6 Effective Acupressure Points for Back Pain Relief

Dealing with persistent back pain can be a constant struggle, impacting various aspects of your life. While numerous remedies exist, acupressure stands out as a natural and effective method to alleviate back pain. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of six highly effective acupressure points, empowering you with the knowledge to find relief and regain control over your daily activities. Before we explore the specific acupressure points, it’s crucial to comprehend the fundamentals of this ancient healing technique. Rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, acupressure involves applying targeted pressure to specific points on the body to stimulate the flow of energy, promoting holistic healing and relaxation. As we focus on back pain relief, harnessing the power of acupressure becomes an accessible and natural solution.

1. Governing Vessel 20 (GV20) – “Hundred Convergences”

Location: At the meeting point of the sagittal and coronal sutures, on top of the head.
Governing Vessel 20, commonly referred to as GV20 or the Bai Hui point, is a significant acupressure point with a unique location at the crown of the head. This point holds immense importance in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, believed to connect various energy meridians in the body.
Benefits of Stimulating GV20:
  • Cognitive Clarity: Acupressure on GV20 is thought to enhance mental clarity and focus. Many practitioners believe that stimulating this point promotes better concentration and cognitive function.
  • Stress Reduction: The Bai Hui point is associated with reducing stress and tension. Gently applying pressure to this area may help alleviate headaches and promote an overall sense of relaxation.
  • Energy Flow: According to traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating GV20 facilitates the smooth flow of energy, or Qi, throughout the body. This can contribute to a balanced and harmonious energy distribution.
How to Stimulate GV20:
  1. Find the Point: Locate the exact point by identifying the meeting point of the sagittal and coronal sutures, right at the top of the head.
  2. Gentle Pressure: Using your fingertips, apply gentle and circular pressure to the GV20 point. You can use a clockwise or counterclockwise motion, depending on your preference.
  3. Breathing Techniques: Combine acupressure with deep, slow breaths to enhance relaxation. Inhale deeply as you apply pressure, and exhale slowly as you release.
  4. Duration: Aim for 2-3 minutes of acupressure on GV20. Consistency is key, so consider incorporating this practice into your daily routine.
  • While acupressure is generally safe, avoid excessive pressure, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
  • If you experience persistent discomfort or have concerns about your health, consult with a qualified healthcare professional.

2. Bladder 23 (BL23) – “Kidney Shu”

Location:BL23 is strategically positioned in the lower back, precisely two finger-widths away from the spine. This point, also known as Kidney Shu, plays a pivotal role in addressing back pain and promoting overall well-being.
Significance of BL23:
BL23 is associated with the kidneys in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The kidneys, according to TCM principles, are not merely organs but hold a vital role in the body’s energy balance. Stimulating BL23 is believed to have a positive impact on kidney function, subsequently addressing lower back issues.
Acupressure Technique:
To activate BL23, use your thumbs to apply moderate pressure to the designated spot. The pressure should be firm but comfortable. Employ a circular motion for a few minutes, ensuring you focus on the sensation of relief and tension release.
Benefits of BL23 Acupressure:
  1. Lower Back Tension Relief: BL23 acupressure aims to alleviate tension and discomfort in the lower back region, providing a sense of relief for those grappling with persistent pain.
  2. Kidney Support: By targeting Kidney Shu, this acupressure point is thought to enhance kidney function, which is integral to maintaining overall bodily balance.
  3. Energy Flow Optimization: BL23’s stimulation is believed to enhance the flow of vital energy, known as Qi, throughout the body. This optimal energy flow contributes to a harmonious balance within the body’s meridian system.
Incorporating BL23 into Your Routine:
To maximize the benefits, consider integrating BL23 acupressure into your daily routine. This can be done in the morning or evening, or whenever you feel tension in your lower back. Consistency is key to experiencing the full effects of this acupressure point.
Cautionary Note:
While acupressure is generally safe, it’s crucial to be mindful of your body’s responses. If you experience discomfort or pain during the process, it’s advisable to adjust the pressure or consult with a healthcare professional.

3. Gallbladder 34 (GB34) – “Yang Mound Spring”

Location: Situated on the lateral side of the leg, about 13 centimeters above the lateral malleolus (outer ankle bone).
Activation Technique:
GB34, also known as Yanglingquan, is a pivotal acupressure point associated with the Gallbladder Meridian. To activate this point effectively, follow these steps:
  1. Locate the Point:
    • Find the precise location by measuring approximately 13 centimeters above your outer ankle bone. GB34 is situated on the muscle prominence, providing a reference point for accurate identification.
  2. Prepare for Pressure:
    • Before applying pressure, ensure a comfortable and relaxed position. Sit or lie down, allowing your leg muscles to relax, facilitating better access to the acupressure point.
  3. Apply Gradual Pressure:
    • Using your thumb or index finger, apply gradual pressure to GB34. Begin with a gentle touch, gradually increasing the pressure to a comfortable level. The goal is to stimulate the point without causing discomfort.
  4. Circular Motion:
    • Engage in a circular motion as you apply pressure. This technique enhances blood circulation and promotes the flow of vital energy, known as Qi, in the Gallbladder Meridian.
  5. Duration of Stimulation:
    • Maintain the pressure and circular motion for about 2 to 3 minutes. Consistency is key to achieving optimal results. Feel free to adjust the pressure based on your comfort level.
Stimulating GB34 through acupressure is believed to offer various benefits, including:
  • Back Pain Relief: Acupressure on GB34 may help alleviate back pain by addressing imbalances in the Gallbladder Meridian. This can contribute to a sense of relaxation and relief in the lower back region.
  • Promotion of Qi Flow: Activating GB34 is thought to promote the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body. This energy flow is integral to overall well-being and balance within the body’s meridian system.
  • Holistic Well-Being: Beyond back pain relief, regular stimulation of GB34 is associated with promoting holistic well-being. It is believed to contribute to improved energy levels, reduced stress, and enhanced vitality.
While acupressure is generally safe, it’s essential to be mindful of certain precautions:
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant individuals should exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional before applying pressure to GB34 or any other acupressure points.
  • Existing Health Conditions: If you have pre-existing health conditions or concerns, seek advice from a healthcare provider before incorporating acupressure into your self-care routine.
Remember, acupressure is a complementary practice, and individual responses may vary. Consistency and mindfulness are key factors in harnessing the potential benefits

4. Urinary Bladder 40 (UB40) – “Middle Palace”

UB40 is situated precisely at the midpoint of the crease at the back of the knee, aligned with the center of the joint. This strategic location makes it accessible for targeted acupressure to address specific health issues, particularly those related to the lower back and beyond.
Traditional Significance:
In traditional Chinese medicine, UB40 is considered a crucial acupressure point for addressing imbalances in the body’s energy flow, known as Qi. The “Middle Palace” is believed to play a role in regulating the flow of Qi along the Urinary Bladder meridian, contributing to overall well-being.
Therapeutic Benefits:
Stimulation of UB40 through acupressure is thought to have therapeutic benefits, especially in the context of relieving back pain and discomfort. By applying firm but gentle pressure to this point, individuals may experience a release of tension and improved energy circulation in the lower back region.
Application Technique:
To activate UB40, one can use the thumb or knuckle to apply steady pressure in a circular motion. It is recommended to start with moderate pressure and gradually increase as comfort allows. Consistent and mindful acupressure on UB40 may contribute to alleviating back pain and promoting a sense of balance within the body’s energy systems.
Complementary Practices:
For enhanced effectiveness, combining acupressure on UB40 with complementary practices such as stretching, relaxation exercises, and mindfulness can be beneficial. Integrating these techniques into a holistic approach to well-being may amplify the positive impact on back pain and overall health.
While acupressure is generally considered safe, individuals with specific health conditions or concerns should consult with a healthcare professional before engaging in alternative therapies. If back pain persists or worsens, seeking medical advice is essential for a comprehensive assessment and appropriate intervention.

5.Triple Energizer 6 (TE6) – San Yin Jiao

The acupressure point known as Triple Energizer 6 (TE6), or San Yin Jiao in traditional Chinese medicine, is a key juncture on the inner side of the ankle. Located approximately four finger-widths above the ankle bone, this point plays a significant role in addressing various health concerns, including back pain.
TE6 is precisely situated on the inner side of the ankle, creating a small depression that can be easily identified. To locate it accurately, measure about four finger-widths above the ankle bone towards the inner side of the leg.
Energetic Significance:
In traditional Chinese medicine, TE6 is associated with the Triple Energizer meridian, one of the body’s vital energy pathways. This meridian regulates the flow of energy, or Qi, throughout the body, influencing various physiological and psychological functions.
Stimulating TE6 through acupressure is believed to have a positive impact on back pain and overall well-being. The point is thought to harmonize the energy flow in the Triple Energizer meridian, which, in turn, can help alleviate tension, reduce pain, and promote balance in the body’s energy systems.
Acupressure Technique:
To activate TE6, use your thumb to apply steady and moderate pressure to the point. Employ a circular motion while maintaining consistent pressure for a few minutes. This technique may help unlock the flow of energy, providing relief from back pain and fostering a sense of relaxation.
Holistic Wellness Integration:
Incorporating TE6 acupressure into a holistic wellness routine can enhance its effectiveness. Combining this technique with lifestyle adjustments such as maintaining good posture, engaging in regular exercise, and managing stress levels can contribute to a comprehensive approach to back pain management.
While acupressure is generally considered safe, it’s essential to be mindful of your own body’s responses. If you are pregnant, have a pre-existing medical condition, or are uncertain about the appropriateness of acupressure for your situation, consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating this practice into your routine.

6. Large Intestine 4 (LI4) – “Union Valley”

Location: Situated on the back of the hand, in the webbed area between the thumb and the index finger.
Union Valley, or LI4, is a significant acupressure point with diverse applications in traditional Chinese medicine. This point is believed to regulate the flow of energy, known as Qi, throughout the body. The precise location is at the highest spot of the muscle when the thumb and index finger are brought close together.
Therapeutic Benefits:
  1. Pain Relief:
    • LI4 is renowned for its analgesic properties. Stimulating this point is believed to alleviate various types of pain, including headaches, toothaches, and, relevant to our focus, back pain.
    • For back pain relief, gentle pressure or circular motions applied to LI4 can help ease tension and promote a sense of relaxation.
  2. Stress and Tension Reduction:
    • Union Valley is associated with releasing blocked energy and promoting a free flow throughout the body. As such, it is often used to reduce stress and tension.
    • When dealing with back pain, stress management is crucial, and LI4 can play a role in fostering overall relaxation.
  3. Digestive Health:
    • As part of the Large Intestine meridian, LI4 is linked to digestive functions. Acupressure on this point may aid in addressing digestive issues, which can indirectly impact back health.
Application Techniques:
  1. Thumb Pressure:
    • Using the thumb, apply steady pressure to LI4 for 1 to 2 minutes.
    • Circular or up-and-down motions can enhance the effectiveness of the acupressure.
  2. Acupressure Tools:
    • Acupressure tools, like massage balls or rollers, can be employed to target LI4.
    • Apply gentle pressure while rolling the tool in the webbed area between the thumb and index finger.
While acupressure can be beneficial, it’s essential to exercise caution:
  • Pregnant individuals should avoid stimulating LI4, as it is associated with uterine contractions.
  • Individuals with certain medical conditions or those unsure about acupressure’s suitability for them should consult a healthcare professional.

Conclusion: Empower Yourself with Consistent Acupressure Practice

Incorporating acupressure into your daily routine can be a transformative step towards managing and alleviating back pain. Consistency is paramount, as regular stimulation of these acupressure points facilitates not only relief but also an improved overall sense of well-being. However, if your back pain persists or worsens, it’s imperative to consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and personalized advice tailored to your specific needs. Take proactive steps towards optimal back health by embracing the natural and effective practice of acupressure. Ready to explore your options for chiropractic and physiotherapy? Contact SwastyaPhysio today to schedule a consultation and discover the best path to your wellness journey. We’re here to support your health every step of the way.

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