Written by Lauren Curl-Ferrell, featuring MS-TCM Cherron Dow-Chacon
What is acupressure?
In a nutshell, it is an acupuncture principle that has been used for thousands of years. Acupuncture is something that not everyone can do on themselves, but acupressure, is something that with practice, you can utilize on a more daily basis. Acupressure can help with anxiety, pain, tiredness, and plenty more. The practice of acupressure works along side your body's meridians. Meridians are invisible channels that run from your fingertips and connect your brain and organs to create a communication channel. If there is a block or imbalance on one of these meridians, it is believed that you feel sick, tired, etc. This practice stems from ancient Chinese medicinal practices.
There are plenty of acupressure points that correspond to the meridians in our body and they are designed to help you heal naturally and keep those channels of energy moving so that your Qi (pronounced Chee) remains open, clear, and balanced.
Today, we are going to talk about energy inducing ones. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet in regards to this subject, so I went straight to a specialist. I met with Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cherron Dow-Chacon, who was kind enough to give some straight forward acupressure practices for some good natural stimulant free energy. Cherron recommended three "acupoints." The first is the Stomach 36 or the "Zu San Li", the second is known as the Pericardium 6, and lastly the Du 20 and/or the Du 24.
1. Zu San Li or the Stomach 36
This is located just below your kneecap. It’s about 2 to 3 inches below the knee on the outer side of your leg.
Find it by putting your hand on the outer side of your leg over your knee with your fingers facing down. The point is between the tips of your fourth and fifth fingers. Zu san li is the small dent beneath the kneecap and between the bones.
It's used in traditional practices to gain energy and heal pain. Cherron says "traditionally, this point was used with acupressure by massaging runners and soldiers when they were beginning to become fatigued to get '3 more miles.' It stimulates the digestive Qi, which is the basis of our energy." Needless to say, when I tried this, it was like instant good energy and feeling!
How to massage:
Sit comfortably and find your point. Massage this acupoint deeply and firmly in a clockwise direction. Make sure to breath while doing so. Repeat on the opposite leg.
2. Pericardium 6
Cherron states that this will "help with lifting 'fog' off the digestive Qi so it can function better. A better digestive system will ultimately give us more energy to work with."
This is located 3 fingers below the wrist on the inner forearm between the two tendons.
Find it by making sure your palm is facing up and using your 3 fingers as measuring system.
How to massage:
Locate your pericardium 6 and then apply downward pressure between the two tendons for 4-5 seconds.
3. Du 20 and/or Du 24
These are located on your head. The Du 20 is on the top of your head and the Du 24 is located at your front hairline. Cherron advices to "tap lightly on either of these points to bring Qi up to the head. It will quickly provide a boost of clear Qi." She added that these acupoints shouldn't be used by people who are prone to headaches.
Find the Du 20 by placing your fingers on your head behind the tip of your ear, follow an imaginary line directly up until you reach the center top. It's located at the very top of your head (aka your apex). It is a tender spot. To find the Du 24, find where your forehead meets your hairline, it's located between your eyebrows at the top of your hairline.
How to massage:
Du 20 - once you've located the tender spot, you will mildly tap on it. Take a deep breath in and out. While you are practicing your deep breaths, you can also rub the Acupoint in a circular movement.
Du 24 - using your finger, tap lightly. You may also apply steady and firm pressure to this point for 1-2 minutes. This shouldn't hurt you, if it does, lessen your tapping or pressure.
Our specialist Cherron says, "When you use them in sequence, it is stimulating the body into creating more Qi and then it sends that new Qi up to your head. That clear Qi corresponds to clarity of thoughts and feelings of renewed energy!"
Always speak to a doctor in regards to your health and it's lack of energy as well. An ongoing challenge of fatigue may mean a deficiency in Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D, Potassium, Magnesium, and iron. By practicing these simple energy inducing acupoints and combining it with your daily vitamin line up, this may create a win for you in terms of fatigue challenges. Enjoy and refresh your Qi!
Meet Cherron Dow-Chacon