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Soothe stresses with these five acupuncture pressure points

Written by Leah Fehres | Friday, 31 July 2020

acupressure chinese medicine stress

Acupuncture has been soothing stresses and needling niggles for thousands of years but what many people might not realise is that it can be used to treat just about any modern day concern.

There are pressure points all over the body that, with a light tap of a needle, can relieve stress, promote sleep, boost digestion, ease headaches and toothaches, clear up a blocked nose and even take the edge off period pain.

While the best way to seek advice and treatment is via a registered acupuncturist or healthcare provider, anyone can tap into these points when a headache hits or to de-stress after a busy day.

Here are five key points used by acupuncture practitioners which can alleviate the severity of everyday ailments.

Pressing or massaging these points for a few minutes may help to soothe symptoms so just apply a little pressure to help take the pressure off.

LI4 (Large Intestine 4) for headaches and colds

Located in the muscles of the webbing between the thumb and forefinger, LI4 is used by acupuncturists to treat a wide range of conditions such as pain, stress and even the common cold and flu. Considered in ancient times to be the master point for treating disorders of the face, LI4 is also frequently used for headaches, toothache and disorders of the eyes, nose and ears.

SP8 (Spleen 8) for period pain

This is a fantastic point for women. As it is traditionally known to regulate menstruation and resolve acute pain, SP8 is used by acupuncturists to treat period pain on all levels from mild to severe. Applying firm pressure to this point, which is located on the inside of the lower leg about one hand-breadth below where the shin bone finishes at the knee, can take the edge off.

ST36 (Stomach 36) for tummy trouble

Considered to be one of the most vital acupuncture points in ancient times, ST36 remains an effective point for all things related to the abdomen. Multiple sources describe how ST36 has been found to promote bowel function, enhance the production of gastric acid and relieve nausea and vomiting. ST36 is located one finger-breadth on the outside of the shin bone just before it finishes at the knee.

LIV3 (Liver 3) for stress and anxiousness

In ancient times, anger was believed to be related to the liver organ and stimulating LIV3 was one way to help someone relax and de-stress. This point certainly seems to do the job. Today it is used by acupuncturists to treat stress-related bouts of anxiety and depression, as well as a range of other ailments such as headaches, insomnia and painful periods. LIV3 is located in the soft skin of the foot between the bones of the first and second toe.

HT7 (Heart 7) for sleep

This point is for anyone in need of a good night’s rest or who is feeling highly strung. HT7 has been used for centuries to ‘calm the spirit’ and put worries to rest. Considered by the ancient Chinese to be the seat of the soul, the heart was believed to be the source of all of our joy but also all of our anxieties. This point, located on the inside wrist crease on the pinky side of the forearm, may help to balance out that nervous energy and provide a satisfying slumber.

Interested in Acupuncture?

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Leah Fehres

Prior to her transition from male to transgender female in 2021, Leah completed her Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Acupuncture from Endeavour College of Natural Health in 2015 as Chris Fehres. Graduating with distinction, she was awarded the medal of academic excellence for highest achievement in acupuncture across Australia. She has since participated as an alumni representative for the Course Advisory Committees for both the acupuncture and biosciences departments, as well as having been chosen as the focus for Endeavour's 2017 - 18 Graduate Stories write-up. Going back to where it all began, she began teaching Clinical Examination in the biosciences department at Endeavour College's Brisbane campus before moving on to become a lecturer and clinic supervisor for the new acupuncture degree alongside some of the very lecturers that taught her.

Leah has always had a passion for the inner workings of the human body, directing her focus to the ongoing study of human anatomy and physiology and how these systems are influenced by acupuncture. Leah runs a boutique acupuncture clinic from her home in Sherwood, Brisbane called Acupuncture Sherwood and also provides a platform of diverse online acupuncture education resources called Acucentrix.

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