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Like acupuncture, acupressure is an alternative medicine focusing on energy and healing points on your body 13. While acupuncture places small needles into these pressure points, acupressure is pressure applied by the fingers and hands of trained individuals onto the same points 13. Ulnar nerve damage can be reduced by acupressure, pushing on the nerve to reduce and relieve pressure 2. According to Dr. Ben Kim, regular acupressure is the best way to provide your large nerves with optimal blood flow 1. In addition, according to Mayo Clinic M.D. Tony Chon, both acupuncture and acupressure have had a long documented history with respect to healing injured patients 3.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Ulnar Nerve Damage Symptoms
Ulnar nerve damage is often a direct result of ulnar nerve entrapment, a disorder that applies pressure to the nerve running down the side of your arm 2. Symptoms of ulnar nerve damage are numbness in your arm and hands, particularly the pinkie side of your hand 2. In addition, you may experience sensitivity to coldness and tenderness in both your hands and the elbow itself. Acupressure is administered in these regions to help relieve pressure.
Causes of a Numb Pinkie Finger
During a regular acupressure session, your healer will focus on specific points along your arm, wrist and hands in an effort to help improve the flow of energy, or blood flow, and build up in these regions 1. TW 5, located just below the wrist is a common pressure point focused on by healers. TW 5 is known as the outer gate point and focuses on the immune system. In addition, LI 11, located on the middle portion of your elbow, directly affects the ulnar nerve 2. LI stands for large intestine. LI 4 addresses the fingers and muscles in your hand that are affected by ulnar nerve damage 2. Each number next to the abbreviation is unique to that particular pressure point on the body. A corresponding number and letter is located on a pressure point that is found in two places on your body. In addition, the numbers reference the 14 major energy channels in your body.
- During a regular acupressure session, your healer will focus on specific points along your arm, wrist and hands in an effort to help improve the flow of energy, or blood flow, and build up in these regions 1.
- Each number next to the abbreviation is unique to that particular pressure point on the body.
Large Intestine Correspondence
In many forms of healing in alternative medicine, certain points on your body correspond to vital organs within your body. LI 4 is a pressure point located in your hand that directly corresponds to the large intestine. In addition to directly affecting the ulnar nerve, healers believe that treating this area can also improve your digestive health and function 2. In addition to the ulnar nerve, this region moves into the superficial branch of the radial nerve 2.
About Pressure Points for a Foot Massage
While acupressure is recommended by some alternative specialists, it is important to get the pain and numbness in your arm properly diagnosed before treating it with acupressure. If your numbness and tingling increases in severity after acupressure, you may require another form of treatment, such as physical therapy, muscle strengthening or even surgery to help remedy the situation. Talk to your doctor or a health-care professional for a comprehensive and complete diagnosis of your problem.
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- Dr. Benkim: Acupressure Points
- NLM: NIH: Ulnar Nerve
- ABC News: Is Acupressure as Beneficial As Acupuncture?
- Chet Day: Three Acupressure Points that Can Significantly improve Your Health
- Zhang WB, Wang GJ, Fuxe K. Classic and Modern Meridian Studies: A Review of Low Hydraulic Resistance Channels along Meridians and Their Relevance for Therapeutic Effects in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:410979. doi:10.1155/2015/410979
- Mehta P, Dhapte V, Kadam S, Dhapte V. Contemporary acupressure therapy: Adroit cure for painless recovery of therapeutic ailments. J Tradit Complement Med. 2017;7(2):251-263. doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.06.004
- Movahedi M, Ghafari S, Nazari F, Valiani M. The Effects of Acupressure on Pain Severity in Female Nurses with Chronic Low Back Pain. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2017;22(5):339-342. doi:+10.4103/ijnmr.IJNMR_108_16
- Mącznik AK, Schneiders AG, Athens J, Sullivan SJ. Does Acupressure Hit the Mark? A Three-Arm Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of Acupressure for Pain and Anxiety Relief in Athletes With Acute Musculoskeletal Sports Injuries. Clin J Sport Med. 2017;27(4):338-343. doi:10.1097/JSM.0000000000000378
- Greenlee H, Dupont-reyes MJ, Balneaves LG, et al. Clinical practice guidelines on the evidence-based use of integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment. CA Cancer J Clin. 2017;67(3):194-232. doi:+10.3322/caac.21397
- Smith CA, Armour M, Dahlen HG. Acupuncture or acupressure for induction of labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;10:CD002962. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002962.pub4
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Acupressure for nausea and vomiting. Updated October 24, 2019
- Greenlee H, DuPont-Reyes MJ, Balneaves LG, et al. Clinical practice guidelines on the evidence-based use of integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment. CA Cancer J Clin. 2017 May 6;67(3):194-232. doi:10.3322/caac.21397
- Mącznik AK, Schneiders AG, Athens J, Sullivan SJ. Does Acupressure Hit the Mark? A Three-Arm Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of Acupressure for Pain and Anxiety Relief in Athletes With Acute Musculoskeletal Sports Injuries. Clin J Sport Med. 2017 Jul;27(4):338-343. doi:10.1097/JSM.0000000000000378
- Smith CA, Armour M, Dahlen HG. Acupuncture or acupressure for induction of labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Oct 17;10:CD002962. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002962.pub4
Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.