Acupressure for Common Cold

It often starts with a scratchy throat, and soon after, “achOO!” These are frequently the telltale signs that the common cold is coming on. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this miserable virus. One of them is acupressure. This therapy is attractive for many reasons; it is noninvasive and easy, and it can be quite effective for treating the common cold.

Performing Acupressure for Colds

One of the more useful aspects of acupressure is that it can be self administered for your cold or by another’s healing hands. Having another individual apply acupressure, ideally an experienced professional, will provide the best results in helping to combat your common cold. However, with some training and experience, you can learn to treat yourself between acupressure treatments to maintain their effects and provide quick relief.

The best strategy is to try acupressure at the first signs of the common cold; however, acupressure can be used at any stage of a cold. It can also be beneficial as a preventive measure, to strengthen the immune system and decrease the chance of coming down with the common cold.

Detailed Instructions on Acupressure for the Common Cold

Acupressure involves pressing several points on the body to help address issues around the common cold. The patient does not need to use all of these and can experiment, based on which symptoms are present.

The relevant pressure points, along with the symptoms they can help, are as follows:

Name

Location

Common cold symptoms that can be helped

B36:
Bearing Support

Upper back, between the spine and the tips of the shoulder blades

Weakened immune system (stimulating this point can activate the body’s resistance to colds)

B2:
Drilling Bamboo

Indentations of eye sockets, on either side of where nose bridge meets ridge of eyebrows

Sinus congestion, frontal headache

St 3:
Facial Beauty

Bottom of cheekbone, directly below pupil

Stuffy nose, head congestion, burning eyes, eye fatigue, eye pressure

LI20:
Welcoming Perfume

Either cheek, just outside each nostril

Nasal congestion, sinus pain

LI11:
Crooked Pond

Outer end of elbow crease

General cold symptoms

LI4:
Joining the Valley

Highest spot of muscle on back of hand that protrudes when thumb and index finger are close together

Head congestion, headache

CAUTION: If you are pregnant, avoid LI4, because stimulating this point could prompt contractions of the uterus.

GB20:
Gates of Consciousness

Below base of skull, in hollows on both sides, two to three inches apart depending on size of head

Headache, head congestion

GV16:
Wind Mansion

Center of back of head, in large hollow under base of skull

Head congestion, red eyes, headache

GV24.5:
Third Eye Point

Directly between eyebrows, in indentation where bridge of nose meets center of forehead

Head congestion, stuffy nose, headache

K27:
Elegant Mansion

Hollow below collarbone next to breastbone

Chest congestion, breathing difficulty, coughing, sore throat

Take the time to become relaxed before the acupressure session, and make sure the room is at a comfortable temperature. Also assure that one’s hands are clean and pleasantly warm. Sit or recline during the acupressure session, depending on which is more comfortable. Take deep, gentle breaths before, during, and after the acupressure session.

The following is a sample technique that can be used on the classic common cold with the symptoms of sniffles and sneezing. Gently but firmly press with the finger(s) on the acupressure point LI4 for one minute, then LI20 for one minute, then B2 for one minute.

CAUTION: Those who are pregnant should avoid LI4, because stimulating this point could prompt contractions of the uterus.

For the treatment of common cold, it can be beneficial to use acupressure on both sides of the body (left and right) in order to experience the best results from an acupressure session. Follow the same procedure used on the other side of the body. Or as appropriate, press on the right and left acupressure points at the same time.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is similar to acupressure and has become quite popular for many conditions, including the common cold. It involves tapping on the pressure points for the condition—in this case, the common cold.

Does Acupressure Work?

Because acupressure can help to stimulate blood circulation throughout the body and can strengthen the immune system, it is evident that it can help with treating, and possibly even preventing, the common cold. As most people know, there is no cure for the common cold, but acupressure can at least promote quicker healing from this virus.

What is Acupressure?

Acupressure involves pressing on key points on the body for various health conditions and complaints. It subscribes to the ancient, yet still relevant, belief that energy flows through the body and that proper flowing of this energy promotes health and healing; conversely, blockages in this energy can lead to illness and various health conditions. Acupressure is based on the same system of medicine as acupuncture, and provides treatment to the same locations without the use of needles.

Many people like using acupressure because it is noninvasive, can be performed on oneself (or by someone else, preferably a trained professional), and can provide relatively rapid results.

What is the Common Cold?

Unfortunately, as the name implies, the common cold is quite common year round. A person is more susceptible to catching the dreaded common cold when he or she is run down and the immune system is thus not as strong as it needs to be to fight off viruses, most commonly the rhinovirus. Symptoms include sore throat, sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, coughing and fatigue.

Additional Resources

An article from acupressure.com also discussing acupressure for colds (and flu).

Gach, Michael Reed Acupressure's Potent Points: a Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments, Bantam, 1990.

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