The concept of acupressure originated in China more than 2000 years, still in use today. This is a testimony to its effectiveness in the treatment.
Acupressure principle - As per Chinese belief, Qi (vital energy) circulates through natural pathways in the body called meridians. Blockage of this flow causes illness and pain. The Chinese discovered a gentle healing art by pressing certain specific points in the body with the help of the thumb or blunt object to turn on its self-healing mechanisms.
Acupressure for cholesterol is a drugless way to normalize cholesterol level.
Based on various studies on acupuncture treatment for cholesterol, we have shortlisted six most essential and effective acupoints that undoubtedly produce a result.
Cholesterol-lowering acupoints are ST 40, ST 36, UB 18, CV 12, LI 4 and SP 6.
1. ST 40
Stimulating this point can improve cellular signaling, vascular tone, and blood pressure. It enhances insulin secretion, airway tone, and peristalsis. It protects against oxidative stress and prevents atherosclerotic plaque formation. Stimulating ST40 point increases the cholesterol efflux (the process of eliminating cholesterol from cells) from macrophages. The study reveals this point reduces inflammation and muscle pain. It down-regulates pro-inflammatory cells and up-regulates anti-inflammatory cells.
What are the uses of ST40? Traditionally, stomach 40 is for tiredness, phlegm, and chest pain (a consequence of atherosclerosis). Indicate this point for:
- swelled face,
- body heaviness,
- noisy breathing,
- mental restlessness,
- urge to flee, and
- a weakness of the lower extremities.
How to locate & stimulate ST 40? On the anterior aspect of the lower leg, eight cun (one cun equal to patients one thumb width) superior to the external malleolus, lateral to ST 38, two finger-breadth (middle finger) from the anterior crest of the tibia. For acupressure, use firm pressure with any blunt object. Try to relax by closing your eyes, and breathe deeply. If you prefer acupuncture, then perpendicular insertion of the needle to 1.0 to 1.5 cun.
2. ST 36
ST 36 is the most commonly used acupressure point used to boost overall immunity and vitality. ST 36 tone Qi and Blood and promote wellness. It is especially useful for children or adults with poor digestion that is often the cause of chronic illnesses.
This point is also called "Leg Three Miles." Because, when you try stimulating this point when you are so tired and no longer walk, afterward you will be able to walk another three miles.
In neuroimaging studies, stimulation of ST36 has shown to affect the limbic and para-limbic systems in the brain responsible for stress response.
What are the uses of ST36? Traditionally this point is used to improve digestion and the metabolism of fats. This point is health-promoting and longevity.
This point is useful for:
- abdominal pain,
- shortness of breath,
- poor appetite,
- cough, and
Some experimental research suggests a reasonably good increase of T-lymphocytes after acupuncture stimulation at ST 36 and Large Intestine 4 acupoints. It also increases of lymphoblast transformation, which persists for 24 hours after stimulation.
What is the function of ST36? Qi and Blood harmonize and strengthens the Spleen & Stomach, and enhances the body.
How to locate & stimulate ST 36? ST36 is located three cun (4 finger-widths down) from the bottom of your kneecap, along with the outer boundary of your shin bone. If you are in the right place, a muscle should pop out as you move your foot up and down. Apply downward pressure on the tissue. For acupuncture, insert needle perpendicularly to about 1.0 - 2.0 cun.
3. UB 18
Most used points for all liver-related conditions both physical (such as hepatitis, jaundice, cirrhosis, blood/qi stagnation, and eye problems) and psycho-emotional (such as anger, depression, irritability, frustration, and stress).
What are the uses of UB 18? Indicate this point for:
- pain in the hypochondria,
- eye diseases,
- bitter taste in the mouth,
- manic psychosis,
- lack of energy,
- Yang or Yin disease, and
- back pain.
What is the function of UB 18? Moves stagnant Liver Qi, regulates and nourishes Liver Blood, resolves Damp-Heat, benefits the eyes and sinus, dispels Wind.
How to locate & stimulate UB 18? 1.5 cun lateral to GV 8, level with T9 (spinal). For acupuncture treatment, oblique insertion towards the spine, 0.5 to 1 cun or transverse, oblique insertion 1 to 1.5 cun. Caution: perpendicular needling or oblique needling away from the spine carries a substantial risk of pneumothorax. Do not needle deeply to avoid puncturing the Lung.
4. CV 12
What are the uses of CV 12? This point is useful for stress linked digestive disorders (such as heartburn and diarrhea) and worry and overthinking linked insomnia and anxiety. Tiredness, soft feces, poor appetite, abdominal fullness, sticky taste, heaviness, nausea, stomach pain, digestive difficulty, reflux, vomiting, anxiety, thoughtful state.
What is the function of CV 12? Moves stagnant liver Qi, nourishes liver blood, resolves damp-heat, benefits the eyes, and dispels wind.
How to locate & stimulate CV 12? 4 cun above CV 8 (umbilicus). Needling vertically up to 1.5 cun but it can take the time to find the Qi.
5. LI 4
This point is useful for gastric pain, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery. Use in conjunction with LIV 3 to properly move the qi and blood in the body, to remove stagnation and alleviate pain.
What are the uses of LI 4? This point is useful for diseases of the head and face; a pathogenic headache and body ache, dizziness, congestion, swelling and pain of the eye, sinusitis, nosebleed, toothache, lockjaw, etc. Additionally, it is for gastric pain, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and dysentery.
What is the function of LI 4? This point helps expels the wind and releases the exterior, tonifies qi and strengthens immunity, stops the pain, regulates the face and head area, induces labor.
How to locate & stimulate LI 4? In the middle of the 2nd metacarpal bone on the radial side.
6. SP 6
This point strengthens spleen, stomach, kidney, and harmonizes liver. It dispels dampness (remove edema), invigorates blood, and enhances Yin.
What are the uses of SP 6? This point is useful for:
- Spleen and Stomach deficiency,
- abdominal distention,
- mass & gathering in the abdomen,
- irregular menstruation,
- prolapse of the uterus,
- infertility, and
- headache, and
What is the function of SP 6? Strengthens the spleen and stomach, fix dampness, strengthens liver & kidneys, nourishes blood and yin, and regulates menstruation.
How to locate & stimulate SP 6? On the medial aspect of the lower leg, three cun above the medial malleolus, on the posterior border of the medial aspect of the tibia. For acupuncture, needle perpendicular insertion for about 1.0 - 1.5 cun. Do not needle during pregnancy.
How does acupressure work to lower high cholesterol?
Acupressure increases liver functions and improves circulation in the body. It corrects the metabolic disorder of lipid and protein and lowers the LDL/HDL ratio. Also, prevents as well as decreases the risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
Is Acupressure Safe?
Acupressure is safe, there are no publications about any severe complications, despite millions of treatments every year.
Self-administered acupressure is also safer after proper training. Vigorous acupressure may cause bruising in sensitive individuals.