being treated, we would likely get excellent results.
time, through my own experiences with providing acupuncture and
acupressure treatments, I have found that most people can experience
significant health benefits by regularly stimulating just three
specific points on a regular basis. For specific health concerns,
it's best to have a clinician consider other points as well. But
for the vast majority of people, applying pressure to just three
points several times a week can provide a real boost to nervous
system tone and overall health.
follows are descriptions and links to pictures of the three acupressure
points that I recommend most people stimulate on themselves to promote
and maintain good overall health:
Intestine 4 (LI-4): located in the soft, fleshy web that
sits between your thumb and forefinger.
this point corresponds with a muscular branch of the median
nerve, the deep branch of the ulnar nerve, proper palmer digital
nerves from the first common palmar digital nerve, and the superficial
branch of the radial nerve. Tributary branches of the cephalic
vein, the radial artery, and the first dorsal metacarpal artery
and companion veins can also be found in this region.
3 (LR-3): located in the soft flesh that sits between
your big and 2nd toes, the equivalent of LI-4 on your foot.
this point corresponds with the medial dorsal cutaneous nerve,
the medial branch of the deep peroneal nerve, and a muscular
branch from the deep branch of the lateral plantar nerve. The
dorsal venous network of the foot , the first dorsal metatarsal
artery, and a companion vein are also found in this region.
6 (SP-6): located approximately three finger widths above
the inner ankle bone, in a tender region of the lower calf muscle.
this point is found in between the medial margin of the tibia
and the soleus muscle. As you go deeper, this point corresponds
with the flexor digitorum longus and flexor hallucis longus
muscles. This point also corresponds with a cutaneous branch
of the saphenous nerve, motor branches of the tibial nerve,
and the deeper trunk of the tibial nerve. A superficial branch
of the great saphenous vein, the posterior tibial artery, and
a companion vein to the posterior tibial artery are also in
your fingers and/or thumbs to massage these points on one or both
sides of your body for a few minutes, up to two times a day. For
optimal results, massage these points on both sides of your body
during each session.
you correctly locate these points, you should feel some tenderness
upon applying pressure to them. Apply enough pressure/massage to
create a mild, dull, and possibly achy sensation.
you are not sure about the location of each of the points listed
above, I recommend that you take a look at the following book:
Potent Points: a Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments
recommend this as a reference book for people who are interested
in natural health remedies, as it provides clear illustrations of
all of the major acupressure points that I and other acupuncturists
use in clinical practice.
helpful reference book on this topic - one that is often appreciated
by folks who want references to scientific literature - is:
Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain
Relief, Second Edition
you regularly apply acupressure on yourself to maintain healthy
nerve tone, you'll almost certainly experience health benefits.
note: It's best to consult with an acupuncturist before
receiving acupressure or acupuncture treatments while pregnant.
Certain points, including SP-6 can cause uterine contractions. In
fact, massaging SP-6 is a natural method of inducing labor when
acupressure should not be applied to legs that have varicose veins.
Applying deep pressure or massage to varicose veins can potentially
lead to a pulmonary embolism.
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