When you hear something shocking does your hand automatically rise to touch your forehead? Do you wring your hands? These are movements that have a logical basis in medical self-care.
Fingers are powerful tools for healing yourself! Fingers and hands have energy in them. In addition, specific locations on the surface of the skin are designed by nature to allow electromagnetic energy to pass into the body more easily than surrounding skin. By pressing and even simply holding these points on the skin surface you can stop pain, enhance energy, release constipation, and improve your mood.
We call these sites acupuncture points if we are going to use needles to stimulate them, and acupressure points if we are going to use finger pressure. Why not use fingers! With fingers you always have treatment available at any time, anywhere, for free!
Michael Reed Gach, founder of The Acupressure Institute of America (now merged with McKinnon Body Therapy Center in Oakland, CA), calls these locations “potent points” and describes the correct points to use for over 40 different ailments from allergies to wrist pain in his 1990 book Acupressure’s Potent Points.
Let’s look at a couple of the major points for relieving allergies.
My husband Allen is demonstrating the point called Hegu (Joining Valley in English). It is also called Large Intestine 4 because it is the fourth point along a string of 20 points that are called the Large Intestine Meridian. Close your fingers together. Notice the skin rise in the middle of the web between the thumb and index finger. Grab onto the web there and squeeze gently, rhythmically, while remembering to breathe. Inhale so that your abdomen relaxes and expands, opening your diaphragm. Exhale so you release the air fully. If the point hurts, don’t rub it, just hold it and focus your breathing as if the air moved along your arm and down into the point, releasing the pain. WARNING: This is a forbidden point for pregnant women until they are ready to deliver because it might stimulate uterine contractions!
Now Allen is pressing firmly on the point called Juliao (Great Bone Hole in English). It is also called Stomach 3 because, yes, it is the third point on the stomach meridian, below the pupil of the eye and level with the nostril on both sides of the face. It is located over nasal sinuses and you feel the effect on those sinuses quite soon after pressing on this point. If it’s sore, hold and breathe into your fingers!
When you do acupressure give yourself time to relax. Hold the points for a couple minutes.
And what is the link between acupressure and holding your forehead in your hand? Above your eyes on the forehead are acupressure points that relax the stomach and it’s difficult to be upset when your stomach is relaxed.