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The Hoku point, widely used in acupuncture and acupressure to relieve pain, is located on the hand.
Acupuncture and acupressure are key elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, illness and pain are seen as the result of interrupted flow of qi (energy). As with acupuncture, the aim of acupressure is to restore and balance the flow of qi through the body.
Acupressure/acupuncture points are places where the flow of qi can be influenced to regulate body functions in addition to relieving pain. Various points on the body are used to address various pains.
The “Hoku point” (also called LI4 because it is the 4th point on the Large Intestine meridian) is good for relieving many kinds of pain (as well as other discomforts).
It is located on the back of the hand, in the webbing where the thumb and index finger meet. Find the exact point by bringing your thumb and index finger together. The muscle will bulge a little--that's the spot.
It can relieve headaches, as well as joint and muscle pain anywhere in the body. It is also good for soothing and calming, and for letting go of grief.
Squeeze LI4 by putting your thumb on the point, and your index finger on the palm side of your hand. You can hold for up to a few minutes, or until you feel relief. You should press it firmly.
Michael Reed Gach in his book Acupressure's Potent Points recommends that while you are pressing the Hoku spot, you also move the joint nearest the part of your body that's in pain. For example, if your upper calf is in pain, you would bend and unbend your knee. This is a great book, by the way.
Using LI4 in conjunction with LIV 3, located on the top of your foot in the "valley" between the bones leading to your 1st and 2nd toes (in other words, in the place on your foot that is analogous to LI4's location on your hand), is a particularly powerful combination. It strongly moves the body's energy, helping to get
stagnant energy circulating and alleviate pain. Use this combination any time you're feeling stuck, as well.
Important: Do not use LI4 if you are pregnant, as it is also a point specifically used to induce labor.
If your discomfort is intense or persistent, you should of course seek the counsel of a qualified medical practitioner.
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