why are you doing that point_lung 7By Sara Calabro

You’re going to want to pay attention to this edition of Why Are You Doing That Point?, an ongoing series that explains popular acupuncture points.

It’s late January, and many people around you—and maybe you as well—are getting sick. It is prime time for catching and spreading colds and flus. Now more than ever, your immune system can use a little extra love. And I’ve got just the acupuncture point for you.

Lung 7—also known as Lieque (Chinese name), Broken Sequence (English translation) and LU7 (acupuncturist lingo)—is located on the thumb-side edge of your wrist.

To find Lung 7, make a thumbs-up sign. When you do that, you’ll see a depression at the base of your thumb (referred to as the anatomical snuffbox). From that depression, Lung 7 is located approximately two finger widths up your arm. Slowly glide your finger up until you feel a slight depression between two tendons (see picture below). That’s Lung 7.

Key immune-boosting acupuncture point

lung 7 acupuncture pointLung 7 is a key acupuncture point for treating cold and flu symptoms, including cough, sore throat, chills and fever, nasal congestion, headache, and stiff neck.

In acupuncture, many of these symptoms are caused by a Wind invasion. Lung 7 works by helping to expel Wind from the body. Wind invades through the back of the neck, which is why Lung 7 is the go-to point for that stiff-neck feeling we associate with a cold coming on. It’s also why acupuncturists are always cautioning their patients to wear scarves.

Regular acupuncture treatments, many of which are likely to include Lung 7 this time of year, are ideal for keeping your immune system strong throughout the winter. But if you know Lung 7, you can supplement treatments with simple immune-boosting self-acupressure whenever you want. Just press the point firmly or use a circular motion to massage the area.

Lung 7 is one of four points included in the Acupuncture Flu Shot—a four-point acupressure routine for boosting immunity. When you have extra time, try the complete Flu Shot routine.

Text much? Try Lung 7 for thumb pain

In addition to helping with immunity, Lung 7 is a great point for thumb and wrist pain caused by too much texting.

The trajectory of the Lung channel—the acupuncture meridian on which Lung 7 falls—maps almost exactly to the pain patterns that many people develop from excessive thumb texting. This article on trigger point acupuncture for “BlackBerry thumb” shows some of those patterns.

In the rare moments when you’re not using your phone, massage Lung 7 to help preserve your thumbs, hands, and wrists.

This works for non-texting related thumb, hand, and wrist pain, too. Some cases of carpal tunnel, for example, depending on where the pain is, can be helped by Lung 7. Try it and see. If nothing else, you’ll give yourself an immune boost!

Photo by Sara Calabro

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