Manage Diabetes with Acupressure

Healthy bodies exist in a state of delicate balance. Each cell does its part, working harmoniously and communicating effectively with the others. When that delicate balance is off, disease is present. So healing means restoring balance.

In traditional Asian medicine, the imbalance that results in diabetes is thought to originate in the stomach, which relates to the functioning of the pancreas and the spleen. One method for adjusting this imbalance is acupressure. This involves pressing certain points on the body to stimulate the circulation of life energy, called ki (qi, chi). In this system of medicine, a body is healthy when enough energy is flowing smoothly through the body’s energy channels, and unhealthy when the flow of energy becomes blocked or depleted. With a combination of acupressure, a healthy diet, and regular aerobic exercise, someone with diabetes can lower their blood sugar levels back to normal. This is suitable for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

In honor of American Diabetes Month, here are a few acupressure guidelines. You can add these techniques to your daily self-care routine.

Repeatedly press each of the points described below, one at a time, for at least 30 seconds or up to three minutes. As you press, focus on the sensations you feel at that point. When you press a point in which energy is blocked, you will feel some pain. You can do it more than once a day if you like. Each of these points exist on either side of your body.

  1. Stomach 36Stomach 36 (St-36): Place the pads of four fingers under the knee cap. The point is located below the fingers, a little to the outside from the center, in the slight depression formed by the bones. This point is also effective for lowering high blood pressure, strengthening weak limbs, preventing dizziness, and aiding recovery from stroke.
  2. Spleen 6Spleen 6 (Sp-6): To locate this point, place four fingers above the tip of the ankle bone, on the inside of the lower leg on the back of the shin bone. At this point, the Spleen, Kidney and Liver meridians intersect, so it can be used for many conditions associated with all three organs. It’s an important point in the treatment of any digestive, gynecological, or emotional condition.
  3. Liver 3Liver 3 (Liv-3): This point is on the foot, on the line between the big toe and the second toe, about 3 finger widths from the edge, in a depression about the size of a finger tip. It also helps release blocked emotions (especially repressed anger) and depression.
  4. Kidney 3Kidney 3 (K-3): Find this acupressure point on the inside of the foot, halfway between the Achilles-tendon and the side of the ankle-bone. It also helps to strengthen the immune system, relieve fatigue and lower back pain, and reduce the effects on the body of too much fear.
  5. Stomach 40Stomach 40 (St-40): On the outside of the lower leg, this point is two finger-widths from the shin bone and 8 finger-widths from the ankle. It’s also helpful for clearing phlegm in the chest.
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