You have a great tool available for dealing with health problems at the tip of your fingers. As a matter of fact, this tool is the tip of a finger. Whether you’re trying to cope with hiccups, weight loss, angina or a headache, pressing a finger on the right body point may offer quick relief.
Simple Answer To What Ails You
People are always looking for simple solutions to their health ailments. And I am always on the lookout for methods to share that people can use right away, old or new.
Ten years ago, Dr. Decheng Chen published the results of his clinical practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the use of single point therapy. He believes that using the theories of body energy and acupuncture channels, you can stimulate single points (acu-points) that help relieve individual ailments and diseases. His research focuses on pain, internal diseases and OBGYN complaints as well as pediatric, ophthalmic and ENT (ears, nose and throat) problems.
His single-point stimulation concept uses the best of TCM theory: Varying with the selected acu-point and the individual ailment or health issue, the point needs to be stimulated with a single method or combination of acupuncture, moxibustion (heated herbal cone), cupping, medicated compress, herbal or vitamin fluid injection or finger-applied acupressure.
Here are a few of the common ailments Chen says can be reduced effectively with finger pressure on single acu-points. Note that all acu-points are bilateral (located in identical places on both left and right sides of the body).
The Fengchi Point: For Tension Headache
A tension headache strikes when you are subject to an overload of strain and stress, have poor posture and endure tension in the shoulders or between shoulder blades (in turn, this pulls on the back of the neck, creating tension and pain).
Point Name and Location: The Fengchi point is on the nape of the neck, below the occipital bone, in the depression between the upper ends of sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles. Fengchi means “wind pond,” and it is the 20th point on the gall bladder meridian (energy channel).
Point Stimulation: From a seated position, you (or someone else) can place the pads of each thumb over the bilateral points and apply pressure in a circular motion. Begin mildly and then more vigorously in power and speed but not so much that you cause pain or discomfort. Stimulate the point in this way for 10-15 minutes, once per day for seven days.
Result: Dr. Chen treated 56 patients who had been experiencing chronic headaches for up to five years. According to Chen, when using this one acu-point method as indicated, “36 cases were completely cured, 19 cases improved and no effect was found in one case. All cases needed no more than two courses (14 days) of treatment.”
The Ashi Point For Heel Pain
Heel pain can occur as a result of sports injury, sprain, strain, inflammation of tendon, or prolapse (displacement) of the heel bone (calcaneus).
Point Name and Location: The Ashi points are tender spots that feel sensitive on touch (sometimes called trigger points). For heel pain, the ashi point is the most painful point on the heel bone (calcaneus).
Point Stimulation: Lie down in a comfortable way so that your leg muscles are relaxed. Ask someone to lightly massage the tender ashi point with fingers, thumb or palm for 10 minutes. Increase massage intensity over time, but never more than what feels like a good pain (not a sensation like an injury pain). Repeat each day for 10 days.
Result: Dr. Chen used this method to treat 115 patients suffering heel pain. He said that, when using this one acu-point method as indicated, “102 cases were cured, 8 cases were improved and 5 cases did not show any effect.”
The Zhiyang Point For Angina Pectoris
The chest pain of angina pectoris can be caused by coronary heart disease, chronic coronary insufficiency or acute myocardial ischemia. Pain radiates to the back, shoulder and arm of the left side.
Point Name and Location: Zhiyang is located on the midline of the back (along the spine), in the depression below the spinous process of the seventh thoracic vertebra. Its name means “reaching yang,” and it is the ninth point on the governing vessel meridian.
Point Stimulation: Sit and lean forward in a chair. Ask someone to stand behind you and press perpendicularly on this acu-point. It is most effective when pressing with the edge of a coin. Keep pressing until the pain subsides.
Result: Dr. Chen treated 40 patients with angina pectoris. According to him, when using this one acu-point method as indicated, “40 cases were treated. 39 cases were improved, and 1 case was not improved.” Of course, if you suffer angina, you should discuss your heart disease with your healthcare provider.
Yifeng Point For Hiccups
When the diaphragm spasms, it can result in quick inhalation of air into the lungs that is halted by the abrupt closure of the glottis (vocal chords), which makes the distinct hiccup sound. Many remedies include holding your breath, drinking water or being startled. But pressing an acu-point seems to be quite reliable.
Point Name and Location: Yifeng is located behind the earlobe, in the depression between the mastoid process and mandibular angle. Yifeng means “wind screen,” and it is the 17th point on the san jiao (triple warmer) meridian.
Point Stimulation: While seated, you (or someone else) place an index finger on the yifeng points on either side of the head. Take a deep breath and hold as long as possible as the index fingers are pressed into the points, toward each other, as if trying to press the fingers together. Stop the pressure when you exhale. Repeat several times until the hiccups stop.
Result: Dr. Chen treated 32 patients with hiccups. He reports that when using this one acu-point method as indicated, “18 cases were stopped after first treatment, 6 cases were stopped after second treatment, 5 cases after the third treatment, and 3 cases after the fourth treatment.”
Guanyuan Point For Reducing Weight
A growing majority of Americans are overweight. As your weight climbs, your health issues usually increase.
Point Name and Location: Guanyuan is located on the midline of your lower abdomen, 3 cun (thumbnail widths) below the belly button or two cun (thumbnail widths) above the pubic symphysis. Guanyuan means “Gate to the Original Qi,” and it is the fourth point on the conception vessel meridian.
Point Stimulation: Lie in a supine position (on your back) and apply pressure to this point with your thumb or index fingers pressed tightly together. Press and rotate clockwise for 30 minutes at a time, one per day. Begin lightly and steadily increase pressure, but not so much that you cause bruising. Repeat once per day for at least 25 days.
Result: Dr. Chen treated 44 obese patients. According to him, when using this one acu-point method as indicated, “35 cases lost from two to 12 pounds after 25 days of treatment, 9 cases did not lose weight.”
I found these single point acupressure solutions to be interesting. While their reported success is based on Dr. Chen’s own clinical practice, they must be considered with an open mind. However, in that they are based on solid TCM theory, I do not doubt their efficacy. I would note, however, that the most effective results presented were those in which combined methods (acupuncture with moxibustion) were applied to the single points).
What I do like about these solutions is that they offer one more tool for your wellness kit, one that requires little effort and does not require an appointment with a practitioner. Give them a try and see how they work for you. If you have trouble locating the points and live in an area where there are acupuncturists, perhaps calling one and discussing these can help you get better results.
These are interesting cases because, in general, acupuncture works on a wave basis: Between 4 and 10 points are usually selected to drive energy like a wave in a sequence from point to point on various acupuncture channels. But if one point can offer relief, it’s worth a try. And it’s free!