Acupressure Points:

Three Acupressure Points that Can Significantly Improve Your Health

By Dr. Ben Kim
DrBenKim.com

Please note: you should never receive 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 desired.

Also, acupressure should never be applied to legs that have varicose veins. Applying pressure or massage to varicose veins can potentially lead to a pulmonary embolism.

Acupressure is a healing art that involves using your fingers to apply pressure to specific points on your body to produce health-promoting effects.

How can applying pressure to different areas of your body help your health? The answer lies in understanding your nervous system.

Having 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.

An essential requirement to maintaining a healthy nervous system is to provide your largest nerves with optimal blood flow and stimulation. Doing so helps to keep your nerves working optimally, just as regular resistance work and stretching can help to keep your muscles healthy.

Physical exercise, a healthy diet, and regular rest can all help to promote healthy nerves. But the surest and perhaps most powerful way to maintain healthy nerve tone throughout your body is to apply direct pressure to specific nerves on a regular basis. This is what acupressure is all about.

One of the best features of acupressure is that you do not need to spend thousands of dollars and many months or years to learn how to use it to help your health. It would be to your advantage to know enough about human anatomy to know where all your major nerves and blood vessels are. But ultimately, as long as you are able to locate key points on your body, you can be your own practitioner of acupressure.

During a 300-hour postgraduate medical acupuncture program I took several years ago, after spending several days reviewing many 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 get excellent results.

Over time, through my own experience with providing acupuncture and acupressure treatments, I have found that most people can experience significant health benefits from regularly stimulating just three specific points on a regular basis. Of course, for specific health concerns, I recommend treating additional points that have proven to be of benefit. But by and large, applying pressure to just three points on your body several times a week can provide a real boost to your nervous system tone and overall health.

Without further ado, here are the three acupressure points that I recommend most people stimulate on themselves to promote and maintain good overall health:

  1. Large Intestine 4 (LI-4): located in the soft, fleshy web that sits between your thumb and forefinger.

    For those with knowledge of human anatomy: 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.

  2. Liver 3 (LR-3): located in the soft flesh that sits between your big and 2nd toes, the equivalent of LI-4 on your foot.

    For those with knowledge of human anatomy: 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.

  3. Spleen 6 (SP-6): located approximately three finger widths above the inner ankle bone, in a tender region of the lower calf muscle.

    For those with knowledge of human anatomy: 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 this region.

Once you have received permission from your primary care provider, you can use 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.

When you correctly locate these points, you should feel some tenderness when you apply pressure to them. Apply enough pressure/massage to create a mild, dull, and possibly achy sensation.

If you are not sure about the location of each of the points listed above, I highly recommend that you take a look at the following book, the best of its kind:

Acupressure's Potent Points: a Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments

I actually recommend this as a must-have reference book for every person who is interested in natural health remedies, as it provides excellent illustrations of all of the major acupressure points that I and other acupuncturists use in clinical practice.

If you learn to use acupressure on a regular basis to maintain healthy nerve tone, I am confident that you will get closer to accessing your full health potential.

Please note: you should never receive 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 desired.

Also, acupressure should never be applied to legs that have varicose veins. Applying pressure or massage to varicose veins can potentially lead to a pulmonary embolism.

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