Acupressure for Allergies
Allergies can result in seasonal or year-round symptoms that may range in severity from annoying to life-threatening. Acupressure, when used in conjunction with medical care and with your doctor’s approval, can help relieve—or possibly even eliminate—problems with allergies.
Using Acupressure for Allergies
People can have allergic reactions to foods, plants or substances in the environment. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), when the body comes in contact with an allergen, the body’s energy pathways, called meridians, become blocked. This disruption in the flow of energy creates interference in communication between the brain and body and starts a chain reaction that can develop into an allergic response.
Acupressure may be able to provide short-term and long-term relief from symptoms of allergic responses by improving the flow of energy among specific points on the body (called acupoints). Acupressure points can be compared to lock gates that control the flow of energy through the body. If a disease is viewed as the end result of energy blockages or imbalances, then re-balancing or regulating the energy should improve the patient’s condition. This can be done by putting pressure on certain points on the body that are mapped out along energy meridians.
Acupressure has a long history of restoring balance to the body, improving immune system functioning, helping to relieve pain, reducing stress, enhancing blood circulation, and promoting overall health and wellbeing in adults and children. It is a natural therapy that requires neither drugs nor needles and can highly effective when performed by an experienced practitioner.
Conventional medicine makes use of allergy shots and antihistamines to control symptoms, but these can be painful, create undesirable side-effects, do not address the underlying cause of the problem and can lead to additional long-term issues. By correcting the imbalance in energy flow, acupressure can provide long-term relief of allergy symptoms.
An Acupressurist will diagnose your specific allergies symptoms to determine the most effective points to balance the energy in your body. An experienced Acupressure practitioner will also have developed their own internal energy and the ability to conduct this energy from their body into yours. The effect of this energy transfer is to more effectively unblock and correct the flow of energy in your body. While it is possible to treat yourself, locating the points correctly and providing a therapeutic dose of energy can be difficult. However, it is often possible to alleviate short-term symptoms on your own with acupressure, in between visits to an experienced practitioner.
Specific Acupressure Points for Allergies
There are some specific acupressure points on the body that relieve symptoms of allergic reactions. Relief from hay fever and allergic sneezing and itching can be obtained by pressing an acupoint called Large Intestine 4 (LI 4). This point is located in the webbing between the index finger and thumb, near the bone, at the base of the index finger. Hold this point with the thumb on top of the webbing and the index finger underneath, and then squeeze into the webbing, angling the pressure toward the bone that connects the index finger to the hand. Hold firmly for about one minute, and then switch to the point on the other hand. While pressing, breathe deeply and slowly. This point strongly activates the Large Intestine meridian, or energy channel, that flows up the arm to the face, and terminates next to the nostril.
Note: This acupressure point is not recommended for pregnant women, as pressing it might cause the uterus to contract.
Other useful acupressure points for allergies include:
- Large Intestine 11 (LI 11), on the large intestine meridian, located in the middle of the arm. With a bent elbow, the point lies in the depression on the outer side of the arm at the end of the elbow’s crease. This point is useful to clear heat from the skin that can cause rashes.
- Kidney 27 (K 27), on the kidney meridian, in the depression on the lower border of the right collarbone, two thumb-widths away from the body’s midline. K 27 is an effective point for cough and wheezing.
- Conception Vessel 17 (CV 17), on the conception vessel meridian, along the body’s midline, directly between the nipples and level with the space beneath the 4th rib. CV 17 is located in the center of the chest and works to relieve chest congestion and cough.
- Stomach 36 (St 36), on the stomach meridian, located on the front of the leg, four finger widths below the kneecap. Move to the outside of the leg, in the depression between the leg muscle and the shinbone. The point sits at the outside of the bone that's on the front of the lower leg, one fingerbreadth from the crest of that bone. St36 strongly supplements the energy of the body and clears the Stomach meridian, which cross several of the sinus cavities and forehead.
- Urinary Bladder 2 (UB2), on the urinary bladder meridian, is located in the depression at the inner end of both eyebrows. These points can effectively help relieve sinus congestion and red, itchy eyes often associated with hayfever and other allergies.
What is Acupressure?
Acupressure involves finger pressure on specific points of the body to promote healing. The technique is a form of medicine based on the belief that the body is infused with a subtle form of vital energy. This life force is called Qi in traditional Chinese medicine, Ki in the Japanese Kampo system, and Doshas in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupressure is based on the belief that a disruption in the flow of vital life energies and an imbalance in the forces of yin and yang result in disease. Studies have confirmed the existence of measurable external Qi effects. None, however, have really revealed the primary nature of Qi or how Qi healing works.
When using acupressure, avoid pressing broken skin, torn muscles, areas of cancer or infection or broken bones.
What are Allergies?
Allergies are hypersensitive reactions of an immune system to a substance that does not bother most people. Some substances that commonly cause allergic reactions in people include pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, certain foods (like peanuts), insect stings and certain medicines (such as penicillin). Even a small amount of an allergen can send a person’s immune system into red alert.
Immune responses to allergens vary, but can include a runny nose, sneezing, itching, rashes, swelling or asthma. Most responses are just a nuisance and do not pose a serious threat to health. A severe reaction, however, can be life threatening. Such reactions include those that cause irregular heart rate, lightheadedness or trouble breathing.
Information on allergies by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.
Information on energy medicine by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
Gach, Michael Reed. Acupressure's Potent Points.