The most powerful acupuncture points for assisting with migraines, headaches, back pain, chronic fatigue, depression, pain relief and inflammatory diseases.
Acupuncture is one of the cornerstones of traditional Chinese medicine. It has been practised for over 5000 years and provides a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. Acupuncture treats the root cause of a wide variety of health conditions and can also be an effective complement to western medicine.
Personally, I think acupuncture is an absolute game-changer. Most notably, it helps me with migraines, stress and digestive issues. After each session, I feel a bit tired but by the following day I feel incredible. Like the fog of the week just past has been lifted. If you’re thinking – Should I look for an acupuncturist near me – the answer may lie here. If you’d like to learn more about what are acupuncture points in the body, read on!
Acupuncture points: The concept of Qi
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that ‘Qi’ flows through the body along specific meridian lines creating a framework for insertion of fine acupuncture needles. These needles stimulate different acupoints on the body and can access, restore and correct the flow of Qi.
If you are wondering what are acupuncture points and how do they work, they are points which are 15 to 20 micrometres in size that are rich in connections to the rest of your body.
Studies have shown that the position of Qi-based meridians and acupoints across the human body is based on exact science. Most acupuncture practitioners will have a diagram that maps these meridians and acupoints in their clinic.
If you’re curious, next time you book an acupuncture appointment with your acupuncture therapist or acupuncturist when your session begins, ask them whether any of the following acupoints are suitable for the treatment of your condition:
- The Third Eye Point: Reasonably easy to find, this point can be located between your eyebrows. When you have a headache, you may press the point without realizing it, to release stress and tension. This point is helpful with headaches and anxiety. One interesting observation is that it this acupuncture point is useful for managing the symptoms of both chronic fatigue and depression.
- The Tong Zi Liao Point: Located at the outer corner of the eye on either side, the Tong Zi Liao Point is useful for treating migraines, reducing eye fatigue, and treating other eye-related issues. The point is just below each temple and is often the spot on either side of our head we rub when we are stressed or have a headache.
- The Gates of Consciousness Point: Once again twin points, these are located at the rear, upper portion of the neck, just below the skull and approximately just inside a regular hairline. Headaches, migraines, dizziness, are all treated through the Gates. They also release the body’s natural healing and comforting endorphins.
- The Wind Mansion Point: Located just below the Gates, it is a single point in the hollow below the skull and is useful in relieving regular sore throats and chronic nosebleeds. The Wind Mansion Point also may help in treatment of conditions such as the common cold, flu, and fever, and is also effective in reducing blood pressure.
- The Big Rushing Point: This one is located about 4 cms behind the center point of the big and second toes. You can target foot and lower leg cramps, as well as related muscle strains with this acupuncture point. You can also treat chest pain, headaches, and eye disorders through this point.
- The Joining the Valley Point: Situated exactly between the thumb and forefinger, about a quarter-inch away from the edge, this point may alleviate neck pain, aching or frozen shoulders, and even toothache. It also treats overall pain relief and inflammatory diseases.
- The Kunlun Mountains Point: In the very tender and sensitive area between the ankle bone and the Achilles Tendon lies this pressure point. It is proven to alleviate shoulder, back pain as well as help with hormonal and immune disorders.
- The Pericardium Point: On the inner forearm about three fingers from the wrist and right between 2 tendons, this point is used to treat several upper body disorders such as asthma, sore throat, facial paralysis, and wrist conditions. It is also useful when treating heart conditions like heart palpitations and angina pectoris.
- The Three Miles Point: This one is located 4 cms below the knee cap, and is very helpful when treating digestive disorders. It is known to have positively helped the treatment of anemia, immune deficiency, fatigue, and numerous diseases.
- The He-Sea Point: Located behind your knee, this point is used in the treatment of various conditions and ailments such as muscular atrophy, back and leg pain, hip impairment, and abdominal pain, among many others.
Modern studies have effectively mapped these points on the human body and they have been used to effectively treat numerous health and wellbeing conditions. It is important that the acupuncture practitioner or acupuncturist must be knowledgeable and skilled in terms of their training, expertise, and experience to effectively administer acupuncture and to find the above acupoints.
Techniques based on pressure points
While you may have some understanding of what are acupuncture points and how they can impact your health and wellbeing, it is also important that you understand the different methods and treatments that make use of the acupuncture points covered above. Acupuncture, contrary to popular belief, is not one type of treatment but rather an umbrella term which branches out into many different methods. The primary treatments that use acupoints are:
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):
The most commonly used acupuncture treatment in contemporary medicine, it focusses on the 12 primary meridians, eight extraordinary meridians and about 400 other points within the body. There are other cultural forms of acupuncture as well with the Korean one using more needles while the Japanese one relies on fewer.
Korean hand acupuncture:
Korean acupuncture is based on the belief that the hand mirrors the entire body and has points connected to each part. The acupuncturist identifies disease by noticing discoloration of the acupoints or their response to simple presses. Stimulation of these points through needles or pressure is said to bring relief to the related body part.
This technique was developed by a French doctor after noticing that the shape of a human ear closely resembles an upside down fetus. This form of acupuncture is based on manipulating pressure points on or around the ear to have a beneficial effect on related parts of the body.
This is a relatively new field that blends modern medicine with the ancient practice of acupuncture. It is basically acupuncture administered by a qualified medical professional who has undergone training in acupuncture to augment her practice.
This form of acupuncture is practiced by physiotherapists who use it primarily to deal with injuries and aid recoveries. Needles are inserted into certain trigger points i.e., tender spots in affected muscles that hurt upon being pressed. Thus, the needle is inserted directly into sore points on the body rather than acupuncture points. In that way, this is not an exact form of acupuncture.
Once the practitioner understands what are acupuncture points and how to use them, there are a number of other techniques that can be applied. These are:
- Twirling or rotating the needle
Electroacupuncture which involves use of mild current while needles are inserted
- Stimulation of acupoints by means of laser or laser acupuncture
- Use of fingers to apply pressure instead of needles, a technique known as acupressure
- Burning of mugwort on or above skin over the acupressure points
How you feel after a session of acupuncture depends on your individual response to the treatment. It varies from person to person. While some feel energized, others experience fatigue. In some cases, the symptoms get slightly worse before major improvements are felt. The number of treatments depend on your current condition but you are likely to need only a few before experiencing a return to natural state of health and wellbeing.