Spring is a chance for spring cleaning. Usually that means you deep clean your house or your car or your work desk, but today it means deep cleaning your back. Acupressure, a method of signaling the body to self-heal, can instantly reduce pain and inflammation caused by sore muscles and knots. Patiently and consistently applying acupressure will release endorphins in your body and release toxins in your muscles, alleviating pain and calming anxiety. This metaphorical way of cleaning out your back can be just the right tool you need to reduce your back pain this spring.
What is acupressure?
To understand acupressure, first understand acupuncture. Acupuncture started out as an ancient Chinese belief that disease disrupted the flow of energy or Qi in the body. By poking certain points in the body, acupuncture stimulates the nerves in the body and releases this energy so that you feel less pain and more happiness. Wester medicine today sees this energy as endorphins that are triggered to release through the pressure points throughout the body, bringing you reduced stress, less tension, a better immune system, more energy, allergy relief, and a reduced craving for cigarettes. Acupressure works the same way as acupuncture but doesn’t use needles. Even though they say that because the needles for acupuncture are so small you can barely feel them, acupressure still sounds better to me.
- Stimulates nerves
- Relieves stress, tension, and anxiety
- Improves sleep
- Releases endorphins
- Relaxes muscles and joints
- Soothes discomfort or pain from an injury
- Improves digestion
- Calms headaches
- Alleviates chronic pain
The acupressure points in this blog post focus on relieving back pain. There are a lot more acupressure points that can benefit you in different ways. Try these to help reduce your back pain. The following acupressure points have weird names, but don’t let that stop you from getting back pain relief.
Bladder 23 or Sea of Vitality:
This acupressure point is most often used to strengthen your core and reduce lower back pain. The Sea of Vitality is located at the waist on the lower back between the second and third lumbar vertebrae and is two finger widths from the spine (on both sides of the spine). To locate this acupressure point, trace the bottom of your rib cage, pressing lightly, starting from the inside close to the spine. You will reach the points about an inch from your spine. When you locate the point, use your fingers to massage in circles or press directly into the point. Do this for 30 seconds to a few minutes. It is good to press and release periodically.
This acupressure point is very effective for those with sciatic pain and piriformis syndrome. Gallbladder 30 is found in the butt and is one-third of the way from the highest point of the sacrum to the hip point. To find the point, draw a line between the highest point of your butt and the hip point and split it into thirds. The point is the first third closest to your hip. When you locate the point, use your fingers to massage in circles or press directly into the point. Do this for 30 seconds to a few minutes. It is good to press and release periodically.
Urinary Bladder 40:
This acupressure point is useful for a lot of types of back pain: herniated discs, sciatica, muscle spasms, knee stiffness, arthritis, and many other things. The point is found in the back of the knee in the middle of the crease. When you locate the point, use your fingers to massage in circles or press directly into the point. Do this for 30 seconds to a few minutes. It is good to press and release periodically.
Large Intestine 4:
This acupressure point can help with all types of pain throughout your body including headaches and back pain, but it works best for back pain when used with other acupressure points for back pain. The point is located in the webbing between your pointer finger and thumb. You can press it by pinching with the index finger and thumb of the other hand. This spot is a bit tender and should only be pressed for 60 to 90 seconds. Repeat if needed.
Urinary Bladder 62:
Even though this acupressure point is found on the foot, it releases tension in the lower back. To find this point, locate the fleshy depression that is right under the outside ankle bone. Press on this point on both feet. Do this for 30 seconds to a few minutes. After pressing on this point, it is helpful (when trying to reduce back pain) to then massage firmly on the arches of the feet.
Applying pressure to these acupressure points in one session can help reduce your back pain. You can also relax before and after your acupressure session by rolling out on the Chirp Wheel+. Simply leaning back against the wheel can also help relax the muscles on your back to prepare you for your acupressure session.
Bourassa, P. (2018, February 10). 5 Acupressure Techniques To Relieve Lower Back Pain. Retrieved from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/acupressure-for-lower-back-pain
George, S. (2016, August 30). Bladder 23: An Acupressure/Acupuncture Point to Help Back Pain. Retrieved from https://www.positiveacupuncture.co.uk/2012/04/bladder-23-an-acupressureacupuncture-point-to-help-back-pain/
Larsen, A. (2018, May 28). Acupuncture Point: Gallbladder 30. Retrieved from https://www.miridiatech.com/news/2016/05/acupuncture-point-gallbladder-30/
Pletcher, P. (2015, March 25). How to Massage Your Pressure Points. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/pain-relief/how-to-massage-your-pressure-points#3
Tower Health. (2018). The 5 Most Important Acupuncture Points For Treating Back Pain. Retrieved from https://www.tower-health.co.uk/blog/5-acu-points-for-back-pain/