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Hand Acupressure for toothache

I was supposed to talk about something different today, but my mom got toothache lately so I tried to find if there's any reflexive area on the hand that can help sooth her pain. It turns out I found a few acupoints and a reflexive area on this hand acupressure therapy book. So again, I'm going to translate and share here.

Acupressure on hand can only reduce the pain of toothache, it doesn't cure the teeth problem. Toothache can be caused by infection or tooth decay. After all, dentist is needed for the real cure.

Stimulate the following acupoints and reflexive area in the diagrams, just remember you have to use a pointy device to stimulate the acupoints until PAINFUL in order to be effective.

1. For pulpitis (or neuralgia), use a pointy device to stimulate the "Kidney Acupoint" at the middle of the first line of little finger, palm side --- this may sound like a little weird, but according to TCM, Kidney "channel" is related to toothache.

2. For apical inflammatory, stimulate the acupoint called "He Gu" at back of the hand almost the conjunction of thumb bone and index finger bone (see diagram). Or massage hard on the reflexive area for Oral and Bronchitis (see diagram).

3. For periodontitis, stimulate "He Gu" and also the "toothache point" between the root of middle finger and ringer finger within 1cm below.

The Oral and Bronchitis reflexive area is a very helpful massage area for temporary relief of toothache. The key is to massage that area HARD with your other thumb and index finger.  Also, stimulate the "Liver Acupoint" as the diagram shown helps tooth pain caused by coldness. For "He Gu", if you stick a little bean at that acupoint for few minutes, that would help too.



(sources: Hand natural healing)

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A brief introduction of Hand Acupressure

I shared 3 different hand acupressure I learned in the last 3 posts. Some friends started to ask me questions about hand acupressure.I figured may be I should share some knowledgeable introduction about hand acupressure from my research so it makes more sense.

"Acupoints" are the critical points on the 12+2 major channels (or called meridians) for Qi (Chi) and blood flow to run. They're all over our body. If we call our internal organs the power house, then the acupoints are adapters. By stimulating these acupoints through acupuncture or acupressure, Qi (Chi) and blow flow got adjusted and balance better. So as a metaphor, sickness is like a sudden change of charge/current, healing through acupoints are like controlling the adapter to adjust voltage. As long as we keep the power flow stable, we're healthy.

About half of the starting points of those channels locate on our finger tips. Some call our hands as a thermometer of internal organs, or even a forecast channel of health, because our hands can tell our sickness in advance. For example, if the color of the palm looks uneven, the blood circulation may have  problem. If fingernails show red dots or even gray dots, it can be a sign of blood clot in the brain. If the color of the convex part below the root of the thumb turn purple, it's a sign of a coming flu. Because there are many acupoints on the hand that are related to sickness, stimulating reflexive areas or acupoints on our hand can help healing. That's really "natural" healing.

Ways of stimulation:

1. Thumb acupressure - use your fingers (usually the thumb on the front and four fingers at the back to support) to rub or massage the reflexive area and acupoints. It's a very convenient stimulation. But it's not strong enough for certain illnesses that needs stronger stimulation. There are two ways to massage, one is direct press, another is press and rub around the acupoint. Which way to use depends on what kind of illnesses. Usually press 1, 2, 3 and release, press 1, 2, 3 and release, repeat for as long as needed for different case.  The strength of massage is usually hard, but some illness can't take too much stimulation.

2. Cigarette moxibustion - use a lighted cigarette or the Chinese medical moxibustion to approach the acupoints for heating stimulation. Be sure not to burn the skin. Horizontally held cigarette is actually better then pointing the acupoints vertically. Make sure you don't burn your skin, 5mm distance should be close enough. Approach, and then away. Repeat 7-15 times. Depends on what kind of illnesses, sometimes we'll have to do it everyday. Note that we never do this after shower or a bath.

3. Toothpick/pointy device - this is to replace the acupuncture needle while this gives a stronger stimulation then acupressure or cigarette. It's easier to use a bunch of toothpicks (5-10) for stimulation because normally we're not that accurate pointing to the acupoints. Although we don't want to hurt our skin, feeling pain and stimulation during the process is important. Otherwise it's not going to be effective. Usually 1, 2 press, 3, 4 away, 1, 2 press, 3, 4 away, keep repeating in this tempo. First timer can try like 10 times.

A normal question asked is about which hand to stimulate. The answer is that we stimulate both acupoints on both hands - they're supposed to be the same. If we find that one acupoint on one hand feels more painful than the other during the stimulation, then we stimulate longer and more on that point.

We can do this hand stimulation anytime, or when we feel more relaxed. But after bath, exercise, drinking, or during fever, these are when we should NOT do this hand acupoints stimulation. Pregnant woman should never do it, especially the "He Gu" acupoint I mentioned last post for toothache. Strong stimulation on "He Gu" can cause miscarriage.

(sources: Hand natural healing)

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Hand reflexology for headache and migraine

So again after hand acupressure, we'll talk about hand reflexology for headache and migraine.

As last post mentioned, headache can be caused by a lot of different reasons like flu, arteriosclerosis, brain tumors or brain cancers. Other than the serious problems, minor ones like toothache, season change, or even inappropriate size of shoes causing toe pain. It's pretty often that menstruation period and menopause would cause headache as well. So if it's not serious brain issue, headache can be caused by some environmental change. But consistent headache is definitely very annoying, and may eventually become a chronic disease.

There is a housewife who had been suffering with headache since her second child was born. The headache also get her into bad mood very easily. She uses a lot of pain killers but the side-effects are making her health get worse. She then heard about acupressure and came to a practitioner. She told the practitioner that she has headache even right at the moment. The practitioner put some lotion on the headache reflexive area on her thumbs (see diagram). Then he put her hands on his knees and clip her thumbs with his fingers and massage her thumbs towards her wrists. Afterwards, he uses his thumb and massage hard at the center of the palm which is called "Tai Yang Nerve reflexive area" for a few times, at the same time wrap the right thumb with cotton threads (not too tight). The practitioner then said, "Later on, you can put some lotions between fingers and massage your fingers like your praying." 10 minutes later, this housewife already forgot about the headache.

Acupressure is actually a good way to heal headache, at least as a headache relief. If you're busy and can't do massage slowly, you can use a laundry clip to clip the head of the thumb, which are reflexive area for the head and the neck. A little tight will be even better. Until the thumbs get a little numb and turn a little pale, take the clips down a take a little break. Then clip them back and repeat. Stimulation can be harder if you want to get rid of the pain quicker.

For chronic headache, walking often is pretty effective for relieving the pain. 40% of acids in our body is burned by our brain. Headache actually means the our brain wasn't active enough. So with exercise and walking we can ensure to deliver enough acids to the brain and activate the brain cells better. Deep breaths definitely helps too.

However, the headache caused by arteriosclerosis, cerebral anemia and brain tumors/cancers can't be ignored. So check with the doctor if the headache lasts long.



Hand acupressure for headache and migraine


Happy New Year everyone, I wish everyone would be very healthy and as strong as a tiger. It's been two weeks I haven't updated this blog and that makes me feel so sorry...anyway, let's jump on healing one of the most popular health problems - headache.

When headache occurs, we can stimulate the relevant acupoint on the second joint of our fingers according to where the headache locates.

To really categorize the reasons of the headache would not be very easy because there are different kinds of symptoms and feelings like the head feels "heavy", "tight", "tearing" etc. The actual causes of headache can include the following ones: vascular diseases such as high blood pressure, accumulation of poisonous elements such as carbon monoxide, headache caused by fever, brain diseases such as tumors or cancer, or causes by diseases of organs like eyes, noises, teeth which are close to the head.

To heal headache with acupressure, the most important thing is to confirm the area where the headache occurs, like if the pain is from forehead is different from the pain from the top of the head, because the acupoint to heal different headaches are different, but they're all at the end of the wrinkle when you bend the second joint of your fingers (see diagram):

  • When the pain is at forehead, stimulate the forehead acupoint at the second joint of index fingers on the side that's more close to the thumb;
  • When the pain is at top of the head, stimulate the acupoint at the second joint of middle fingers on the side that's more close to the index finger;
  • When the pain is on the side of your head, which could be migraine, stimulate the migraine acupoint at the second joint of ring fingers on the side that's more close to the little finger;
  • When the pain is at back of the head, stimulate the acupoint at the second joint of little fingers that's facing outside.

On the palm side, there are a heart acupoint and an acupoint called "Tai Ling" at the center of the inside wrist. (See diagram) They're effective acupoints when the headache is caused by vascular problems.

Like many of the acupressure method I mentioned. Stimulate these acupoints with 5-10 toothpicks tied up together, or use a cigarette to heat up those acupoints without burning your skin for about 7-10 times. Stimulate harder if the headache is stronger. Take turns on both hands until the headache relieves. If there is no relief at all, you may have to go check up with a doctor because there may be some serious problem going wrong in your head.



Hand reflexology for hangover, stomachache and nausea

It's the first Monday after Christmas of 2009. I know a lot of people had a lot of fun going to parties. We eat and drink a lot during holidays without enough care for our stomach. Hangovers after parties are even more annoying. Last post was about acupressure for stomachache. Like usual, I often include reflexology for the same health issue in the next article. This time the reflexive area can heal hangover, stomachache and nausea.

Sometimes we see people who look exhausted in the office and then we'll wonder if they worked really late the night before or they had to social with clients until late night, or even just hangover from the party the night before. In the busy urban cities like New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong or Tokyo, you may occasionally see people ask around to see if there's any pain pills for stomach. A practitioner's friend always see this kind of issues. He's a pretty shy person. Even when the boss asks around to see if there's any medication for stomachache, he would be the last person who take it out with hesitation. It's not because he doesn't want to help, he just doesn't want people to think he's toady. This "lack of confidence" personality is making him stressed at work as well and got stomachache. The practitioner tell him to be more outgoing while healing his stomachache. He also told him stimulate the same reflexive area would help with hangover and nausea as well as stomach problems.

The other day the boss of this guy asked around for stomach pills again. This time, he walked to his boss and said, "Hey, I got some new solutions here for your hangover. Give me your hand if you don't mind." He used his thumb and massaged his boss's hand's convex area under the thumb in the palm for 2-3 minutes. Suddenly his boss said, "ouch, that kinda hurts." Then he responded and couldn't believe he said that, "if it's painful, that means your stomach is not doing very well." With more massage, his boss started to look relieved. Looks like the stomach discomfort is gone. He told his boss, "Do you feel better now? Sometimes massage that area yourself and you'll certainly feel better."

Since then, this guy got more confidence and are more willing to talk to other co-workers. Holding the hand of his boss built a communication bridge between them. Even his boss probably think it's a good thing that this guy broke his wall and started to reach out.

Anyway, I heard that after a hangover, drink some lemon tea, plum tea, soup with MSG or more water will help. But to reduce the feeling of nausea, massage the reflexive area for the digestive system will definitely help. Strongly massage the area (See diagram) with your thumb and also stimulate around that area. If you can't do massage for long because of work, clip that area with a big clip can work too.



Hand Acupressure for stomachache and gastritis


It's been a while haven't talked about acupressure. This time we will talk about a very common health problem among people, especially busy people - stomachache. (I used to spell stomache but I finally figured out there's no such word.) There are many kinds of stomachache, some are hidden pain deep inside the stomach, some are acute pain gastritis. Some even happen suddenly while we're walking or working that make us sweat. Most of them are caused by acute gastritis or so-called "Stomach cramps."

Acute gastritis is a sudden inflammation of the lining of the stomach accompanied by pain. Reasons can vary from eating and drinking too much, food poisoning or medicine poisoning, to  symptom of a disease that comes with fever. Sometimes extreme nervousness can cause gastritis as well.

Anyway, when pain occurs, calm  down first and the pain should relieve a bit eventually, but it won't disappear - that's the major symptom of gastritis. So, acupressure would be a good way to kill the pain.

For sudden acute gastritis pain, first stimulate the stomach acupoint on the palm. (see diagram) This acupoint is the intersection where the "lifeline" and a vertical line drawn between the middle finger and ringer finger. The name of stomach acupoint in Chinese actually means the acupoint for the whole digestive system. So when gastritis occurs, we need to stimulate a little harder on that spot. Tie 5 toothpicks up and strongly stimulate that acupoint without hurting the skin. Usually after 10-15 times of stimulation the pain should start to relieve. If not, just continue.

"Luo Ling Wu" on the back of the hand is another acupoint for stomach, between the knuckles of middle finger and index finger. (See diagram) Same stimulation using toothpicks just like applying to stomach acupoint above.

The difference between stimulating "Luo Ling Wu" and "Stomach Acupoint" is that "Stomach Acupoint" works better for stomachache or gastritis caused by overeating, while "Luo Ling Wu" is more effective for stomachache caused by nervousness.



Hand Acupressure/Reflexology Basics, Part 6

The keys of hand acupressure/reflexology (continued):

Usually, hand acupressure/reflexology treatments can be done by anybody and anytime without any danger. However, if the following symptoms or disceases occur, we should avoid the stimulation or massage:

1. Fever with temperature higher than 38 °C (100.4°F);

2. Messy, unstable pulses;

3. Long term use of hormone products;

4. Extremely tired or exhausted;

5. After hemoptysis or coughing blood;

6. After Cerebral hemorrhage;

7. Active pulmonary tuberculosis;

8. Syphilis or Gonorrhea;

9. Legal/official infectious diseases;

10. malignant tumors (cancer)

And those patients with serious heart problems, liver disorders and kidney disorders should consult their doctors first before doing the hand therapy.

(to be continued)


Hand Acupressure/Reflexology Basics, Part 5

The keys of hand acupressure/reflexology (continued):

However, sometimes we feel some pain on our hand that doesn't show on the diagram, or we don't know what body parts the painful point referring to, or when we don't feel well, we forget where the reflexive areas are. In that case, lift your hands to the chest level, and look at your hands from sideway (like you're about to chop something with your hands). You can pretend that our body reflects on the whole hand as if you're looking at your body from the side. In this case, the finger tips reflect the head, then the eyes reflected a little below the head...the root of fingers are the reflexive area for shoulders...etc. Estimate which body parts reflected by which reflexive areas on your hand. Of course, it's not as accurate as the diagrams. But the best part of this reflexive therapy is that you just need an approximation after all.

After examination of the hands, we can start treating the reflexive areas that are particularly painful. Keep the hands clean and would be better if the fingernails are trimmed. Treatment time doesn't really matter, but we should avoid doing the massages on hand right after meal, alcohol and shower/bath. Because different stimulation have different effects, some stimulation may get the nerve excited and make us unable to sleep. So we should avoid the stimulation 30 minutes before going to bed as well. We can do the acupressure/massage during a bus ride to work, in the boring meetings, watching TV, or simply when you're taking a break.

The duration of the therapy should be around 15-20 minutes for both hands massage time added up together.  That's the most effective time. If you don't have time, shorten it a bit is not a big deal. In the case when we feel sudden problems such as  headache, nausea etc, we should stimulate hard until the problem is relieved.

(to be continued)


Hand Acupressure/Reflexology Basics, Part 4

The keys of hand acupressure/reflexology:

Whether you massage palm or back of your hands, there are no harms toward your body. However, if you want to have better results, the most efficient ways are of course stimulate the particular reflexive areas that are responsible for the disordered part of your body.

Firstly, use your thumb to press and massage on the palm of your whole hand. If you find certain areas that feel a little pain, that means there's something wrong with your body that is related to your painful reflexive area. Check out the reflexology diagrams for the relevant body parts and pay some attention to those potential health issues.

Do the same thing on the back of the hand. Hardened muscle/tissues or weird skin tone should pay more attention to examine.

Left hand and right hand are mostly symmetric, but there are organs only relevant to one hand or another, such as heart, liver and those who're on one side of our body. Do both hands will need to be examined.

(to be cont'd)


Hand Acupressure/Reflexology Basics, Part 3

(continue  from Part 2)

When we thinking about it, most of us should remember once or twice that when we didn't feel well or something went wrong in our body, that showed on our sensitive hands. For example, when we are watching an exciting ball game or movie, our hands will be sweating involuntarily. Or after a fever, our hands may feel dry and some skin may even peel off. Long time ago there was a very simple lie detector created according to the sweating of palm, which related to the activities of the brain and the nerve system. I'm not saying this lie detector is very accurate, but I'd like to point out that our hands don't really exist as individual body parts, they have close relationship with internal organs. If the reflexology treatment will be more effective if we can confirm certain reflexive areas more accurately corresponding to certain body parts.

Let's say if we want to calm down an anxious person, we need to calm down this person's unstable nervous system. We can stimulate thyroid and pituitary gland reflexive areas to calm down the vigorous emotions.

There is a saying that people who always use their hands live longer. Some say that artists, carpenters live longer and healthier. Many of them still keep working on their masterpieces when they're already old. A lot of smart people use their hands very often too. The stimulations on the hands help activate the brain and the organs, as the body gets stronger, the brain runs even more actively. In the old days, housewives used their hands frequently for household works such as sewing and washing clothes helped the stimulations as well. But since we have more work done by machines, household work doesn't stimulate our hands as much as before. So "working" with our hands actually help our longevity, and spending some time massaging our hands everyday will benefit even more, especially today we don't even do that many "hard" household work with hands.