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TENNIS BALL TRICK? A tennis ball can reduce stress and fatigue, as well as address shoulder and neck issues

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This is part of Elephant Pharmacy’s Share the Wellth program.  To leave a comment or a question about this tip, click here.

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In addition to the tulips, the longer days tell me it’s really Springtime.  And while this makes me wnt to increase my activity, I find that I need to boost my energy levels.  What better time to talk again about energy-boosting.

When thinking about how to address low energy, it can be helpful to consider what is causing it. 
  • Is your ability to fuel your energy–for example, with nutritious food and water, restful sleep,  healthful exercise, or a favorite hobby–affected? 
  • Or is your energy being depleted in some way, for example with unhealthy foods and alcohol, allergies, stress or pain? 
  • Or a combination of factors?
Paying attention to how and when your energy flags, during the day and week, is the first step to addressing lowered energy.  Read this post for some tips to see if any of them works for you.
Warning: Do not use this point on pregnant women.


Name: Three Yin Intersection (Spleen 6)

This point, on the inside lower leg, has one of those helpfully descriptive and practical names, because it is indeed where the three yin meridians–spleen, liver and kidney–intersect.

This point can help address reproductive disorders, including menstrual cycle irregularity, pre-menstrual discomfort, and menstruation pain.  Since it’s on the leg, it can be used for pain in the lower leg and ankle.  Helpful also for digestive problems and pain in lower abdomen, for “restless” fatigue and insomnia.

Location: You’ll find this point on the inside lower leg, four fingers’ width above the ankle bone.
spleen 6 dot  spleen 6 four fingers
As with all acupressure points except the ones that run down the center of your body, this point is bilateral, which means it’s found on both legs.

To hold: There are several ways you can do this.  It’s important that you are comfortable in your shoulders, arm and hand, and also your legs, so experiment with different ways to hold the point to see what is most comfortable.

spleen 6 fingers

You can take the thumb of one hand, and gently hold the point on the opposite leg, as in the photo above (right hand thumb holding left leg).  Sitting in a chair, you can put one foot flat on the floor and cross the other leg with the shin over your knee, so you can reach the point easily.

Lying on the floor or your bed, you can take the same position as if you were on a chair, with one foot flat on the floor, and the other leg crossed over so you can reach the point with the opposite hand. 

To try it sitting on the floor, on a bed or a couch, bend your knees and bring your feet toward each other so your legs form a diamond or omega shape. Using the same hand as the leg, hold one point or both hands; one hand on each leg.  Depending on your flexibility, this may or may not be easy and comfortable.  Try putting a bolster or cushion under you knees for support.

Experiment to see what is most comfortable, and what is reasonable based on where you find yourself.

How much pressure?  Spleen 6 can be a very sensitive point, and may be tender even with just a light touch, especially for women pre- and during menstruation.  Just rest your finger on the point, there’s no need to apply pressure. If it’s too tender, release gently. 

On the other hand, you may feel nothing, and pushing harder won’t change that.  At such times, it may be impossible to find the point because you don’t feel anything.  Try holding the palm of your hand over the general area; this can be effective even though you don’t feel it directly.

How long?  Some women feel immediate relief from pain and discomfort when they hold this point.  You can start out by holding for 15 to 30 seconds, if that feels comfortable.  If you are dealing with a chronic issue, daily holding of this point can be helpful.  Hold the point longer every day or so until you work up to one minute.  Repeat a couple of times on each leg.

Warning: Do not use this point on pregnant women.

You are encouraged you to seek the advice of a qualified health care provider for questions about a medical condition.

Name: Great Surge (Liver 3)

This point is on the top of your foot and helps address fatigue, headaches, insomnia related to “busy mind”, hangovers, eye issues (swelling, pain) and alleviates pain. It’s also helpful in energizing.  Some people feel a “great surge” of energy move from their feet, up their legs and bodies; hence the name.

Location: This point is on the top of your foot, in the “valley” at the point where your big toe and second toe bones meet, above the arch of your foot.  See where the dot is on the photo below.  (If you’re familiar with the Hoku point on the hand, you can think of this as the similar point on your foot.)
liverTop
As with all acupressure points except the ones that run down the center of your body, this point is bilateral, which means it’s found on both feet.

To hold: There are several ways you can do this.  It’s important that you are comfortable in your shoulders and arms, so experiment with different ways to hold the point, and see what is most comfortable.

You can sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground, and bend down to reach the top of your foot with your index or middle finger.  Firmly press on the point with a steady pressure.  Hold first for 10 seconds or so, and then work up to a minute as long as it is comfortable.  As with holding all acupressure points, take deep slow breaths as you hold the point.

I find that it can be easier to hold this point by “sandwiching” it between one finger to top of my foot, and another underneath.  See the photos below where I use my thumb on top in one case; the index finger on top in another.

liver32    liver3 3

Often, this point can be tender; if it is, release the pressure if it is too uncomfortable.  This point, too, can take a lot of pressure, so experiment with different degrees of pressure. 

You are encouraged you to seek the advice of a qualified health care provider for questions about a medical condition.

Name: Letting Go (Lung 1)

This is a great point because its name tells you the benefits.

  • It’s the first point on the lung meridian, so it’s effective for relieving discomforts related to your lungs: breathing, asthma, coughing and chest tension, especially the upper chest.
  • Also, it’s “poetic” name “Letting Go” reminds us that this is a helpful point when we have ideas or emotions that we’re hanging onto too tightly, that we’re having a difficult time letting go. Grief, which is the emotion of letting go of something dear to us, holding this point gently and compassion can be helpful.
  • In addition, this point helps with fatigue, irritability and confusion.

lung1Location: On your front body, three fingers’ width below your collarbone, next to the top of your upper arm bone. On the top of the hand, on the web where the thumb and the index finger meet.

It can sometimes be difficult to find, but when you do, it often feels good. Sometimes it can be tender; hold gently. Often, you’ll take a nice deep breath.

To hold: You can push on this point with a light touch, or with a lot of pressure. As in the photo above, you can cross your arm across your chest and push in and up with your index and middle fingers, or all three middle fingers. Try this out to figure out what feels good. You can rub or massage the point with a circular motion.

You can hold the point with the hand of the sameside, as in the photo below (left).

lung1_2

lung1_3

Or try touching your thumb lightly on the spot. Even such a light touch can be effective.

Hold for 10 or 15 seconds initially, until you figure out what works for you. Take deep slow breathes while you hold the point. You can hold for a few minutes, but make sure that the holding hand does not get tense or tired out. Release gently if you feel any acute pain.

You are encouraged you to seek the advice of a qualified health care provider for questions about a medical condition.

Name: Hara or Sea of Energy (Conception Vessel 6)

Location: Directly between the belly button, two finger width down.

To Hold: You can place your three middle fingers of either hand, on the point area, and press down an inch or two until you reach a firm spot. Or, you can use a more relaxed hold and place the palm of one hand gently on your belly, below your belly button, right over the point.

You can use one hand, or both, with one hand over the other. Remember to relax your hands and arms and shoulders. You can hold this while standing (evenly on both feet), sitting (with both feet flat on the ground, back straight), or lying down.

Hold for one or two minutes, while taking slow deep breaths.

This is a point that is your Center. It’s the center of our energy–as reflected in the name “Sea of Energy”. It is effective for relieving discomforts that affect the lower abdomen area: digestive issues, constipation, gas, chronic diarrhea, menstrual pain . Also helps strengthen the lower back, and addressing energy-related issues like chronic fatigue syndrome.

** You are encouraged you to seek the advice of a qualified health care provider for questions about a medical condition. **