Chinese acupuncture is not the only method used in traditional Chinese medicine to cure diseases. Acupressure without needles can also relieve emergency or embarrassing situations. Pressing acupoints can effectively relieve drowsiness at work, constant coughing in public, motion sickness and vomiting, frequent urination, abdominal pain, and constipation to name some key uses.
According to acupuncture expert Su Shouyi, the director of the Yanlong Chinese Medicine Clinic, there are multiple acupoints applicable to the above situations, so you can choose the most convenient acupoint. Since the same acupoint is on the left and right sides of the body, he recommends massaging on both sides to improve the effect.
Subscribe to our Newsletter!
Receive selected content straight into your inbox.
1. Drowsiness and fatigue
Tap the acupoints against each other with both hands
When you are drowsy and sleepy during a meeting or in classes, you can tap the acupoints to keep you awake.
Fatigue emergency acupoints: Hegu, Houxi, and Yangchi
Hegu point (合谷穴) mutual tap method: With both palms face down, retract the thumbs, and bring both hands together so they connect. With all five fingers straightened and together, the most protruding part of the muscle between the thumb and index finger is the Hegu point (合谷穴). Sleepiness is related to a lack of qi, and the Hegu point has the effect of invigorating qi. Tapping the hands as described can stimulate the Hegu point of both hands.
Houxi point (後溪穴) mutual tap method: With both palms face up, the sides of the little fingers are tapped together. When you make a fist, the end of the deep horizontal line on the palm is the Houxi point (後溪穴). This acupoint has the effect of relieving fatigue and replenishing vital energy.
Yangchi point (陽池穴) mutual tap method: With the right palm up, and the left palm down, tap the backs of the hands together. When the wrist is bent upward, horizontal lines will appear on the back of the wrist, and the Yangchi point (陽池穴) is at the midpoint of the lines. Su Shouyi indicated that the sorer the muscles are, the more effective this is.
Earlobe massage: Rub the earlobes of both ears. There are many acupoints on the earlobes that stimulate the circulation of the face and brain.
Hot compress to the eyes: Rub the palms 6 to 10 times. After the palms are warm, cover the closed eyes lightly, and move the eyes around 6 to 10 times. This has a refreshing effect.
2. Coughing non-stop
4 acupoints for relief
In public places such as mass rapid transit, offices, restaurants, etc., if you suddenly feel an itchy throat and can’t stop coughing, it is likely to attract people’s attention, which is embarrassing. Pressing the 4 acupoints of the lung meridian will quickly stop your coughing.
Coughing emergency acupoints: Yuji, Taiyuan, Chize, and Kongzu
Yuji point (魚際穴): At the midpoint between the base knuckle of the thumb and the wrist, which is on the line that divides the palm and the back of the hand.
Taiyuan point (太淵穴): Along the thumb side, above the line of the wrist, there is an indentation between the metacarpal bone and the carpal bone, where you take your pulse.
Chize point (尺澤穴): Bend your arm up slightly and find a large indentation on the elbow line.
Kongzui point (孔最穴): Palm facing upwards, on the link line of the Taiyuan point and the Chize point, 7 inches above the line of the wrist. Measure from the wrist, put five fingers together (4 inches), plus four fingers together (3 inches).
The above four acupoints on the hand and arm are safer to press. The Tiantu point, (天突穴) located in the center of the collarbone indentation, can also relieve coughs, but because it is just below the throat, some people will feel uncomfortable when it’s pressed.
3. Motion sickness and nausea
Press points on the head for dizziness, press points on the hands if nauseous
Motion sickness and vomiting can spoil the fun of traveling. If you have motion sickness but don’t have any symptoms of nausea, you can press acupoints on the head such as Fengchi, Yifeng, or Taiyang. If you feel nausea or have been vomiting, press the Neiguan point.
Motion sickness and nausea emergency acupoints: Taiyang, Fengchi, Yifeng, and Neiguan
Taiyang point (Temple 太陽穴): Where the outer part of the eye socket crosses the extension line of the eyebrow, there is an indentation about a finger-width behind where they meet.
Fengchi point (風池穴): Under the head and occiput, inside the hairline, there’s an indentation between the two large tendons behind the ear.
Yifeng point (翳風穴): In the obvious indentation behind the earlobe.
Neiguan point (内關穴): Three fingers width above the horizontal line of the wrist, between the two tendons of the wrist.
4. Frequent urination
4 acupoints for relief
Frequent urination is very bothersome when traveling by car, especially in traffic jams. Press the acupoints on the palms and feet to reduce the frequency of urination.
Frequent urination emergency acupoints: Yemen, Zhongzhu, Sanyinjiao, and Yinlingquan
Yemen Point (液門穴): On the back of the hand, the skin that connects the ring finger and little finger, at the point where the front and back of the hand meet.
Zhongzhu Point (中渚穴): On the back of the hand, between the fourth and fifth metacarpal bones, the indentation behind the metacarpophalangeal joints.
Sanyinjiao Point (三陰交穴): On the inner side of the calf, four fingers width up from the pointiest part of the ankle bone, and the indentation on the back edge of the tibia.
Yinlingquan Point (陰陵泉穴): The inner side of the calf, and the indentation on the inner side of the tibia below the knee.
Su Shouyi noted that for men, if they often have frequent urination, it is mostly related to prostate hypertrophy. Women may have bladder sphincter weakness or bladder inflammation. You should seek medical attention for this. At the same time, you can press the Sanyinjiao and Yinlingquan points, and practice squeezing the pelvic floor to strengthen the muscles in that area.
5. Stomach pain and diarrhea
2 points on hands and feet for relief
Almost everyone has had the experience of sudden stomach pain, diarrhea, and rushing to find a toilet. You can press acupoints in the gastrointestinal tract, such as the Hegu point in the Large Intestine Meridian and Zusanli in the Stomach Meridian to relieve the emergency, buy time to find a toilet, and relieve the diarrhea.
Stomach pain and diarrhea emergency acupoints: Hegu and Zusanli
Hegu point (合谷穴): Pressing the Hegu point between the thumb and index finger, as previously mentioned, will not only help energize you, but also relieve stomach pain and diarrhea.
Zusanli point (足三里穴): Four fingers below the indentation of the outer knees.
The hands, feet, and belly all have laxative ‘buttons’
If you are constipated for several days, or stay on the toilet for a long time without moving, you know that constipation is very distressing. You can massage points on the hands, feet, and abdomen to promote bowel movement.
Constipation emergency acupoints: Tianshu, Shangyang, Chengshan, and Zusanli
Tianshu Point (天樞穴): These points are three fingers-width from each side of the naval.
Shangyang Point (商陽穴): About 2 mm away from the corner of the nail on the index finger, on the side closest to the thumb.
Chengshan Point (承山穴): The central indentation below the bulge of the muscles behind the lower leg.
Zusanli Point(足三里穴): Four fingers below the indentation of the outer knees. The Zusanli point is mainly used to adjust the spleen and stomach and can also be used for constipation and diarrhea.
Su Shouyi emphasized that whether or not pressing acupoints improves constipation still depends on the individual’s physique and condition. For example, for meatatarian people, pressing is effective at the beginning, but if they do not change their eating habits over time, the effect of acupoints may gradually weaken. He added that if you have frequent constipation, you should eat more fruits and vegetables regularly to get dietary fiber.
Translation by Patty Zhang and editing by Helen