Press Pause On Spring Allergies With These 3 Acupressure Points
How acupressure can help with allergies.
Points are located in patterns on the surface of your body, and when you connect all these points (like a road map with stops along the way), you will see that they follow specific pathways that we can think of as energy channels. Each point is thought to connect to particular organs and body parts—including those activated in the allergy response.
Perhaps best of all, you don't need anything fancier than your own hands and a little space to move in order to feel the benefits of this practice.
Some tips as you get started:
- You have mirror points on the left and right sides of your body, so press on both sides!
- Acupressure can be most effective if you set aside time to relax and focus on the experience (although it can also be done on the go).
- Hold each point for 30 to 90 seconds.
- Trust your instincts: Notice where you are drawn to press. Oftentimes, our bodies know what they need more than we realize.
Try these points this spring:
This is a go-to point for many acupuncturists, used to help tonify your chi (life force energy), warm up your stomach and lungs, and strengthen a particular type of chi known as defensive chi. It can help your body move through stuck energy and the stagnation of allergy season.
Find it about four fingerprints below your kneecap and slightly to the outside of your knee.
Large Intestine 4
This point is commonly used to help ease pressure in the head and face. (You might have tried it for a headache before.) Practitioners also refer to it to help alleviate red, itchy eyes; heat in the face; sinus troubles; and neck tension. Like ST 36, LI-4 is also credited with boosting your body's defensive chi. It's popular for its ability to clean and to move chi in a way that helps to release stagnation.
Find it on the back of your hand, in the V crease that forms between your thumb and index finger.
Note: Skip this one if pregnant.
Large Intestine 20
This point can be great for short-term relief from allergy symptoms. Also known as the "Welcome Fragrance" point, it helps to open your nasal passage and immediately relieve some sinus pressure.
Find it on your face, to the sides of your nasolabial folds (just to the outside of the nostril). Try pressing both points of the nose at once and breathing deeply through your nose as you go.
Add these stretches to your acupressure routine:
Acupressure is a great way to check in with the stops on your body's road map, and active stretching can help you go even deeper. Follow along with these stretches to further activate the muscle groups running along the acupressure points you just pressed: ST 36 pumps and LI fascia flossing on the ground.
Wishing you a happy (and allergy-free) spring!
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Kaita Mrazek, RYT-200 & Bonnie Crotzer, RYT-200 are yoga instructors, fascial stretch therapy experts, and co-founders of Ghost Flower Activewear, a clothing brand inspired by Chinese medicine.
Kaita is a certified Fascial Stretch Therapy practitioner, PMA Certified Pilates Teacher, and has gone through the BASI Pilates Comprehensive Teacher Training and E-RYT 200 Hour Raja Yoga Teacher Training. Her research has been published in Frontiers, and she has been featured in the New York Times. She currently instructs clients in the form of private sessions and classes inspired by Pilates, Yoga, FST, and the Ghost Flower practice.
Bonnie is a professional ballet dancer, a soloist at State Street Ballet (among others) for over 10 years, a former Elite trainer at the Genius of Flexibility and is now a resistance stretching trainer, as well as a yoga instructor at Sky Ting in NYC. She studied at the University of California and also under Bob Cooley, who taught her how to manipulate fascia and scar tissue. She received her yoga teacher training at the White Lotus Foundation.