Years ago when I first started practicing Kung Fu (at Shaolin Kung Fu of Hadley), I did a 360 degree jump in the air and landed in a way that made my knee bend painfully backwards. Ouch! I was horrified and immediately pictured the worst case scenario. However, I applied Chinese Medicine techniques and acu-points I knew immediately, and I was back in Kung Fu two days later, completely healed and smiling happily. Over the years, I’ve learned that pain and injuries resolve much more quickly when you attend to them right away by applying the principles of Chinese Medicine.
Putting the power of healing into your own hands — that’s what motivates me in helping people in my practice. It’s great that you can come to me and get healing, but when you can learn how to heal yourself in the future, then you are empowered! For years, I’ve been teaching Self-Help healing classes and showing clients specific acu-points and techniques like Gua Sha to help themselves.
Starting this month, on the Leta Herman Energetic Acupressure site, I am starting the “Let’s Get to the Point” blog about acu-points for self-healing. I will write about different topics, including acu-points, Gua Sha, and topical liniments, among other techniques.
I love to teach self-help acupressure to everyone, because the sooner anyone responds to any ailment or pain, the quicker it subsides. You may not always have time to come in for a session in the clinic right away, so if you know some key points for keeping colds at bay (I haven’t been sick in over 10 years now!), you can get right to work on it before it develops into a cold. You could also soothe your day-to-day aches and pains as soon as they crop up, thereby preventing further pain and being able to heal faster with just a few simple points.
Today, we begin with one of my “go-to points” –a.k.a.– “People Welcome” (Ren Ying), which is the point Stomach 9 on the throat. Any time I have a tiny tickle in my throat or the beginnings of a sore throat, I’m on this point immediately! If you act fast, you can typically circumvent that sore throat or cold before it even begins.
This People Welcome point is located on your throat, on either side of your voice box (or Adam’s apple for guys). The easiest way to find it is to move your fingers up and down the center of your throat, from your chin to your chest…feel for the bump in the middle. That’s your larynx or your voice box. Once you find this bump, put your forefingers on either side of it, so that your fingers settle in the deepest part (in between the muscles and the voice box). Those are Stomach 9.
To stop a sore throat in its tracks, you simply hold the points lightly and release or disperse the qi in the point. The way you disperse qi is to make tiny counter-clockwise circles with each finger. While doing it, you can imagine when you take the top off a jar and the air releases. Or you could imagine the air coming out of a pressure cooker. You want the energy to release. I find it really useful to relax my throat as much as possible. I say, “Relax, relax, relax” inside my head. The reason you want to relax your throat is that when you’re fighting off a cold, your body tightens your throat, and this prevents your body from actually releasing whatever toxic energy needs to get expunged from your body. It’s even traditionally used to heal swellings in the throat, such as goiters.
Gua Sha on the back of your neck is also very useful to do in addition to the point and you’re possibly coming down with a cold. If you’re not familiar with Gua Sha, please check out our book: The Big “Little” Gua Sha Book.
After you release the Stomach 9 point, you may sometimes feel something move up to your head, maybe causing an itchy palate or nose, or a runny nose. If you do, you’ll do Small Intestine 18 next, which I will cover in the next post… stay tuned!
As we work through these points, I recommend practicing them, even if you don’t need them at that very moment. It takes some time to memorize them, but this point is one you’d want to know since the sooner you use it, the more likely you’ll release that frog in your throat and feel great again!
Please feel free send this along to anyone you think would benefit from it.
Until next month…
A few more thoughts…
Stomach 9 is a Window to the Sky point. There are a number of them on the body, mostly on the neck. The neck is considered the part of the body that is the bridge to heaven. The torso is like earth, and the head is like heaven, so the neck is the bridge between the two. Have you ever gotten sick when you’re really upset about something happening in your life and you just don’t want to face it? Well, how handy that you can block your bridge between heaven and earth when you’re upset. You don’t want to see it or experience it, so you just shut yourself down and go to bed with a cold.
Well, I always say, wouldn’t it be better to open your Window to the Sky points and resolve these negative feelings? If you really choose to stay well in your life (that is, not come down with colds all the time), then you need to keep this bridge between your head and body open all the time.
In future posts, we will discuss some other important Window to the Sky points, including Large Intestine 18, right next to Stomach 9, which is good to add if you have swollen glands.
Stomach 9 and other Window to the Sky points can also be used when you don’t have a sore throat or cold coming on. They can really help your spirit feel better. Think about the point name, “People Welcome.” This point is an Earth point, and the Earth Element is all about giving and receiving. It’s the Element of hospitality! Isn’t this a perfect name for an Earth point… People Welcome. Come on in, have some food, stay a while, what can I get you? This is the Earth Element at its best.
This point is useful when a person isn’t feeling too giving or is having trouble receiving love. If a person is feeling closed off or too inwardly focused, then they can feel unloved. When you open yourself up to the “sky” or heaven, you immediately start to receive the love you’re craving.