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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 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.


Hand Acupressure/Reflexology Basics, Part 2

32 reflexive areas on your hands and fingers

Why does massages on hand can make such a big difference, make us feel good, keep us strong, and even cure problems in our body?

Firstly, we need to figure out the basics of reflexology. The status of our head, our organs, limbs , muscles and all parts of body will be reflected on the reflexive areas on our hand. There must be a relevant reflexive areas on our hands, either on the palm or the back of the hand. Most of the time, unlike acupoints on meridians, these areas are called as the same as the organs or body parts they reflect. For example, stomach is still called stomach reflexive area on the hand, lungs are called lungs reflexive areas.

The concept here is simple: as long as we understand the status of body parts can be reflected to the hands (actually, for reflexology, feet as well), so the stimulations on these reflexive areas are going to "activate" the corresponding body parts and organs. If we do this every day, there will certainly be a healing effect. For example, stomach-ache can be healed by massaging the stomach reflexive area on the hand, there will be a good regulation. Same as sore throat, etc...

On the contrary, if we find it painful of an area on our hands, that may be an indication of the disorder of the relevant body parts or organs. We can actually use this method to find out if there's any problem in our body. For example, if a person feel very painful when applying pressure to the kidneys reflexive areas,  there may be a kidney disorder going on. In that case, carefully massage the reflexive areas and stimulate to resolve and break down the body waste, lactic acid and uric acid, and then discharge with urination.  That's going to help healing the problem with the kidneys.


Hand Acupressure/Reflexology Basics, Part 1

I remember a few months ago I had a brief introduction of Hand Acupressure. After that, we just jumped right into those practical hand therapies without talking deeper. I guess it's about time to continue talking about some basics of hand acupressure I learned from some Chinese resources. However, I still would recommend you spend 1-2 minutes reading that brief introduction I posted few months ago before reading this. It described what "Acupoints" and meridians (or channels) are, and introduced different ways of stimulation on those acupressure points (acupoints). Basically, we have 370k to 380k small channels that form 10-14 major meridians in our body. These meridians connect internal organs for Qi (Chi) and blood flow. When there's a disorder with an internal organ, there will be a "reflex" on these meridians. When we stimulate certain points on these meridians (acupoints), we can treat the disorder.

For hand acupressure, there are meridians on our fingers. Each finger has a meridian that somehow responsible for certain inner systems. Let's briefly introduce the meridians on these fingers.

Thumb meridian - regulates respiratory system and catalyzes metabolism;

Index finger meridian - regulates functions of liver, stomach and pancreas;

Middle finger meridian - regulates heart and blood flow etc. ;

Ring finger meridian - related to nerve system, visual system etc;

Little finger meridian - regulate functions of lungs and reproductive system.

Reflexology is somehow a western name, while it is kind of similar to the theory of Chinese acupressure. For normal people, it's not easy to understand how meridians work. But if you can at least understand which fingers belong to which system and just rub your fingers frequently, even if you didn't hit the right acupoints, it's still going to have certain effects.

We'll continue very soon.


Hand Acupressure for abdominal distention (intestinal gas), belching(burping)/bloating/flatulence(farting)

Most of the time, flatulence, also known as farting, and belching, which also known as blurping, make us embarrassed. However, if it happens in the wrong moment, wrong place and wrong time, it's not going to be funny, or even have some critical effects on certain decisions.

If belching, bloating or flatulence happen too often, there may be some disorder with the digestive system. If you always feel bloating, you may need to pay attention. There may be diseases or conditions that are causing this trouble. Bloating is a feeling, while abdominal distention means physically the abdomen is larger than normal, so they're different. There are different reasons I found from the researches, but I'm not going to list them all here for now, just some of them. Diet like taking too much high fiber, high starch food, and hard-to-digest food (which means the hard food that takes longer to digest) will produce more intestine gas. Eating too fast, or eating while walking and using straws too much will bring air into our stomach.

Whenever you feel like you have some intestinal gas, or going to blurb or fart in wrong timing, you can stimulate the large intestine acupoint, "er jian" and the reflexive area for stomach, spleen and large intestine about 4-5 times each . (see diagrams) That should relieve the problem. Doing these stimulation regular can also help with the bloating problem in a long term.