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Acupressure for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

 

Whenever your CTS symptoms are particularly bothersome, try doing acupressure self-massage. Many of my patients report significant relief from swelling and numbness when they press firmly on their CTS acupoints. You'll also find that doing acupressure can be very relaxing. Before beginning, read a description of the General Acupressure Technique below.

 

ACUPRESSURE TECHNIQUE FOR CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

 The most widely used acupressure points for carpal tunnel syndrome are described below. Follow the four steps in order for maximum relief. Revisit the points, allowing at least 20 minutes for the total treatment.

  1. Beginning on your right arm, apply steady pressure to both the TE5 point and the PC6 point at the same time (See Illustrations A and B). With your thumb, firmly press the PC6 point, which is two thumb widths above the center of the wrist crease on the inside of the forearm. Using your index finger, firmly press the TE5 point, which is two thumb widths above the center of the wrist crease on the top of the forearm. (Make sure you've taken your watch off.)
  2. Next, on the same arm, apply steady pressure to both the PC7 point and the TE4 point at the same time (See Illustrations A and B). With your thumb, firmly press the PC7 point, which is in the middle of the crease on the inside of the wrist. With your index or middle finger, press the TE4 point, which is opposite the PC7 point, in the hollow in the middle of the crease on the outside of the wrist.
  3. Finally, using your thumb, press on the PC8 point. To find the point, make a fist. The point is located in the palm where the tip of the middle finger touches it (See Illustration B).
  4. Repeat steps one through three with the left arm.        

                                                                    

 

 

GENERAL ACUPRESSURE TECHNIQUE

To do acupressure, you'll need to use your index finger, middle finger, or thumb, or, occasionally, those on both hands.

  1. First, gently explore the indicated area (see illustrations) until you find a slight indentation. This is the acupressure point. (There are usually small nerves and sensitive muscles or blood-vessel groups at acupressure points.)
  2. Next, press the point firmly and steadily, using both direct pressure and/or a circular motion, for about 30 seconds until you feel a dull ache that spreads around the area. (If there is a painful "knot" in a muscle at the acupressure point, the muscle will slowly relax and you should feel the change in about 30 seconds.)
  3. Keep up the pressure for another 30 to 60 seconds. When you release the pressure, you will feel the dull ache for a short while more.
  4. Move on to another point or points in the treatment zone for your ailment.
  5. "Revisit" the points as many times as possible.

For more information, see the WholeHealthMD Reference Library entry on acupressure.

Date Published: 02/08/2006
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