Targeting Ailments with Acupressure
The basic acupressure techniques of stroking, kneading, and shaking can also be used to massage the entire body and all the acupressure points on it. It is useful to carry out a whole or partial body massage before acupressure treatment. The whole-body massage illustrated in the following pages is a partner massage, beginning with the front of the body and ending with the back of the body. The complete massage takes about forty-five to sixty minutes.
Left: With your partner lying on his or her back, the massage begins on the front of the body on the left leg and ends in the abdomen and chest. The numbers indicate the precise order.
Right: With your partner lying on his or her stomach, the massage begins on the right leg and ends on the back.
Massage of the Front of the Body
For this part of the massage, your partner lies on his or her back.
Massaging the Arms
After you have massaged both legs, massage the arms, working with first the right and then the left. Make sure that your partner’s arms are loose and relaxed for this part of the massage.
1, 2 Introductory Strokes
Begin the massage on the right arm at the wrist. Take the wrist between your hands, and glide your hands up the arm to the shoulder, gradually increasing your pressure as you move toward the shoulder. Return your hands to their starting position without losing contact with your partner’s skin. Perform this stroking a total of ten times.
3, 4 Kneading and Stroking
Now knead the muscles of the lower arm, perpendicular to their fibers. Then knead the biceps on the upper arm. After you have kneaded the lower and upper arm for one to two minutes each, repeat the ten strokes from wrist to shoulder as described above.
Now bend your partner’s arm at the elbow and, holding the wrist in both hands, lift the arm a few inches, until the upper arm no longer touches the ground. Shake the arm to the left and right with small movements.
Begin the massage of the arm with strokes from the wrist . . .
. . . up to the shoulder. Make sure to maintain contact with your partner’s skin at all times.
Now knead the muscles of the upper arm between your thumb and fingers.
After the kneading, carry out more strokes.
To conclude, shake your partner’s arm.
The Points of the Three Yang Meridians on the Upper Arms
Three meridians run along the outside and back of the upper arms: the Large Intestine, Triple Heater, and Small Intestine meridians. This section discusses the most effective points of these meridians and their treatment possibilities.
Locating the Points on the Upper Arms: The Large Intestine Meridian
The Large Intestine meridian runs along the outside of the upper arm. When carried out as a sequence, massage of the points Large Intestine 11 to 15 stimulates the flow of energy in the Large Intestine meridian.
Large Intestine 11—Pool at the Bend
This point is easiest to locate when the elbow is bent at a right angle. In this position, Large Intestine 11 is located between the outer edge of the elbow fold and the knobby protrusion of the elbow bone.
This point has a wide range of applications. It can be used to treat acute infections in the throat and neck area that are accompanied by fever and headaches, as well as pain in the elbow or lower arm, hypertension, and psychological and psychosomatic ailments. It also can be massaged to alleviate allergies.
Large Intestine 13—Arm Five Li
Because of its location, Large Intestine 13 is also known as Arm Five Li, or Five Lengths of the Hand. This point is located 3 cun above Large Intestine 11. It can be used to treat pain in the upper arm, as well as limited range of motion in the upper arm.
Large Intestine 14—Upper Arm
Large Intestine 14 is 7 cun above Large Intestine 11, on the outside of the upper arm. It can be used to treat pain in the bicep and shoulder muscles. This point can also be massaged to treat eye illnesses as well as lymph blockages in the neck, throat, and armpit area.
Large Intestine 15—Shoulder Bone
This point is easiest to locate when the arm is extended to the side, away from the body. In this position, Large Intestine 15 is between the front and middle part of the deltoid muscle that shapes the contour of the shoulder. Because of its location it is also called Shoulder Bone, though in fact it is located slightly in front of and below the actual bone. This point is used to treat problems in the shoulder joint, including limited range of motion, as well as itchy rashes.
Note: For the upper arms, you can massage either yourself or a partner. In either case, you should massage first all the points on one arm, and then all the points on the other. You can also apply moxibustion to any of these points.
The large intestine meridian contains a number of important points on the outside of the upper arm that can be massaged to alleviate pain in that area.
Massaging the Points on the Upper Arms: The Large Intestine Meridian
Acupressure of the four points of the Large Intestine meridian on the upper arms is done in a sequence from the elbow to the shoulder. The massage proceeds from one point to the next with a gliding movement, thus connecting the four points. However, any of these points can also be massaged individually for its specific effects; in this case, the point should be massaged for two to three minutes.
1-4 Large Intestine 11 and Large Intestine 13 to 15
Begin with Large Intestine 11. With the tip of your index finger, apply first steady and then circling pressure for one to two minutes. Then glide your index finger along the skin to Large Intestine 13, and massage this point in the same manner. Repeat this procedure for Large Intestine 14 and 15. When you have finished massaging Large Intestine 15, start again at Large Intestine 11, and repeat the sequence five times.
Left: Begin the sequence with Large Intestine 11.
Right: Follow the course of the meridian to Large Intestine 13 without losing contact with your partner’s skin.
Left: After massaging Large Intestine 13, continue to Large Intestine 14.
Right: The sequence ends with the massage of Large Intestine 15.