Acupuncture Blog

Acupressure Tutorial: earaches, ear pain or just plain pain around the ears.

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This post is to follow up on a patient request: pain behind the ear. Here's the video I put together on the MAS YouTube page to walk us through, along with the information below.

One quick way to get started is with this video from our friend, Stacey Kelsey at Boise Acupuncture Coop. She is focusing specifically on a point on the back of the head between the neck and the back of the ear, Gallbladder 20 (GB20). If the headache behind your ear feels better when you apply pressure, then you may want to gently massage all along the ridge of your occipital bone behind your ear inward until you reach the center of your spine. You can even gently massage the small space just behind your ear lobe, this point is Sanjaio 17 (SJ17).

We are going to use some points on our hands, wrists, and feet to treat pain in the ear, specifically on the Gallbladder and Sanjaio channels. These two channels meet at the ear and they each sport acupuncture points around the ear. At the clinic, whenever we are treating any kind of ear conditions, we are likely to include points on these two channels in your treatment.

The first points on the hand that I recommend are Sanjaio 2 (SJ2) Sanjaio 3 (SJ3). They are located below and above the knuckle between your pinky and ring finger. Press these points on the affected side 20-30 times. If you end up feeling a bit of ache as you press, good! Don't hurt yourself here, but a mild ache in the area of these points when used is a positive. It means they've been activated.

According to 'A Manuel of Acupuncture' by Peter Deadman, San Jaio 3  “is the most important distal point for treating ear disorders due to any (reason).” He even explains that if someone has a blocked ear, especially from traveling by airplane, SJ 3 can be massaged while they hold their nose. If you are at home with someone who has a blocked ear, give it a try and let us know if it’s helpful.

Next, we will travel two finger widths from the wrist and massage the space in between the heads of the two bones in your lower arm.

This area/point is called Sanjaio 5 (SJ5). It’s another good point for ear pain, and it’s especially good for all kinds of headaches, especially on the side of the head, where the ear is located.

The last two areas that we are going to massage are on the opposite foot. (As a note you can always massage the points on both sides of your body to get all your bases covered).  Find the space on the top of your foot between the pinky toe and it’s neighboring 4th toe. Massage in between those two bones and in the space between the two toes. Here, you are stimulating three different acupuncture points called, Gallbladder 41, 42, and 43.

All of these points are good for a headache on the (opposite) side of the head, and disorders of the eyes and ears.

We hope this is helpful. Please keep the requests coming. We are always looking for topics that we can write about and share with you.

 - MAS acupuncturist Elizabeth Ropp


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