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Self care for your injuries, part 2

by Stacey Kaplan LAc, LMT

As part of an ongoing series, How To Care For Your Injuries, I'd like to introduce some helpful acupuncture points you can use to help relieve pain and stimulate recovery. 

No need for needles here, just applying pressure to these points will stimulate them into action.

How to stimulate acupoints:
The following points can be stimulated with finger pressure. Direct pressure with the thumb, finger, or knuckles is one of the simplest and most effective methods of stimulating acupoints.
Press the point lightly and shallowly, progressing slowly deeper until you feel a sensation around the point. This could feel like a distending sensation around the point or a dull ache that spreads or travels outward from the point. Even if you feel no sensation, you are benefiting from simply pressing these points.

LI 4, He Gu:  This point is found between the 1st & 2nd fingers, at the midpoint of the muscle that connects those 2 fingers.

This is a great point to relieve headaches. It can also be used for facial pain, toothaches and pain in the front of the shoulder.

St36, Zusanli:  This a point below your knee. Place your index finger in the indent just below your kneecap, let the rest of your 3 fingers fall in line underneath that. The point is at the level of your pinky finger just outside of your tibia bone (the shinbone). In the picture below, she is showing how to measure for the point on her left side and the actual point location on her right side.

Stimulate this point for any pain in your lower limb. It can reduce swelling and pain of the knee, ankle and foot. It is also used to energize the lower limb for fatigue in your legs.

Luo Zhen: This point is on the back of the hand, between the bones of the forefinger & middle finger, in the depression just behind the knuckles.

This is the stiff neck point. Press this point for pain or immobility in your neck.

Yao Tong Xue: There are 2 of these points on each hand, located on the back of the hand. The first one is in the depression between the bones of the forefinger & middle finger and the other one is between the ring and pinky finger. They are further up the hand, toward the arm, then the stiff neck point discussed above.

Stimulate these points for low back pain and stiffness.

Whatever your injury, Chinese medicine advocates immediate treatment. Treat minor problems promptly and they are much less likely to develop into larger, chronic conditions.

These tips and so much more are discussed in detail in A Tooth From A Tiger's Mouth, by Tom Bisio. This is an invaluable resource for athletes of any kind and anyone who is interested in learning more about how to care for your injuries and prevent chronic conditions.