By Sara Calabro
We’ve been talking a lot about acupressure lately. In just the past couple months, AcuTake has run articles on acupressure for the flu, acupressure for stiff muscles and joints, and acupressure for post-nasal drip.
And next week we’ve got another acupressure piece coming your way. We’re obsessed with acupressure!
Why are we obsessed with acupressure?
Our obsession with acupressure has to do with it being convenient, free, effective and educational.
Acupressure is not a substitute for acupuncture, but it sure is easier to fit into a hectic schedule and a tight budget. You can perform acupressure anytime, anyplace, whenever it works for you.
Also, acupressure is effective. It can provide symptomatic relief as well as prolong and even enhance the effects of real acupuncture treatments.
Finally, acupressure is educational because it gets you thinking about health from an acupuncture perspective. Again, the best way to understand acupuncture and truly feel its effects is to go get an acupuncture treatment. But for when that’s not possible, acupressure is a great tool for learning to see yourself as an interconnected being who’s capable of self-healing.
Acupressure just got even easier
Given our obsession with the convenience and power of acupressure, I was intrigued when a company approached me about a new product that makes acupressure even easier.
It’s a small device that fits snugly between the thumb and index finger, applying pressure to acupuncture point Large Intestine 4.
You can learn more about Large Intestine 4 here, but it’s basically the mother of all acupuncture points. Large Intestine 4 is used in acupuncture treatments for almost anything you can think of: headaches, chills and fever, runny nose, stiff neck, sweating issues, sore throat, dizziness, low back pain, constipation, skin problems, toothache, sinusitis, rhinitis, nosebleeds and more.
If you’re going to make an acupressure product for one point, Large Intestine 4 is a wise choice.
When this company, Aculief, approached me about its namesake product, I didn’t doubt that the device could help people in theory. As an acupuncturist, I know that firmly applied pressure to Large Intestine 4 can be extremely helpful for a wide range of ailments.
However, when I first took my Aculief out of the box, I thought for sure that it was going to fall off and therefore be useless. I was wrong.
My experience with Aculief
I first put on my Aculief device one morning when I had a headache.
Side note: The founder of Aculief is not an acupuncturist. He’s a regular guy who had really bad headaches until someone suggested he try acupressure on Large Intestine 4. After realizing how effective it was, he committed to creating a product that could deliver the same kind of drug-free relief to other people who experience headaches.
So I had a headache.
I put on my Aculief device and went back to working on my computer. Being on my computer, by the way, is an activity that typically exacerbates my headaches, but I had no choice that day. Before I knew it, 30 minutes had gone by and not only was my headache gone but the device was still firmly in place between my thumb and index finger!
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The fact that my headache had disappeared probably should have been the bigger deal here, but I was so surprised that the device had not fallen off as I assumed it would. The pessimist in me still was not convinced, so I put my Aculief to the test.
The company advertises the product as a hands-free acupressure tool that can be worn while going about your daily life. I would see about that.
It had passed the computer test, but what about my iPhone? Check:
Holding a glass of water? Yep:
Peeling an orange? Still on:
I was determined to stump this thing. Playing the piano? Oh, come on!
Certain movements sometimes caused the device to shift a bit, but nothing I did forced it to flat-out fall off. (Except the time I used hand lotion right before putting it on. If you do that it will probably slip off.)
I did find that the device had an easier time staying snug on my left hand, but that could be due to my specific hand shape. Even on the right hand, it never fell off, just required more frequent adjustments. The device is interchangeable between hands. You flip it over to wear it on the opposite side.
My conclusion is that Aculief is a legit product. It makes performing acupressure on a very powerful acupuncture point even easier than it was before.
Aculief is great for treating headaches and the other ailments for which Large Intestine 4 is effective. It’s also an excellent preventive tool.
Since being pleasantly surprised by Aculief’s staying power, I keep my devices—I have two, one for each hand—by my computer and put them on whenever I sit down to work. I can happily report that headaches and the gnarly neck/shoulder laptop syndrome from which I routinely suffered have decreased significantly.
Photo by Sara Calabro; Large Intestine 4 infographic from A Manual of Acupuncture
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