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Home Acupressure for Allergies

Hello Friends!


Spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year, but with the sweet smell of blooming flowers and newly green trees comes an increase in pollen--potentially triggering seasonal allergies. Understanding the discomfort that allergies can cause, we offer relief through the gentle yet effective technique of acupressure. Below, you'll find guidance on the most commonly used acupressure points for alleviating allergy symptoms, tips for mindful acupressure practices, and instructions on using gua sha to support immune function.


Allergy Fact

Allergic Rhinitis has increased significantly since the 1990s and affects 25 percent of children and 40 percent of adults globally. [1]


Acupressure for allergies:

Acupressure is a non-invasive method popular among professionals and the public that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body. While acupuncture uses needles to stimulate deep and superficial sensory nerves, research shows that simple mechanical pressure, like massage, can activate many of the same nerve types, triggering the release of neurobiological chemicals that reduce pain and aid healing. [2]


Pro tip

Using mindful attention during the stimulation of acupoints is vital to their effectiveness. Evidence-based mind-body interventions have been developed to target interoceptive awareness, the ability to notice, appraise, and integrate bodily sensations into our conscious awareness. These techniques work by using mindful attention to build a connection between the brain and body and have shown promise in the treatment of a range of disorders—from chronic pain to mental-emotional conditions. [3] While acupuncture points are powerful in their own right, the ability to focus conscious awareness (a.k.a. the shen/spirit) on the point or area of the body being treated has been recognized as a necessary aspect of healing for thousands of years.


“The needle and the stones, this is the way. [They make] the essence and spirit enter and [they cause] the mind and the sentiment to be fixed. Hence a disease can be healed.”


-Commentary of a passage in the Huang Di Nei Jing by Quan Yuanqi


How to

Start by holding the point with one or two fingers, close your eyes, and with a deep inhale, imagine yourself traveling inward with your breath. In your mind’s eye, wander slowly through your body to the area where you are pressing. Focus on the sensation beneath your fingertip. What do you feel? Is the sensation tender like a bruise, sore, tense, or sharp? Try to name the sensations; it’s harder than you think!


Words like sticky, prickly, tingling, vibrating, or throbbing might emerge. You may see colors. Memories could float into your consciousness, and emotions often arise. Pay attention to what comes up without judgment. If your mind wanders, take a deep breath and walk yourself back to the acupressure point.


Don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t feel natural or you are easily distracted. Mindful attention is a practice. Start with one or two points a day and see how you feel!


Acupoints for Allergies and Immune Health


Lung 7- Lie Que (Broken Sequence)

You can reach LU7 by finding the styloid process of the radius, the small protrusion of bone just below your thumb. With your finger, trace the ridge of the bone towards your body until it naturally falls into a dip about an inch above the crease of your wrist.


LU7 is beneficial for respiratory symptoms caused by allergies, viruses, or bacteria--especially coughing and sore throat. This point is called the “command point of the head and neck,” as such, it also treats headaches and neck pain.


Large Intestine 4- He Gu (Union Valley)

LI 4 is the “command point of the face,” essential for sinus congestion and headaches. This point “expels wind,” one of the causative factors of respiratory viruses and allergies, and regulates a type of qi called Wei Qi, which circulates on the body's surface and protects from pathogens.


LI 4 is located in the center of the fleshy web between your index finger and thumb and is usually very sore when pressed!



This point has a powerful qi-moving effect and is unsuitable during pregnancy.


ST 36- Zu San Li (Leg Three Li)

Stomach 36 is located a handbreadth below the knee. Find it by placing your hand horizontally below your kneecap and aligning your index finger with the indentation outside the knee. The point will be located just below your little finger, one finger width from the shin. Use the pads of your fingers to poke around the area. If it’s sore, there is a good chance you’ve got the point!


ST 36 is called Leg Three Li (Li = a Chinese mile) due to its energy-enhancing properties. The saying goes: if you are too tired to continue walking, needle ST36, and you can walk three more miles. Traditionally, moxa was burned on this point as a longevity practice.


Along with regulating the immune system, this point assists in the digestion of food-- important for reducing phlegm congestion in the sinuses.


Spleen 9- Yin Ling Quan (Yin Mound Spring)

SP9 clears dampness and phlegm from anywhere in the body. Remember the adage:

“The Spleen is the root of phlegm; the lungs are the place where phlegm is stored.”

To find SP9, run your finger along the inside of your shin bone until your finger naturally stops below the knee.


Large Intestine 20- Ying Xiang (Welcome Fragrance)

LI20 is known as a local point. Sitting adjacent to the nostrils on each side of the nose, it is primarily used to treat congestion and, as the name suggests, loss of smell.


Place each index finger on either side of your nostrils to stimulate this point. Press down and gently slide your fingers half an inch toward your nose to activate a second point above LI20 called Bi Tong.


Yin Tang (Seal Hall)

Yin Tang is located between the eyebrows, in the area of the “third eye.” It is used clinically to regulate emotions and treat stress. Due to its location above the sinus cavities and between the eyes, it also works for allergy symptoms.


Scalp Points

Several channels traverse the scalp. Instead of focusing on particular points, I recommend exploring the scalp with your fingers—searching for areas that feel sore, gummy, or with a palpable indent in the bone (usually indicative of an acupuncture point). The points on the top of the head, in the hairline right above the eyes, help drain the sinuses.

Close your eyes and walk your fingers through your hair, giving extra attention to painful areas. If you pay close attention, you can feel your sinuses drain!


Gua Sha

Gua Sha has gained popularity over the last few years as a traditional style of massage used to reduce muscle tension and puffiness in the face. In the clinic, we use Gua Sha anywhere on the body with muscle tension and pain. The technique requires a smooth-edged tool often made of a semi-precious stone like Jade but can be as humble as a Chinese soup spoon. For sinus congestion, gently gua sha the face around LI20, Bi Tong, Yin Tang, and anywhere else that feels slightly tender. Include the chest, neck, and shoulders for added congestion drainage. Click here for a helpful YouTube tutorial.


Another point combination that is used clinically to regulate the immune system is a series of three points called the Four Horses. We needle these points in the office, but at home, you can gua sha this area using long, medium-pressure strokes on the side of the thigh just above the IT band. Start at the knee and glide the tool until you reach your hip. Repeat until the area turns pink.


Home Routine

To create your own quick and effective home acupressure routine for allergy relief, focus on the key points highlighted in our guide. Begin by applying gentle pressure to Lung 7 (LU7) near your wrist to address respiratory symptoms. Next, stimulate Large Intestine 4 (LI4) between the thumb and index finger to help relieve sinus congestion and headaches. Include Stomach 36 (ST36) just below the knee for its energy-boosting properties and to aid digestion, thus reducing sinus phlegm. Don't forget Spleen 9 (SP9) on the inside of the lower legs to clear phlegm and dampness and Large Intestine 20 (LI20) beside the nostrils to target nasal congestion directly. Lastly, incorporate the calming Yin Tang point between your eyebrows to ease stress and support sinus relief. End with a quick scalp massage. Remember, consistency and mindful attention during each session can significantly enhance the effectiveness of these techniques.

 Until next time!




1.Nur Husna, S. M., Tan, H.-T. T., Md Shukri, N., Mohd Ashari, N. S., & Wong, K. K. (2022). Allergic rhinitis: A clinical and pathophysiological overview. Frontiers in Medicine9. doi:10.3389/fmed.2022.874114 

2.Kopf, D. (2021). Massage and touch-based therapy. Zeitschrift Für Gerontologie Und Geriatrie54(8), 753–758. doi:10.1007/s00391-021-01995-4 

3.Price, C. J., & Hooven, C. (2018). Interoceptive awareness skills for emotion regulation: Theory and approach of mindful awareness in body-oriented therapy (MABT). Frontiers in Psychology9. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00798 














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