The large intestine point, Hegu (LI 4, Joining Valley) is one of the most commonly used acupoints in Chinese medicine and is also a primary point for anethesia with acupuncture. Hegu (Joining Valley), is said to be named for its ability to strengthen the immune system by regulating defensive qi in a similar way to the Great Wall, which was built to defend mountain passes from the enemy in China. As it is easily accessible on the hand, this makes it an ideal point to massage and use for acupressure. It is located between
|photo by MK2010
the first and second metacarpal bones, in the webbing between the thumb and index finger, and at the highest point of the muscle that protrudes when the thumb and index finger are brought close together. Please note that this point must NOT be stimulated during pregnancy as it may cause miscarriage. It can be used during labor to reduce pain and it is also used in difficult deliveries.
Hegu is particularly useful for the following:
Frontal headaches and migraine, headache due to hangovers, pain in the neck, pain or swelling in the eye, nosebleeds, nasal obstruction, toothache, any kind of facial pain or paralysis, TMJ, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, delayed or difficult labor, pain and weakness or immobility in the upper limbs, sinus congestion in colds and flu, hayfever, itching and sneezing due to allergies, arthritis in the hand, hot flashes.
Squat pose: Yoga and acupressure can be combined to stimulate Hegu, in particular to improve elimination and prevent constipation.
Stand with feet comfortably apart. Grasp the back of the knees with the hands so that thumbs are on the outside and fingers spread apart on the inside. Squat down with hands kept in this position so that pressure is applied to the hegu point. Breathe from the abdomen for a minute. This pose also benefits hemorrhoids, abdominal pain and muscular spasms in general.
Finally, because of its strong action in removing stagnant qi flow to alleviate pain in general, massaging the Hegu point has been recommended by some airlines to passengers to ease jet lag when flying. If you have a long flight to take, why not try it! (For more information see http://amusingtips.blogspot.com/2011/01/jet-lag.html)
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