Top 10 Acupressure Points for Pain and Optimal HealthTop 10 Acupressure Points for Pain and Optimal Health

Top 10 Acupressure Points for Pain and Optimal Health

 September 8, 2023

By  Juli Kramer

Top 10 Acupressure Points for Pain and Optimal Health. There are 360 acupressure points in the human body. Yet, you need to massage no more than these top 10 points to decrease and prevent pain, strengthen disease resistance, and improve your immunity. This top 10 list comes from connections I made while living in Shanghai, and I'm honored to share them with you.

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Top 10 Acupressure Points for Pain and Optimal Health

  1. Fengchi GB-20 for Headaches and Dizziness
  2. Quchi LI-11 for Shingles, Toothache, and the Throat
  3. Neiguan P-6 for Palpitations and a Healthy Heart
  4. Hegu LI-4 for Pain in the Arms, Legs, and Joints
  5. Houxi SI-3 for Back Pain and Tinnitus
  6. Huantiao GB-30 for Pain in the Hips and Legs
  7. Zusanli ST-36 for Stomach Pain and Digestive Problems
  8. Yinmen BL-37 for Sciatica and Pain in the Lumbar Spine and Legs
  9. Yanglingquan GB-34 for Hip and Knee Pain
  10. Kunlun BL-60 Headaches and Pain of the Knees, Ankles, and Legs

Why Should You Massage these Acupressure Points?

You will notice as you read, that these top 10 acupressure points help ease symptoms that lead to a sedentary lifestyle filled with pain. When people experience pain, they have a hard time exercising, or even taking a walk.

An ancient Chinese idiom says that, “Where there is movement, there is no pain.” One of the secrets to a long and healthy life, filled with optimal health is to move. Massaging these acupressure points regularly will make sure you have little pain and are vibrant and active.

When you have a choice between taking the elevator or the stairs, you won’t hesitate to open the stairwell door and begin climbing. To understand how the acupressure points work, you can learn more here.

Ideally, you should massage all these points at least twice weekly, if not daily. Anyone can massage these top 10 acupressure points for pain and optimal health with ease. Additionally, many of the points benefit common complaints, including tinnitus, joint pain, back pain, and more. 

NOTE: You should consult your healthcare practitioner before beginning a acupressure massage. Pregnant women must NOT massage certain points and should be especially careful before doing any acupressure massage, consulting with their doctor first.

The First Five of the Top 10 Acupressure Points

1. Fengchi for Headaches and Dizziness (Gallbladder 20, Wind Pool)

Fengchi is one of the Top 10 Acupressure Points for Pain and Optimal Health. In addition to the collective benefit from all ten acupressure points, Fengchi is helpful for:

  • Any type of headache and dizziness. 
  • Chills and fever
  • Red and sore eyes
  • Lacrimation (watering eyes)
  • Nasal congestion and discharge
  • Sore throat
  • Facial swelling
  • Hypertension
  • Loss of speech
  • Loss of memory
  • Problems in the neck, shoulders, and upper back
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Fengchi, Gallbladder 20, Wind Pool

Locating Fengchi, GB-20

You will find Feng Chi under the occipital bone, in the hollow between the sternocleidomastoid muscle and the superior end of the trapezius muscle.

How to Massage Fengchi

1. Create a fork with the thumb and index finger of the right hand. Pinch the Fengchi point on the right side of the head very firmly 25 times.

2. Change to the left hand and pinch Fengchi 25 times.

3. Bring the right thumb to the right point, and the left thumb to the left Fengchi point. Hold the sides of the head with the other four fingers. Vigorously knead both points in a circular motion for 50 rotations.

2. Quchi, Large Intestine 11, Pool at the Crook

Massaging Quchi helps when you lose your voice or feel the sensation of a painful obstruction in your throat (though nothing is stuck). It also helps ensure healthy teeth and fewer toothaches. If you have redness, pain, or overwatering of the eyes, massaging Quchi can alleviate the symptoms.

The large intestine is partnered with the lungs in regulating the skin. Therefore, skin disorders helped by Quchi include:

  • Urticaria
  • Wind rash
  • Dry skin
  • Scaly skin
  • Itching of the skin
  • Shingles
  • Pain and itching in the whole body

Additionally, Quchi also treats arm disorders, such as:

  • Numbness
  • Painful obstruction
  • Atrophy
  • Contraction
  • Immobility and pain of the elbow and shoulder

One of the primary reasons this point makes the top 10 acupressure points list is the ability to lower high blood pressure.

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Quchi, Large Intestine 11, Pool at the Crook

Locating Quchi

You will find Quchi on the lateral side of the elbow crease when you bend the elbow, at the midpoint of the line between the ulnar and the lateral epicondyle. 

How to Massage Quchi

1. Bend the left elbow to 90 degrees. Pinch Quchi between your right thumb and index finger 50 times. Switch to the left side.

2. Return to the left elbow and bend to 90 degrees. With your left hand, knead and twist the left arm Quchi point 50 times. Repeat on the right arm.

3. Neiguan, Pericardium 6, Inner Pass

Neiguan’s top 10 acupressure points benefits include easing all kinds of issues of the chest and heart. To illustrate, Neiguan is an essential point for:

  • Heart pain
  • Stuffy chest
  • Palpitations
  • Disorders of heart rate and rhythm
  • Angina pectoris
  • Asthma
  • Cough

Additionally, if you suffer from nausea or vomiting due to any cause, even pregnancy, massaging Neiguan can help. (Always consult your doctor when you are pregnant before doing any acupressure massage.)

Top 10 Acupressure Points Neiguan, Pericardium 6, Inner Pass

Locating Neiguan

On the palmar aspect of the forearm, when Qu Ze connects with Daling, there is 2 cun in the transverse line of the wrist, between the long metacarpal tendon and the flexor carpi radialis tendon.

How to Massage Neiguan

1. With the right thumb, press the left hand Neiguan, while your index finger holds Waiguan point (the opposite outside point from Neiguan). Press the thumb and index finger to pinch and loosen 50 times. Change to the left hand to pinch and relase on the right hand 50 times.

2. Massage the left Neiguan point with the right thumb in a circular motion for 50 times. Repeat with the left thumb on the right Neiguan point 50 times.

4. Hegu, Large Intestine 4, Joining Valley Top 10 Acupressure Points

Pain comes in many forms, and Hegu serves as a powerhouse of the top 10 acupressure points for relieving pain. For example, Hegu relieves:

  • Pain and spasms throughout the arms
  • Painful obstruction and atrophy disorder of the arms and legs
  • Tendon and bone pain
  • Pain in the arms
  • Contraction and stiffness in the fingers

Furthermore, for optimal health, Hegu addresses disorders and problems of the face and sensory organs. Some examples include:

  • Headaches
  • Eye diseases
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nasal congestion and discharge
  • Rhinitis
  • Sneezing
  • Toothache
  • Pain from tooth decay in the lower jaw
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Mumps
  • Loss of voice
  • Swelling of the face
  • Lockjaw
  • Deafness
  • Tinnitus

As if you need more benefits, Hegu promotes menstruation and labor. It also addresses any lack of a period and prolonged labor.

Hegu, Large Intestine 4, Joining Valley

Locating Hegu LI-4

In the dorsum of the hand, between the metacarpals of the thumb and index finger, at the midpoint of the radial side of the 2nd metacarpal.

How to Massage Hegu

1. With the right thumb and index finger, pinch the left hand Hegu point 50 times. Change to the left hand and knead with the right index finger and thumb 50 times.

5. Houxi, Small Intestine 3, Back Stream

Back pain affects over 45 million people in the United States alone. Houxi prevents and treats acute lumbar sprain. Equally important, this point on the list of top 10 acupressure points eases disorders of the neck, scapula, upper back, shoulder, arm, and hand.

Different from these benefits for pain, Houxi helps reduce a fever, night sweats, chills, and even absence of sweating.

Even more, problems in the head and neck eased by massaging Houxi include:

  • Deafness
  • Tinnitus
  • Redness
  • Pain and swelling of the eyes
  • Lacrimation (watering eyes)
  • Nosebleed
  • Toothache
  • Redness and swelling of the throat and cheeks
Top 10 Acupressure Points Houxi SI-3

Locating Houxi SI-3

On the ulna side of the palm. Clench the fist, and when the small finger knuckle (the fifth metacarpal knuckle) is whitened, you will find the Houxi point in the depression proximal to the head of the fifth metacarpal bone.

How to Massage Houxi

1. With the right thumb inside the palm and the right index finger on the outside of the Houxi point on the back of the left hand, pinch and knead the left hand Houxi point 50 times.

Change and use the left thumb and index finger on the right Houxi point, pinching and kneading 50 times.

2. Clench both hands into fists. Knock the two Houxi points against each other 50 times with the left hand on top. Reverse and knock the points together with the right hand on top for 50 times.

Second Five Top 10 Acupressure Points for Pain and Optimal Health

6. Huantiao, Gallbladder 30, Jumping Circle

Huantiao keeps you moving with ease. It is the main point to treat diseases of the lower extremities, such as sciatic, neuralgia, paraplegia, aching of the thigh bones, and faciaitis of gluteal muscles.

Markedly, Huantiao is an essential point for:

  • Atrophy disorder
  • Numbness
  • Stiffness
  • Pain and contraction

Likewise, massaging this one of the top 10 acupressure points addresses disorders of the hip joints and pain that radiates from the hip to the lumbar or lateral costal regions of the ribs.

Huantiao GB-30 Gallbladder 30 Jumping Circle

Locating Huantiao GB-30

In the lateral part of the thigh, where the most convex point of the greater trochanter of the thigh intersects with the outer 1/3 and the middle 1/3 of the sacral foramen.

How to Massage Huantiao

1. Wear light leggings or shorts. Clench your hands into fists with the index fingers outside the thumbs. Using both fists at the same time and knock the sides of your hips right at the area of the Huantiao point. Knock very firmly 50 times. You can even stand and hinge at the waist 45-degrees and sway your hips side to side as you knock the points.

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7. Zusanli, Stomach 36, Leg Three Miles Top 10 Acupressure Points

Zusanli rises as an important acupoint for lowering deficiency fire, calming the mind, alleviating pain, strengthening the spleen and stomach for strong digestion, and fostering qi. Furthermore, this point strengthens digestion. When you process your food effectively, you can absorb nutrients essential for pain-free, healthy living.

There is a story about a 90-year-old father and his 70 plus-year-old sons being asked the secret to their longevity and great health. They said that they owed both to regular stimulation of the Zusanli acupoint.

Especially to note, Zusanli, one of the top 10 acupressure points, treats stomach disorders such as:

  • Epigastric pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hiccups
  • Burping
  • Abdominal distention and pain
  • Hunger without a desire to eat
  • Poor appetite

By the same token, conditions related to digestion benefit from massaging Zusanli. You will support healing for:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dysentery
  • Undigested food in the stools
  • Heaviness in the arms and legs
  • Lower abdominal pain and swelling with inability to urinate
  • Jaundice
Zusanli Stomach 36 ST-36 Leg Three Miles

Locating Zusanli ST-36

Sit with your knees bent at a 45-degree angle, feet flat on the floor. Locate the point 3 finger widths below the knee, one finger-breadth lateral to the anterior crest of the tibia. You can stroke up the calf bone from the ankle. Where your finger starts to move out rather than up, stop and move 1 finger width out.

How to Massage Zusanli

1. Sit in bed, on a chair, or on a stool with your knees bent. Press both thumbs into the Zusanli point on each leg, while the remaining four fingers hold the calf muscles.  Push hard against both points 50 times.

2. Open both palms and pat very firmly against the left and right leg Zusanli points at the same time. Pat 50 times.

8. Yinmen, Bladder 37, Gate of Abundance

Yinmen serves as a go to point for sciatica with pain radiating down from the buttocks. It’s also perfect for rigidity of the lumbar spine, as well as pain and atrophy of the lower limbs.

Youthful movement and health come from a supple spine and fluid movement of all the joints. Yinmen is one of the Top 10 Acupressure Points for Pain and Optimal Health for keeping the spine and lower body supple.

Yinmen BL-37 Bladder 37 Gate of Abundance

Locating Yinmen BL-37

Yinmen is located on the back of the thigh, in the depression between the hamstring muscles, about the middle of the thigh.

How to Massage Yinmen

1. Sitting on a bed or in a chair or stool, you will massage with both hands at the same time. Bend your knees and relax your hamstring muscles. Create space between your index finger and thumb. Pinch the muscles surrounding the Yinmen acupoint 50 times.

2. With both palms open, rub over both Yinmen point vigorously, creating friction and warmth. Rub up and down 50 times.

9. Yanglingquan, Gallbladder 34, Yang Mound Spring

Healthy sinews and joints keep you moving and active. Yanglingquan keeps them healthy, in addition to supporting a healthy liver and liver qi. According to an ancient Chinese idiom, “Where there is no movement, there is pain. Where there is movement, there is no pain.” Thanks to Yanglinquan you will have great ease of movement.

Also, this GB-34 serves as a major point for:

  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Dryness of the mouth and throat
  • Bitter taste in the mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice

Furthermore, if you find yourself sighing frequently or experiencing strong fear, you will tonify the gallbladder and reduce these symptoms by massaging Yanglingquan.

Yanglingquan GB-34 Gallbladder 34 Yang Mound Spring

Yanglingquan GB-34

On the outside of the lower leg, where the lower knee fibular head protrudes forward and downward. Slide your fingers up the lateral aspect of your lower leg until the soft tissue of your muscles gives way to the bony prominence of the head of the fibula.

How to Massage Yanglingquan

1. Press both thumbs into the Yanglingquan points on each leg at the same time. Hold your other four fingers firmly again the belly of your calf muscle. Roll your thumbs vigorously up and down for 50 times.

2. With the open palms of both hands, pat the outside of both knees very firmly at the same time. Pat 50 times.

10. Kunlun, Bladder 60, Kunlun Mountains Top 10 Acupressure Points

In addition to working in harmony with the other nine points for optimal health, Kunlun, Bladder-60 acupoint, alleviates pain, activates the entire bladder channel, relaxes your sinews, and strengthens your lumbar spine.

Kunlun should NOT be used by pregnant woman without supervision because it induces labor.

By massaging the Kunlun acupressure points, you can treat:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Epilepsy
  • Lockjaw
  • Redness, pain, and swelling of the eyes
  • Pain of the upper teeth
  • Rhinitis
  • Nosebleeds

Equally important, you can benefit from Kunlun’s treatment of the following conditions:

  • Stiff neck
  • Contraction of the shoulders and back
  • Heart pain that radiates to the back
  • Lumbar pain
  • Sacral pain
  • Pain of the coccyx
  • Sciatica
  • Pain behind the knees
  • Ankle pain
  • Heel pain

You can see why Kunlun finds itself on the top 10 acupressure points list. When people suffer from pain in the areas listed above, they don’t move. Their health further suffers, and their emotional outlook is bleak.

Reminder, Kunlun should NOT be used by pregnant woman without supervision because it induces labor.

Kunlun BL-60 Bladder 60 Kunlun Mountains

Kunlun BL-60

Behind the ankle joint in the depression in front of the lateral malleolus on the foot, where the projection between the tip of the ankle and the Achilles tendon occurs.

How to Massage Kunlun

1. With your right thumb and index finger, create a fork. Then press the index finger press into the Kunlun point on your right food while you press your thumb on the medial malleolus of the right foot at the same time. Pinch and release 50 times. Then pinch and release 50 times on the left foot.

2. With your right thumb on the right foot Kunlun point, and your left thumb on the left foot Kunlun point, roll up and down over the Kunlun point for 50 times. Massage both feet at the same time.

Summary of Top 10 Acupressure Points for Pain and Optimal Health

You have the power to prevent and treat pain and to thrive in your hands. By massaging these 10 acupoints regularly, you will enjoy good health, ease of movement, and a clear mind.

Acupressure massage is one of the tools you can find at Radiant Shenti to support your stability and strength.

Radiant Shenti members enjoy guided acupressure massage session in live classes or with our vast video library collection.  

Our classes and videos also include yoga, as well as meditation and other healing methods to calm the mind and bring mental clarity. 

Want to learn more about using pressure points for your daily health? Join the Radiant Shenti membership here.

Reference for Images

Manual of Acupuncture

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Juli Kramer

Dr. Juli Kramer is a certified qigong instructor. She also holds a diploma in Chinese Medicine Nutritional Therapy and multiple certificates in Chinese medicine. As a qigong and meditation teacher, Dr. Kramer understands the important role movement and meditation have on developing a healthy body and mind. Juli also has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Counseling Psychology.

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