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Techniques of foot acupressure

This post is a continuation of the introduction of foot acupressure from last post. The techniques of foot acupressure is pretty much the same as hand acupressure. Just more techniques for tougher and bigger reflexive area on foot.  Let's have some revisions here. One thing to remember is that do not apply foot acupressure when you have fever, nausea, pregnancy and some disease that really needs a doctor to take care of.

Ways of stimulation:

1. Thumb acupressure – use your whorled surface of thumb to rub or massage the reflexive area and acupoints. There are two ways to massage, one is direct press, another is press and rub around the acupoint with the thumb tip. The method depends on what kind of illnesses. Usually press and count 1, 2, 3 and release, press  and count 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.  You can also use your thumb tip or finger knuckle and apply pressure gradually to the reflexive areas and acupoints. Rubbing will be pressure applied to the reflexive area with a circular motion. If it's for pain relief, acupressure can be applied until that pain is relieved or until the acupoints or reflexive area turned red or heated up.

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 every day. 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.

4. Various devices for bigger areas - Other than the above techniques, rubbing the reflexive areas with brush, comb, toothbrush, or use a hair dryer to heat up the areas can work too.


Introduction of Foot Acupressure – Reflexology


About a month ago I posted about 12+2 meridians or channels carrying Qi and Blood Flow, and the 365 major acupoints (or acupuncture points, or "xue dao" in Mandarin). About two weeks ago I talked about hand acupressure and some techniques for healing some common illness like toothache, diarrhea or motion sickness through massaging the reflexive area or the stimulating certain acupoints. Before I list more different illnesses that can be healed through the hands, I decided to introduce foot acupressure as well, so I have both to talk about later.

The therapy on feet are actually the same on the hands. The healing based on the stimulation of the reflexive areas (or reflecting areas, reflective areas....whatever they're called in English) is called reflexology. Usually stimulations include massage, acupuncture, acupressure, moxabustion etc. The purpose is to adjust the function of internal organs and enhance the flow of Qi and blood through the meridians. Basically I kinda talked about all these in the introduction of hand acupressure.

There are about 20% of major acupoints on our feet and legs. Massaging these areas and stimulating those points not only can cure common illness like headache or toothache, even high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes these serious diseases can be controlled and relieved. Foot or hand acupressure therapy doesn't have any side effects and always safe. Not just the hands, feet work as a forecast for our health as well.

When we're done with exercises, massaging our legs and feet not only help us to avoid the sore, we're actually helping the internal organs and Yin Yang balance as well. Foot acupressure can be done by ourselves without others help, anywhere and anytime we like.

I bought a "carpet with rocks" which is actually made for foot acupressure therapy. Walking on this carpet is painful, but it's also a nice therapy for our health. If you walk on some little stones and you find your feet really painful, that means your health is just so-so. If you feel ok, that means you're quite healthy. I'll try to post the photo of this thing I bought and talk about this later. Also I'll talk about the techniques of massage on foot as well.

(Sources: Diagram from