Learn how to heal common ailments through acupressure

Headaches, colds, nausea, lower back pain and pain the hands, wrist and elbows can all be relieved through acupressure. Learn how to recognise pressure points that provide relief almost instantly. Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medical practice used to cure various ailments.

Have you ever had someone press your tired, aching feet and found instant relief? Does your headache vanish, when someone gently presses it or do you feel the tension wane away when your shoulders and the back of your neck are massaged? Applying pressure on different body parts eases the pain. This is the concept of acupressure, which is one of the most accepted alternative therapies in the world.

Would you believe that you can find relief from a toothache by pressing the web of skin found between the index finger and the thumb? Acupressure can help you sleep if you have trouble sleeping. Simply, place your index finger in the centre of your forehead, at the point between the eyebrows and press. You'll quickly drift into slumberland.

Understanding Acupressure

Acupressure has been part of Chinese civilization for thousands of years. You need just your fingers and knowledge of the exact location of the pressure points, where the pressure is to be applied, to find relief from nagging ailments. When pressure is applied to specific points on the body, it unblocks or rebalances the 'chee' (qi). Traditional Chinese practitioners of this ancient medicine explain 'chee' as the energy that moves along a network of pathways, in our body.

According to research applying finger pressure causes the body to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers. The release of endorphins has a two-pronged effect – the compounds relax the muscles, relieving the tension and encourage better blood-circulation which elicits a sense of comfort and relief.

Acupressure cannot replace proper medical care, even though many swear by its effectiveness. It does not guarantee a permanent cure, for many diseases. However, its effects are promising for healing certain ailments.

Acupressure to fight nausea

When the feeling of nausea hits, you want relief – fast. The rebel stomach churns and does not wait before it spews its contents like an angry volcano. Anti-nausea medication, unfortunately, does not provide instant relief. And they also have a nasty side-effect that leaves you drugged and drowsy.

So, the next time you feel queasy and feel like throwing up, defy the stomach, by practising a simple acupressure technique.

Firmly press the inside of your wrist, in the hollow place that lies between the two large tendons, approximately two-thumb widths from the fold at the front of your wrist. Keep the pressure on, until the woozy feeling eases.

If you suffer from travel sickness, then this remedy will surely help you enjoy your trip better. If you travel frequently or have to be in a place where you'll need to be on a boat then there is alternative that you could try. Acupressure wristbands have almost the same effect in controlling nausea. Acupressure bands can be bought online. They are elastic bands, with a small bead fitted into them. The band is slipped on the wrist and the bead is made to press against the pressure point on the wrist that prevents the nauseous feeling from setting in.

Some surgeons recommend this technique to quell nausea in post-operative patients reeling from the effects of anaesthesia.

Acupressure to relieve lower back pain

Back pain can be agonising and be immobilising and the easiest way to get relief from the pain is to reach for a pain relief spray or a balm or to pop a few painkillers and wait for them to take effect. Painkillers are no doubt effective, but they also have side-effects. And once you find relief the normal human reaction is to repeat the medication when the pain resurfaces. Do not ignore a back pain, if it keeps coming back once the effect of the medication wears off.

While, acupressure might not be, a permanent panacea for this condition, but you can definitely get temporary relief from back pain through acupressure. It is a simple technique, and it has no side-effects. Lie on your back and raise your knees and your feet flat on the floor. Gently lift the feet off the floor and rock them to and fro, for a minute.

Next, sit up straight, supporting your back against a wall. Stretch your legs and use your index and middle finger to press the hollow behind the kneecap. Keep the pressure on for a minute, gradually increasing the pressure.

Relax repetitive strain injuries

Working for long hours on the computer can cause strain in the hands, wrist and elbows. In fact, any strenuous activity (such as removing cobwebs or mopping the floor) that involves the arms and hands can cause tingling and pain.

Acupressure can most certainly provide relief from repetitive strain injury but can be more effective in preventing it, if practised before it sets in.

Here is what you need to do –

Hand Pain

  • Hold your hand out, palm down and spread out the fingers
  • Use the forefinger of the other hand to press down the web of skin between the index finger and the thumb
  • Repeat a few times, until you find relief from the pain

Wrist Pain

  • Hold your hand out, with the back of your hand facing upwards
  • Use the middle and forefinger to apply pressure in the centre of the region that creases, at the back of the wrist

Elbow Pain

  • Bend your arm at the elbow and let the palm face your chest
  • Use the free hand to press against the bent elbow for about two minutes

A remedy for colds

Acupressure works wonderfully against colds. It helps to decongest and that's a real breather. Additionally, it stimulates the immune system, enhancing its capacity to fight cold causing viruses.
So, what do you do?
Place your hand left hand over your right shoulder, so it rests over the soft spot, on the upper back. This is the region between your shoulder blade and the spine. Press, gently but firmly. Repeat the same with your right hand and left shoulder. Doing this will boost the body's resistance power against infections.

Nasal congestion can be cured by pressing the area between the inner corners of the eyes, where the bridge of your nose begins. Use your forefinger and the thumb to press the point. Alternate it with pressing the area beneath the nostrils, where they join the upper lip.

Applying pressure at these four points will also provide relief from itchy, watering eyes, caused by allergies. (I can vouch for this technique working, as I have used it on myself, successfully, to combat allergies).

Relief from headaches

Headaches, whether caused by a migraine, stress or cold can be alleviated through acupressure. Here is what you can do the next time you feel your head throbbing. Place your middle fingers above each eye, about a centimetre above the eyebrows and right above the eyeballs. Press gently, relax and press again. Repeat, until you feel better.

Follow this by applying pressure on the cheekbones, right below the eyeballs. You need to use your forefinger to find the nick just under the cheekbone and press upwards.

Place your middle and index fingers on your temples and apply pressure at the point you can feel the pulsation.

Things you should know

There are a few things that have to be kept in mind when using the acupressure techniques. Follow them to you ensure that you do it right and gain maximum benefit –

You might wonder how hard you are supposed to press. The pressure that you apply should not cause acute pain or severe discomfort. The discomfort that you feel, from the pressure, should be mild.
Avoid acupressure if you –

  • Bruise easily
  • Have had orthopaedic injuries
  • Suffer from osteoporosis
  • Are on blood-thinning medication
  • Are pregnant


See a doctor if the condition persists. The remedies provided here are not permanent cures. They offer relief in an emergency situation. But, if you suffer from a chronic backache, for instance, it is best to see a doctor, than to follow therapies in a bid to self-medicate.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 552 articles authored by Juana

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Author: Umesh05 Oct 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 5

An excellent article on acupressure and its applications in human body ailments. Well presented and nicely explained.

All the alternative therapies are based on the experience of a few persons in past times and then they were promoted by them and slowly spread worldwide by words of mouth.

Interestingly these therapies have no backing or verification by modern medical science but they are thriving basically on the belief and faith of people. To some extent these therapies may work as natural way of living itself is a therapy.

A person not taking liquor, spices, oily foods , extra carbohydrates etc may be free of many ailments and if he is asked to take an alternative therapy for keeping his future health intact he will not be able to make out whether his health is an outcome of these medicines or his lifestyle.

Anyway I have no intention of discarding or dismissing acupressure but as a matter of caution we should as a rational person accept their efficacies upto a certain limit only.

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