Project Description

Press this point for post-nasal drip

Post-nasal drip occurs when the normal mucus that’s produced in the nasal passages fails to transform and move as it should. Either it’s too thick or something, such as throat swelling, obstructs its movement. In either case, the mucus cannot flow normally, which causes it to accumulate in the back of the nose and drip down the throat.

Since post-nasal drip is caused by faulty flow rather than a foreign invader vulnerable to antihistamines—which, by the way, can actually make the problem worse because they dry out the nasal passages, further thickening mucus—acupuncture and acupressure are effective remedies. They eliminate the underlying causes of symptoms by restoring flow and transforming the mucus.

One of the best-known acupuncture points for transforming mucus is Stomach 40. This popular acupuncture point is located on the outer lower leg, about halfway between the knee and ankle.

Stomach 40 is primarily used for clearing out mucus—more commonly referred to by acupuncturists as phlegm or dampness—especially in the upper body. Since the Stomach meridian on which the point falls goes directly over the chest, throat and nasal area, the point’s dampness-reducing effects address those areas.

Acupuncturists choose Stomach 40 for people who have post-nasal drip as well as phlegmy coughs, fullness or heaviness in the chest, throat swelling and difficulty swallowing.

I’ve found that self-acupressure on this point is easiest to do with the thumb on the same side of whichever Stomach 40 you’re pressing.

Experiment with it to determine which finger feels most comfortable to you. You can also experiment with pressing Stomach 40 on each leg to see if one produces better results than the other, or you can press both right and left Stomach 40 simultaneously.

Using the thumb allows you to get a good grip on the point, to which you should apply firm pressure. If your post-nasal drip is chronic, you may notice a little tenderness when pressing Stomach 40.

Many people are most affected by post-nasal drip at night. When lying in bed, turn onto your side and bend your knee so that you can reach your lower leg. You should be able to access the point from this angle.