DIY Acupressure for Headaches, Fevers, and Pain

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) includes many points on the hands that can be massaged to support healing from common health conditions, including:  headaches, fevers, neck and back pain, among others.  You can massage these points on your own hands or massage the points on someone else’s hands.

These healing points are also called acupoints. Numerous scientific studies have shown the existence of these acupoints, which are located along invisible energy lines that connect to various organs and systems in the body.  When pressed or massage, these points can induce therapeutic functions that are specific to each point.

There are many benefits of using hand acupressure, some of which include:

  1. It has a 5000-year old history of successful use;
  2. It is free;
  3. It is easy to do;
  4. It can be done anywhere; and
  5. There are no harmful side-effects.  Certain points are best avoided by pregnant women (LI 4 is an example).

To help you get started, I’ve included three important hand acupoints that are commonly used for pain, headaches, fevers, heart problems, and more.

The Great Eliminator
Located on the top of the hand at the highest point of the fleshy mound that connects the thumb and forefinger, you’ll find the acupoint known as Large Intestine 4 (LI4) or “The Great Eliminator.”  One of the most important points in acupressure, it is used to treat pain, headaches and fevers when this point is firmly pressed.

You can massage this point or firmly hold it.  It may take a minute or two to notice improvements, or it can take up to 10 minutes (sometimes longer).  I use this point to take down a fever that is excessive and it works every time.  Avoid using this point if you are pregnant.  Of course, you should always consult a physician for high fevers and unusual or ongoing pain.

Heart 9
Heart 9 is located on the inside (the side facing the ring finger) of the little finger at the edge of the nail.  It is used to address chest pain, heart palpitations, migraines, and heart problems.  You can press or massage this point for a few minutes every day to aid in the treatment of these conditions.  And, as always, consult a medical doctor for any health issue.

Back Stream
There is an acupoint located on the outside edge of the hand, just below the base of the little finger called “Back Stream” after its ability to help alleviate back pain and stiffness.  Also known as Small Intestine 3 (SI 3), this point that is used to address a stiff neck, lower back pain, headaches and neck pain.  It is also used by health practitioners to aid the treatment of eye, ear, and mood disorders.  Press or massage this point firmly on a daily basis or throughout the day to help reduce pain.

It may take time and consistent use of these points when dealing with chronic health concerns.  It always amazes me when such simple things like hand massage and acupressure improves health issues.

Adapted with permission from the upcoming book, Arthritis-Proof:  The Drug-Free Way to Beat Pain and Inflammation by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, PhD, RNCP, ROHP

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182 comments

Thomas Morrison
Thomas Morrisonabout a year ago

Great and useful blog thanks! I will definitely see more posts here.
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Andrew R.
Andrew R.2 years ago

There are pictures for this on www.diyacu.com/ and www.diyacu.com/wiki

Kay Redmon
Kay Redmon2 years ago

THANK YOU FOR BRINGING FORTH THE INFORMATIVE SUBJECT OF ACUPUNCTURE & ACUPRESSURE......More than 20 years ago after being diagnosed with a medical condition that had no cure & being given 3 months to live by a team of eminent Professors, my Dr suggested trying both acupuncture & acupressure. I realize there are a lot of doubting Thomas's, with good reason, as I myself was very sceptical about this. After trying every other avenue, Homeopaths, Iridology, Reiki & being used as a guinea pig for lots of different medications, even seeing a psychiatrist, I felt I had nothing to lose so I agreed to try it. Within the first week I could feel the difference & continued with both for 15 years. I was confined to a wheelchair at the time & weighed just 30 kilo's. I no longer need the acupuncture, but do keep up with the acupressure, the most important meridian is between the thumb & the forefinger, anyone can draw an outline of their hands & mark the points. A lot of people still think that acupuncture is a load of rubbish, but I thank god every day that some Dr's do look outside the square & offer some form of alternative medicine..Especially when I'm able to walk & do the same everyday things that most people do & live a normal life again something we all take for granted..I did, but it's something I will never do again.I do hope people will try these techniques & maybe it will work for them the same way it did for me....

Ruth R.
Ruth R.4 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado4 years ago

Feels good massaging the areas pointed out here.

Gypsy Willow
Jamie Willow4 years ago

This is great, i get headaches a lot, and refuse to take medicine unless it's absolutely necessary, i can't wait to try this!

jane richmond
jane richmond4 years ago

great thanks

Kay M.
Kay M.4 years ago

I'm going to try these also!

Akila K.
Akila K.4 years ago

thanks for share

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago

Ta!