Tired of using painkillers, antihistamines and antacids? Many over the counter medications can have serious side effects. Analgesics can lead to ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems and long-term use can damage the liver and/or kidneys. How about holistic health care you can do yourself? Using our hands and a little knowledge of Chinese medicine, we can manage (and may even cure ourselves of) aches and pains and other health challenges we may experience.
Over the course of thousands of years, the Chinese discovered many points on the body related to the functioning of specific organs. Each point has its own specific actions and effects on the body. Some points are more effective using needles (acupuncture), but others manifest as natural depressions in the body that seem to invite healing touch (acupressure).
These points are found on both the right and left side of the body, although you may find that one side is more tender. This is an indication that this area needs more attention. Locate the area of the point and feel around until you find that tender spot. Work slowly, gradually increasing pressure and holding it for a minute or so and then gradually releasing the pressure.
Try some of the following points the next time you’re not feeling 100 percent, rather than heading for the medicine cabinet:
Hegu (Large Intestine 4)- This point is great for headaches, especially if they are located on the forehead. It is also very effective for sinus problems or runny nose due to a cold, flu or allergies. It is located in the soft fleshy area between the thumb and index finger.
Taichong (Liver 3)- Use this point with a stress headache, especially one that is focused right on the top of your head, behind the eyes or on the temples. Taichong has a strongly descending and somewhat cooling quality and can also be very helpful for hot flashes. Find this point in the tender fleshy area between your big toe and second toe. This is also a wonderful point to help smooth out emotions after (or during) a stressful day.
Luozhen- This point is not part of the meridian system but is very effective for a stiff neck or for neck pain after a trauma. Press on this point, located between the second and third fingers in the fleshy area above the knuckles, while gently rotating the neck and slowly moving it into the position of greatest pain and restriction. Use the hand on the same side as the most painful or stressed area of the neck.
Stress usually plays a part in many of our health issues. Just stopping for a few minutes and focusing on self care and the breath is very powerful and can help bring our bodies back to balance. Even if our minds are still racing, it’s good to have a moment of quiet in our busy lives.
Share your new knowledge. Your family, friends and significant other will be impressed and grateful. FBN
Allison Howard, L.Ac. is in practice in Flagstaff. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine from Emperor’s College in Los Angeles, spent time in Taiwan and China for extended studies and has completed an orthopedic specialty and been board certified by the National Board of Acupuncture Orthopedics.
For more information, call 928-213-6919 or find more information online at www.ahowardlac.com.