Digestive Acupuncture points you can massage on yourself: Part 1
In the ancient times not everyone had access to acupuncture treatments. This didn’t mean though that they couldn’t treat themselves if they fell ill. This is how acupressure massage come into existence. Though requiring more effort than inserting a needle, massaging an acupuncture point can still have just as much benefit. Best of all you can do it to yourself when ever it is required. Over the next few articles I will discussing a few points that you can easily find and massage on yourself if you are feeling, nauseous, bloated or having digestive pains. An often overlooked use for massaging points is on children, as often they cannot be needled, so massage is a good alternative.
The first point we will be discussing is pericardium 6 (Pc6), the classic point those nausea wrist bands massage when you wear them. Many journal articles have been written about this point, and the neural pathways it activates when you massage it. It has a strong affect on harmonising the digestive system and soothing the gastric lining. The external path of the pericardium channel begins next to the nipple on the chest, it travels through the armpit, down the inner side of the bicep to the elbow. From there it travels down through the middle of the forearm, over the palm and finishes in the middle finger.
Its through the connections this channel has internally with the heart and digestive system that gives it such far reaching benefits. By massaging this point, it will help remove blockages in the digestion which cause symptoms such as nausea and bloating. As this point has a direct pathway to the heart organ, it will also help calm your mind.
How to find the point
Pc6 is located 2 cun below the wrist crease on the inside (palm side) of your forearm, between the big tendons. A cun is a unit of proportional measurement used to find Acupuncture points. 2 cun is the distance from the tip of your index finger, to the second knuckle.
Place your forearm palm up and bend your hand towards you to find your wrist crease. Then place the tip of your index finger on the crease, with the rest of the finger resting against the 2 tendon that run down your forearm. Where the middle knuckle on your index finger rests is where the point lies, approx 5cm.
If you press with a bit of force, you will feel a depression and a tenderness that doesn’t exist a bit above or below the point. This tenderness lets you know you are on target.
How to massage the point
Remember health in Chinese Medicine is all about keeping things flowing, like a river. So if an acupuncture point is sore, it is because there is a blockage there which needs to be moved. By massaging this point, you help keep things flowing in the digestion. Always massage in a clockwise motion for a count of 6 or 9 with medium to firm pressure. There are other ways and reasons for massaging the point differently, but that is beyond the scope of this article. In the end, the body is capable of healing itself, but it occasionally needs a nudge in the right direction, this is how massaging the point can help.