31 January 2010

The Greatest Acupressure Point for Nausea, Reflux, and Hiccups

Pericardium 6 (PC 6), called nei guan in Chinese, is one of the most famous and well researched acupressure points.

It is used to treat many conditions, most famously nausea. It works for any type of nausea: morning sickness, car sickness, and sea sickness. In fact, this point is the reason those magnetic wristbands work while you are on a cruise.

Recently on a trip to Guatemala, I had to massage PC 6 for many passengers during our bus ride through the mountains.

It works well. Gentle pressure needs to be applied in order to prevent the nausea from coming back during the trip.

Not talked about that much, but at least as valuable, is that it can also treat hiccups.

PC 6 works because it influences the flow of qi, the body’s energy. In the digestive tract, the qi is supposed to flow downwards. Nausea and hiccups are disharmonies when the qi flows upward. Gently massaging this point helps the qi flow down.

The pericardium channel goes from the middle finger to the chest and then downward through the stomach. PC 6 can be used for symptoms such as nausea, indigestion, stomach aches, and hiccups.

Location: To locate PC 6 hold your hand palm side up. The point is on the center line of your forearm, two thumb widths up (towards your elbow) from the wrist crease.

Symptoms: stomach aches, nausea, indigestion, hiccups, and sea sickness. This point is safe to treat morning sickness during pregnancy. If you have chronic morning sickness, nausea, digestive problems or reflux disease, you will probably need acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment.

How to Massage: Often with nausea, PC 6 will feel tender and sensitive. Massage in gentle circles. At first, do not press too hard because this can occasionally make the nausea worse. If the person you are helping is comfortable, you can press harder. Rub for 30 seconds to two minutes. Acupressure works quite fast, usually withing a minute or two, to soothe the stomach. You may need to repeat often for car sickness.

Acupuncture is a very ancient form of healing which pre-dates recorded history. Acupressure comes from Acupuncture, although some would say Acupuncture comes from Acupressure instead. The philosophy is rooted in Taoist tradition. which goes back to over 8,000 years. The people of this period would meditate and observe the flow of energy within and without. They also were keen to observe man’s relations with nature and the universe. There were many stages of this period but the most legendary was Fu His, who lived in the Yellow River area of China approximately 8,000 years ago. By observing nature, he formulated the first two symbols, a broken line and an unbroken line. These symbols represented the two major forces in the universe - creation and reception - and how their interactions form life. This duality was named Yin-Yang and they represented the backbone of Chinese Medicine theory and application. Fu His then discovered that when Yin-Yang fuse, a creative action occurs and this gives birth to a third aspect Fu His then pondered on how this triplicity occurs eight times and this led to the eight trigrams and then sixty four hexagrams of the I-Ching (Book of Changes)

The I-Ching shaped the thinking for years to come and every influential book on Chinese Medicine is based upon its fundamental philosophy. The primitive society of China is divided into two time periods - The Old Stone Age (10,000 years ago and beyond) and the New Stone Age (10,000 - 4,000 years ago). During the Old Stone Age, knives were made out of stones and were used for certain medical procedures. During the New Stone Age, stones were refined into fine needles and serve as instrument of healing. They were named BIAN STONE - which means the sharp edged stone to treat diseases. Many bian stone needles were excavated from ruins in China dating back to the New Stone Age.

The most significant milestone in the history of Acupuncture occurred during the period of Huang Di - The Yellow Emperor (2697-2597). In the famous dialogue between Huang Di and his physician Qi Bo, they discuss the whole spectrum of the Chinese Medical Arts. These conversations would later become monumental text The Nei Jing ( The Yellow Emperor Classics of Internal Medicine). The Nei Jing is the earliest book written on Chinese Medicine. It was compiled around 305-204 BC, and consists of two parts:
  1. The Su Wen (Plain Questions) - 9 volumes - 81 chapters, The Su Wen introduces anatomy and physiology, etiology of disease, pathology, diagnosis, differentiation of syndromes, prevention, Yin- Yang, five elements, treatments, and man’s relationship with cosmos.

  2. The Ling Shu (Miraculous Pivot, Spiritual Axis) - 81 chapters, The Ling Shu’s focus is Acupuncture, description of the meridians, functions of the Zang-Fu organs, nine types of needles, function of acupuncture points, needling techniques, types of Qi, location of 160 points.
Approximately 1,000 BC, during the Shang Dynasty, hieroglyphs showed evidence of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Bronze needles were excavated from ruins, but the bian stones remain the main form of needles.

During the Warring States Era (421-221 BC) metal needles replaced the bian stones. Four gold needles and five silver needles were found in an ancient tomb dating back to 113 BC. The Miraculous Pivot names nine types of Acupuncture needles. The history notes many physicians practicing Acupuncture during this time Another milestone for this period was the compilation of The Nan Jing (Book of Difficult Question) The NanJing discusses five element theory, hara diagnosis, eight extra meridians, and other important topics.

From 260-265 AD, the famous physician Huang Fu Mi, organized all of the ancient literature into his classic text - Huang-Ti Chen Chiu Chia I Ching (Jia Yi Jing): The Systematic Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. The text is twelve volumes and describes 349 Acupuncture points. It is organized according to the theory of Zang Fu, Qi and Blood, channels and colaterals, acupuncture points and clinical application. This book is noted to be one of the most influential text in the history of Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture was very popular during the Jin, Northern, Southern, Dynasties (265-581 AD) For XuXi family were known as expert in acupuncture. During this time period important texts charts enhanced knowledge and application.

Acupuncture experienced great development during the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) Dynasties. Upon request from the Tang Government (627-649 AD), the famous physician Zhen Quan revised the important Acupuncture texts and charts. Another famous physician of the time, Sun Si Mio, wrote Bei Ji Qian Jin Yao Fang: Prescriptions Worth a Thousand in Gold for Every Emergency (650-692). This text includes data on acupuncture from various scholars. During this period, Acupuncture became a special branch of medicine and practitioners were named acupuncturists. Acupuncture schools appeared and acupuncture education became part of the Imperial Medical Bureau.

During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), a famous physician Wang Weiyi wrote and illustrated Manual on Points for Acupuncture and Moxibustion. This book included 657 points. He also cast two bronze statues on which meridians and points were engraved for teaching purpose.

The Ming Dynasty (1568-1644) was the enlightening period for the advancement of Acupuncture. Many new developments included:
  1. Revision of the classic texts

  2. Refinement of Acupuncture techniques and manipulation

  3. Development of Moxa sticks for indirect treatment

  4. Development of extra points outside the main meridians

  5. The encyclopedic work of 120 volumes - Principle and Practice of Medicine was written by the famous physician Wang Gendung

  6. 1601 - Yang Jizhou wrote Zhenjiu Dacheng (Principles of Acupuncture and Moxibustion). This great treatise on Acupuncture reinforced the principles of the NeiJing and NanJing. This work was the foundation of the teachings of G. Souile de Morant who introduced Acupuncture into Europe.
From the Qing Dynasty to the Opium Wars (1644-1840), herbal medicine became the main tool of physicians and Acupuncture was suppressed.

Following the revolution of 1911, Western Medicine was introduced and Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology were suppressed. Due to the large population and the need for medical care and Acupuncture and herbs remained popular among the folk people and the “barefoot doctor” emerged.

Acupuncture was used exclusively during the Long March (1934-1935) and despite harsh conditions it helped maintain the health of the army. This led to Mao Zedong, the leader of the communist Party, to see that acupuncture remained an important element in China’s medical system. In 1950, Chairman Mao officially united Traditional Chinese Medicine with his book: New Acupuncture.

In the 1950’s to the 1960’s Acupuncture research continued with further study of ancient texts, clinical effect on various disease, acupuncture anesthesia, and Acupuncture’s effect on the internal organs.

From 1970’s to the present, Acupuncture continues to play an important role in China’s medical system. China has taken the lead in researching all aspects of acupuncture’s application and clinical effects.

Although acupuncture has become modernized it will never lose its connection to a philosophy established thousands of years ago.
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