Body Sense

SUMMER | 2015

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Page 12 of 15—your resource for all things bodywork 13 3. GALLBLADDER 21 (GB21) OR SHOULDER WELL One of the quickest ways to release pent-up tension and soften tight muscles in your neck, scalp, and shoulders is to melt GB21. Approximately halfway between the back of your neck and shoulder is the palpable acupoint GB21; almost everyone has a knot here. If you're flexible enough, you may be able to reach your opposite hand up to GB21, grab hold of the muscle tissue, and drag your pressure forward several times to soften this area. There are also massage tools like the Thera Cane that are specially designed to access this and other hard-to-reach knots. Sometimes, your best bet is to have a friend or therapist massage away those boulders in the shoulders. 4. STOMACH 3 (ST3) OR FACIAL BEAUTY This acupoint is particularly effective during allergy season or when recovering from a head cold. ST3 relieves sinus congestion, a stuffy nose, and swelling in the cheeks and face. Locate ST3 just below your cheekbones in line with your pupil. To drain congestion or irritation from the sinuses, press or rub firmly with one or several fingers until you feel relief. It's not uncommon for an acupoint to be sore, so only rub with comfortable pressure. If the area around your cheekbones area is red, warm, and swollen (indicating inflammation), only use light pressure to avoid further irritation. 5. LIVER 3 (LV3) OR BIGGER RUSHING LV3 is the second pair of points referred to as the "Gates of Pain" (LI4 is the other pair) and acts as a general analgesic (pain reliever), especially in the lower body. LV3 also eases congestion, hangover symptoms, headaches, and tired eyes. In a seated position with your shoes removed, cross one ankle over the opposite thigh and locate LV3 a couple inches away from the webbing between your big toe and second toe on the top of your foot. Use your thumb or fingers to massage this area and repeat on the opposite side. If you're experiencing arthritis or foot or knee pain predominantly on one side of your body, you may want to spend more time releasing LV3 on the same side as your discomfort. ANYWHERE, ANYTIME Do-it-yourself acupressure can be done anywhere, at anytime, and repeated multiple times a day. In fact, the benefits of acupressure become enhanced the more often you practice, and there is no limit to how long you can hold or massage an acupoint. Acupressure is a natural and simple approach to taking care of yourself. And when you support your own internal harmony, the benefits extend beyond the contours of your body and radiate outward for all those around you. Use these acupoints whenever and wherever you'd like to enhance your sense of ease, flow, and well-being. B S Heath and Nicole Reed are directors of Bodyworker Seminars ( and team-teach healing methods cultivated during their studies with masters in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. The Reeds delight in sharing simple, easy, and fun healing practices with others.

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