4 Acupressure Points to Remember When You Travel

By Dr. Jennifer Tom, DACM, L.Ac. /

4 Acupressure Points to Remember When You Travel

Acupuncture and acupressure are branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine that have been used for thousands of years as part of a comprehensive medical system. Acupressure works similarly to acupuncture, but instead of acupuncture needles stimulating the points, you use massage on the points to help stimulate and relax the muscles.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, energy, or Qi, circulates through the whole body. Blockage of the circulation and internal imbalances can cause illness and pain. Acupuncture and acupressure work by increasing circulation to the body and regulating inflammation and immune function. The central nervous system alters the release of hormones and endorphins to bring the body into homeostasis and balance, while the autonomic nervous system down regulates stress hormones while also stimulating the body’s rest and digest functions.

How to Use Acupressure

Use your thumb or index finger to lightly press and massage the point for 1-2 minutes. When massaging these points, relax in a comfortable position and breathe deeply. For all of these points, take it easy and massage gently at first since these points can be sensitive and tender. Repeat as many times as you’d like throughout the day.

4 Acupressure Points for Traveling

Large Intestine 4

acupressure LI-4

Large Intestine 4 is commonly used for any symptom having to do with the face, eyes, nose, mouth and ears. It is useful for headaches, sinus congestion, sore throat, tooth pain, ear ache, and any aches and pains on the face. Use this when you have a headache, or for ear aches or congestion on the airplane.  To locate this point, squeeze the thumb against the base of the index finger. The point is on the highest point of the muscle and at the end of this crease formed by the thumb and index finger. Use your thumb or index finger to lightly press and massage the point for 1-2 minutes.

**Please note that this point is a strong point for inducing labor, so DO NOT use this point if you are pregnant.

Pericardium 6

pericardium 6 acupressure point

This point is located in the middle of the forearm, between the two tendons that run along the length of the inner forearm. To find the point, turn your hand over so the palm is facing up, then the point is 2 finger widths from the wrist crease. When massaging, press gently downward since this can be a sensitive spot.Pericardium 6 is a wonderful point to use for traveling because it helps to relieve nausea, motion sickness and upset stomach.

Stomach 36

stomach 36 acupressure point

To find this point, place your hand just underneath your knee cap, with your fingers pointing inwards. The point will be in a tender spot about 4 fingers width down from your knee (most likely under your pinkie finger), just next to the tibia bone (the big long bone on the front of your leg). Use your thumb or index finger to lightly press and massage the point for 1-2 minutes.This point is fantastic for any kind of digestive issues like low appetite, bloating, gas, stomach pain or upset stomach. It is a wonderful point for nourishing Qi and Blood in the body, making it great for boosting the immune system and increasing energy, and it also helps to relax and calm the mind.

Liver 3

acupressure point Ii-3

This point is a rock star of an acupuncture point because it helps to circulate Liver Qi through the whole body. It is useful for a variety of issues, including any kind of muscle or joint pain, headaches, insomnia, menstrual cramps, stress and anxiety.  It is located on the top of your foot, in the webbing between the big toe and second toe. The point is about 2 finger widths above the place where the skin of the big toe and second toe meet. Use your thumb or index finger to lightly press and massage the point for 1-2 minutes.

Dr. Jennifer Tom, DACM, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist with a private practice in Carlsbad, CA. She is passionate about providing practical, down to earth health care using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. When she’s not seeing patients, you can usually find her rock climbing or cooking. Follow her on Instagram at @jenntom_acu.

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