LIFE TIPS: How Using Chinese Medicine Pressure Points at Home Can Help Reduce Pain and Improve Health

Can your aches, pains and health issues be improved by using ancient Chinese medicine?

Jill Forse thinks so. The Kentville, Nova Scotia woman leads Jill Forse Traditional Chinese Medicine and promotes healing by working with the client’s body, using physical, emotional and mental health to bring balance.

She mainly uses acupuncture, infrared heat, tui massage, electrostimulation and some herbal suggestions to help the body heal.

The body is made up of 14 main meridians that Chinese doctors mapped thousands of years ago, Forse explains.

“The meridians are like pipelines along the body, and acupuncture points fall along each pipeline. The points act like a valve,” she explains.



Practitioners “turn on” or open the valve so energy can flow along the pipeline.

“I love Chinese medicine so much because it works with the body to help it heal,” Forse says, adding that she looks at the root and the branch of a problem and works to improve both. .

“If the root cause is stress, for example, and it results in a headache, irritable bowel syndrome, or pain, for example, I would work both to help the client relieve stress and to work at the site of pain,” says Forse.

Here are some acupressure points you can use with pressure or heat or both for some common conditions or concerns, she says, and offers the following tips to help you relieve the pain on your own.


Applying pressure to the Tai Yang – a pressure point located at the temple, in the depression behind the outer edge of the eyebrow and eye – can bring relief if you suffer from sinus congestion or headaches . – Contributed

Boost the immune system

If the pandemic has you worried about your immune system, Forse says there are simple things you can do by focusing on a few specific pressure points.

– Spleen 6 – width of four fingers pressed together above the inner ankle bone

– Stomach 36 – width of four fingers pressed together below the outer edge of your kneecap to the outer edge of your shin/shin bone

-Rn 4- width of your four fingers pressed together below your navel

Knead each point for a few minutes each day to keep your Qi, or life energy, activated to promote self-healing and strengthen your immune system, she says.

“You can also use a magic bag on these points,” says Forse.

Also try ginger tea to boost the immune system, she adds. To make this, take some fresh ginger (accessible and inexpensive at a grocery store) and cut two to three pieces the size of a loon, then pour boiling water over them and let steep for a few minutes.

Check with a pharmacist if you’re taking any medications before ingesting ginger or herbal remedies, she adds.

Forse also takes a formula called Gui Zhi Tang, which she says some hospitals were giving out to hospital administrative staff in China to keep their immune systems strong during COVID.


Jill Forse uses acupuncture at her business in Kentville, Nova Scotia to help clients with pain.  - Contributed
Jill Forse uses acupuncture at her business in Kentville, Nova Scotia to help clients with pain. – Contributed

Headache

Does your head hurt? If you’d rather skip the usual painkillers, Forse suggests adding some pressure to these key points.

– Large Intestine 4 – located at the highest point of the muscle when the thumb and index finger are held together

-Tai Yang- at the temple, in the depression behind the outer edge of the eyebrow and eye

– Gallbladder 20 – located at the base of the skull where the trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles meet, on the outer edge of the skull

Knead each point for two to three minutes on both sides. You can apply a topical pain reliever or use white flower oil on the taiyang point and/or gallbladder points, Forse adds.

Sinus congestion

Are your sinuses blocked? Relieve sinus pressure by pressing on certain key areas.

– Large intestine 4 – located at the highest point of the muscle when the thumb and index finger are held together

– Large Intestine 20 – located on either side of the nostrils

– Urinary bladder 2 – On the face, on the inner edge of the eyebrows

-Tai Yang- at the temple, in the depression behind the outer edge of the eyebrow and eye

Use acupressure, along with white flower oil, on these spots, Forse says. White flower oil is a cooling agent and an opening oil that clears the sinuses.

“You only need a small dab, because a little is enough,” she says.

“My kids love the white flower oil in the dehumidifier when they have a cough or congestion. I also recommended putting some inside your mask during the pandemic.”


Jill Forse - Contribution
Jill Forse – Contribution

negative feelings

Another herbal formula recommended by Forse is Xiao Yao San. It helps move qi (energy) from your liver, which can help reduce stress, anxiety, anger, frustration, irritability, and symptoms of PMS.

Ear seeds are used for stress and anxiety, helping to calm your nervous system. These are tiny balls that look like mustard seeds that are stuck to the ear along the acupressure points.

Other Tips

Stretch. Move your body. Move your emotions.

“Moving your physical and emotional body is important because it creates flow and growth and keeps you moving forward,” Forse says.

“If you don’t move, your qi gets stuck and you can potentially get sick.”

The concept of venting is real, Forse says. Talk, sing, move.

“One of my teachers used to tell us to ‘go to the beach and shout’. There’s a lot of truth in that that makes you feel better,” she says.

Find things that bring you joy, she adds.

In these uncertain times, Forse suggests people double down on their self-care routines because it’s crucial for your health. Love yourself enough to take care of yourself – this can include anything that brings you joy and care, be it massage, acupuncture, gardening, listening to music, painting, watching fun shows, going out or spending time with friends.