Safely Eliminating Pain in the Upper Body.

The Joining Valley acupoint otherwise known as Large Intestine 4 or Colon 4 is one of the most often misunderstood acupoints. In my video above I explain the most common misconception is locating the Joining Valley acupoint, (which I call the Great Eliminator) an example of this acupoint’s practical use in my life, and then I demonstrate how to utilize it.

In my experience as a teacher of acupressure techniques, when I start leading a class asking about how to eliminate headaches, my students will often advise that there is an acupoint where you need to put pressure on the webbing by pinching between the index finger and the thumb to help alleviate any pain you might be experiencing. Some even know its name, but they do not know how produce the sensation of Qi.

One of the core conventions of acupressure is utilizing the acupoints naturally in the body to restore the flow of Qi in a particular area, therefore eliminating the pain or other undesirable issues you experience due to your Qi being injured.

Now that you understand why this isn’t correct (as putting pressure there does not stimulate Qi), I will guide you how to find and properly utilize the Joining Valley acupressure point.

The Joining Valley acupressure point is actually well named since the name itself reveals the secret of how to press this acupoint for the strongest energy response. In particular the name Joining Valley advises how to position the hand to get the most powerful energy response by joining the thumb to the hand, making a mound with a valley.

The best way to locate LI.4 (the Joining Valley) on yourself is to place the palm of the hand you want to press on your stomach. As you close the space between your receiving hand and thumb, notice the mound of flesh on the back of the hand and the crease in the mound. Locate Co.4 at the end of the crease, near the middle of the mound. Keep the thumb against the hand as you press (MO). Place your pressing thumb on the end of the crease, massaging the mound of muscle against the bone of the hand.

Feel the muscle roll around under your thumb. Massage the muscle against the hand bone to feel for sore spots. What does the muscle feel like? Does it feel hard? Does it feel soft? Does it feel like stringy strands? Can you feel lumps in the muscle?

Important: Press this spot into the bone of the hand, slowly sliding the tip of your pressing thumb along the bone. Slide along the hand bone toward the index finger for a short distance and then toward the wrist. Slide back and forth until the most sensitive spot can be felt. Press firmly on this spot. This point may be very sensitive. Sensitivity can make it easy to find, but you will have to work slowly to achieve an energy sensation. When the point is not sensitive you will have to press harder to find it, but it is easier to get the energy sensation.

Moving Qi can be easy at this acupoint if you take your time. Stop and hold pressure on the acupoint. Does energy move outward from the point? It may travel to another spot in the hand or arm of the hand being pressed may feel a sensation move upward. The Qi sensation may be felt around the elbow or even the shoulder or head. When you increase the time the point is pressed, more varied sensations may be felt.

The Large Intestine meridian starts at the tip of the index finger. It passes along the side of the hand bone, (second metacarpal), the path dips into a depression in the large muscle. (dorsal interosseus) that forms the web of the thumb; this deep location near the middle of the hand bone is where LI. 4 (the Joining Valley) can be found. The meridian then passes between the tendons and muscles on the thumb side of the wrist and forearm on it’s way to the elbow.

The Large Intestine meridian crosses the elbow at LI.11, the shoulder at LI.15, the neck at LI.18 and ends on the face, next to the nose, at LI.20. The Large Intestine meridian includes points numbered LI.1 through LI.20, as well as Gv.14 and St.37. The meridian also passes into the trunk connecting with the lungs, colon and stomach. Areas along the path can benefit from stimulating LI.4.

LI.4 is an important healing acupoint associated with many body functions. Stimulate it to restore yang energy, to improve digestion, bowl elimination, and immunity. This point is also one of the easiest to use to create a Qi sensation that moves up the arm. Most people will be able to generate this sensation on themselves and others by remembering the secret given in the name Joining Valley.

A simple way to locate this acupoint is to grasp your partner’s left hand with your left hand, using your right thumb to press LI.4. Hold your partner’s thumb against the hand, look for the crease in the mound and press gently into the crease. Stroke (TUI) back and forth along the hand bone to zero in on the acupoint. Remember some people are quite tender here.

Key concepts to remember about LI.4:
Location: on the hand in the middle of the triangular web between the thumb and index finger
To find: first massage the web with your fingers, checking for tenderness. Then, hold the thumb against the side of the hand. Notice the crease in the mound. Press at the end of the crease into the mound against the hand bone of the index finger.
Deqi: up the arm to the elbow, shoulder and head and/or toward the fingers.
Use: Promote longevity. Detect difficulties with and improve Yang functions, including sensory organs, immunity and skin
Pain: all types (especially in the upper body i.e., headache and toothache)
Condition: constipation, diarrhea, rash, fever, common cold, sinus problems

If you like content like this, and you want to continue to learn more about the human body you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, this blog of course, and Youtube! Click the names of the social media sites if you’d like to check these out, I’ve linked them for your convenience.

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