The pressure points in the hand correspond to the points used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Shiatsu massage. In Eastern modalities, these points are thought to be collection points for energy. By stimulating the energetic flow in the hands, you can promote a positive energy flow throughout the body. In Western thought, the stimulation of these pressure points relaxes the surrounding muscles and promotes stress relief.
The great eliminator
The most powerful pressure point on the hand is known as the great eliminator. It's located on the back of the hand, on the high point on the mound of flesh between the thumb and the index finger. This point is known as large intestine 4 (LI 4) in Eastern modalities. Press into this point to eliminate negative sensations in the body, including headaches, nausea or hiccups. Pregnant women are advised to avoid this pressure point, as TCM posits that it may induce labour.
Great mount, known as pericardium 7 (P 7) in Eastern modalities, is located on the palm side of the hand. It’s directly in the middle of your hand, right at the point where your palm meets your wrist. When you press, you should clearly feel the small bulge of a bone beneath this point. Eclectic Energies, which charts pressure points and their purpose, notes that stimulation of this point can help eliminate nervousness and calm you down if you’re overwhelmed with emotion.
Lung 11 is located on the base of your thumbnail, on the side of the nail that’s opposite the index finger. The lung meridian is thought to help control respiration, so you can stimulate this if you have a cough or respiratory infection. The lungs also play a role in expelling negative elements from the body and protecting the systems from intruders, so stimulation of this point is also thought to help the immune system.