Learn some easy tips this winter to keep the cold and flu at bay
When I was growing up in Tokyo, there was an acupuncturist that would come to my parents’ house once a week (still to this day). I remember his large, warm hands and his constant Buddha-like smile. He would treat me whenever I had issues - cold, tummy ache, or even sprained ankle. His treatment always worked like a magic and I never had any doubt over the effectiveness of this ancient healing method.
In Eastern modality, it is believed that our body has meridians, which are lines of energy. When the energy that flows along these lines gets blocked or interrupted, it manifest as symptoms such as cold, headache, flu, indigestions, skin allergy, etc.… Simply self-massaging certain “acupoints” can be a very effective way to boost our immune system.
Here is the list of 3 acupoints (or pressure points) that could boost your immune system. Try massaging yourself or your loved ones using them and ward off cold and flu this winter.
1. Leg Three Miles or Stomach 36（足三里）
This acupoint is one of the most often used points to strengthen our overall vitality and immunity. When massaged, it helps to ease digestive complaints and also helps to eliminate fatigue.
How to Find it:
Sit down with your knees bent. For the right leg, place your right four fingers minus your thumb at the outer side of your shin underneath your knee cap (right below where you feel a bone protruding). Leg Three Miles is where the tip of your pinky falls. Use your left hand for your left leg.
2. Joining Valley or Large Intestine 5 (合谷）
Massaging this point is said to tune our autonomic nervous system, which influences the function of our internal organs. It repairs our lowered immune system function affected by every day stress. This is also know as the omnipotent acupoint because of its wide range of benefits.
How to Find It:
It is located where our index and thumb finger bones cross on the back of the hand on either side of our hands.
3. Pool at the Crook or Large Intestine 11 (曲池）
This one is said to calm inflammation and enhance your immune system when massaged. It is also effective for headache, tightness in the shoulders, and tuning the digestive system.
How to Find It:
Bend your elbow with your palm facing towards you. It is at the top of the elbow crease on your thumb side.
Massage both sides of the base of your each finger nail to activate our parasympathetic nerves. Parasympathetic nerves calm and release the body tension, whereas sympathetic system readies our body for “fight or flight”. ***your ring finger activates sympathetic nerves so avoid massaging that finger***
How do you know if you found the right point to massage? A general guideline is that when you pressure the point fairly firm, it should hurt a bit but in a good way - in other words, the sensation should be something between pleasant and outright painful.
In addition to massaging these points, do lots of yoga, try eating healthy and wholesome food, drink lots of unsweetened warm liquid such as non caffeinated tea, warm lemon water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated!