Is Vitamix Worth It?

Is Vitamix Worth It?

Is Vitamix worth it? In this review, I’ll describe the pros and cons of this popular blender and my experience with it. To start with, I was considering getting a Vitamix blender for several years already, but I was reluctant because the price seemed rather over the top to me. I had a common blender for my soups and sauces, and a Nutribullet for making my smoothies.

The Nutribullet could blend my smoothies pretty well, so I didn’t really understand what the fuss about Vitamix was all about. However, when a close friend of mine got her Vitamix and I was able to witness directly what this machine was capable of, I finally made my decision, started putting some cash aside each month, and eventually purchased the model 3500 from the Ascent series. There are many different models and sizes of the Vitamix blenders, so it’s a good idea to take your time and select your favourite. For me, the A3500 ticks all the boxes and shall explain why in this review.

Vitamix A3500

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Product: Vitamix Ascent 3500

Dimensions: 20.5 x 28 x 43 cm

Container Capacity: 2 litres

Main Benefits: Eating healthier and enjoying it

Price: $599.95 or £695

Available from: Amazon US / Amazon UK

My Rating: 9 out of 10

Much More Than Just Smoothies

Compared to the standard blenders, I was highly impressed by the spectrum of possibilities that this blender offers.

Unlike Nutribullet, you can throw huge frozen chunks of fruit or veggies (or plenty of ice cubes made of water, lemon or lime juice) into your Vitamix and the blades will pulverize it within seconds, releasing the flavor as well as making the drink nice and chilled.

The Vitamix completely won me over when I made my first Tahini, which tasted even better than the one from the health food shop. The only ingredients I needed were lightly toasted sesame seeds, (not even oil), and the result was a real, fragrant and tasty tahini. The essential ingredient for homemade hummus and halva!

Tahini made with Vitamix

My first Tahini made in Vitamix

Another great surprise was ice cream, which Vitamix can make in about 30 – 50 seconds. I made a really nice vegan chocolate ice cream, and my – very picky! – husband said it tasted better than his favourite Booja Booja vegan ice cream.

Chocolate ice cream made with Vitamix

Straight after the chocolate ice cream, I made frozen yogurt (with greek yogurt and frozen pineapple pieces) sweetened with agave syrup. The memories of me sitting at my favourite frozen yogurteria came back instantly, and what I spooned out of my Vitamix tasted at least as good, of not better, as the high-street treat.

Frozen yogurt made in a Vitamix
Frozen yogurt made in Vitamix A3500

Freshly made frozen yogurt

Superfood Breakfast

And now to actual smoothies: My husband and I are completely addicted to our morning elixirs of life. The best thing is that you can smuggle the healthiest of ingredients into a really tasty smoothie.  Spinach, turmeric, spirulina, Chia seeds, cashews, even flaxseed oil…basically all the superfoods you can think of, which you probably wouldn’t fancy consuming on their own.

You can throw frozen chunks of fruit or vegetables or several cups of ice-cubes into the Vitamix jug without worrying about straining the machine; the strong blades will smash it within seconds. If you do the same with standard blenders, you may end up with a chunky drink, not the cloud-like, velvety smoothie that you get from Vitamix. Plus, you might damage the regular blenders by forcing them to process the hard parts, such as ice cubes or frozen fruit or veg.

Vitamix green smoothie ingredients

Our morning green supersmoothie – before

Vitamix green smoothie
Vitamix green smoothie

Our morning green supersmoothie – after

Blueberry smoothie made in Vitamix

A heavenly blueberry smoothie

Delicious drinks like this will help you kick start the day and keep you energized and in a good mood for much longer than a coffee or tea would do. Plus, it’s so much more nutritious, healthier option than caffeinated drinks. I can’t deny my love of good quality coffee, but after learning what happens in your body after ingesting caffeine (see my article The Physiological Effects of Caffeine) I now treat myself to coffee only once in a while. I also stopped craving coffee since starting a regular meditation practice, which I’ve written about in the post The Physical and Psychological Benefits of Meditation)

How About Nutribullet?

A friend asked me why I got Vitamix when I already have the much cheaper Nutribullet to make my smoothies. Let’s make it clear – I really like Nutribullet and bought one in 2013. It does make great smoothies. I recollect with fondness my morning journeys to college on the London bus, while slowly sipping my freshly made Nutribullet smoothies which energized and kept me well focused in my class, and kept me going for hours.

However, unlike Vitamix, Nutribullet doesn’t crush ice cubes or whole chunks of frozen food. It certainly cannot create ready-to-serve ice cream or steaming-hot soup. It can mill nuts, but it cannot create nut butters or crate a creamy consistency out of seeds. I realised that after making my first (and I must say, amazing) tahini in the Vitamix.

You’ll Start Eating Healthier Spontaneously

The amount of stuff that you can make with Vitamix is mind-blowing. You can base your whole diet on it, and you’ll naturally start eating in a much healthier way, while genuinely enjoying your creations. You can make nut butters (e.g. peanut, cashew, almond butter), guacamole, tahini, hummus, baby food, all sorts of sauces, bread and cake dough, and soups.

Vitamix can actually make a steaming-hot soup in about 6 minutes thanks to the high-power friction of the blades. I haven’t tried this feature yet, because I prefer chunkier soups made with a hand blender, and somehow I don’t want to become too lazy with my cooking, but if I’m ever stuck for time, I know the option is there.

You can also use the Vitamix for chopping. Juts drop the food (e.g. onion, garlic) through the small hole at the top of the container into already spinning blades. The blender can mill seeds and grind spices as well.

Hundreds of Recipes

With your Vitamix, you’ll get a free recipe book, and you can also follow plenty of great recipes on the Vitamix website. Youtube is also full of creative ideas. Discovering all the recipe possibilities is enjoyable and exciting, and I recommend creating a folder with your favourite recipes, because you are very likely to use them frequently.

Here the recipe categories listed on the Vitamix website:

Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes

As an example, I’ve selected two delicious smoothie recipes from the Vitamix website.

Important warning: This recipe has been designed for a high-performance blender, such as the Vitamix A3500. If you are using a non-Vitamix blender, please check carefully whether your blender is powerful enough to process hard, frozen parts, otherwise you may damage your device. For example, you cannot use these recipes in a Nutribullet.

tropical escape smoothie by Vitamix
Going Green Smoothie by Vitamix

Regarding the ‘Directions’ section in these two recipes, (after ‘Ingredients’) please note that with the model A3500 you won’t have to increase the speed manualy (unless you wish to.) You can use the smoothie preset – i.e. simply press one button and everything will be done for you, including the speed increase. Also, the blender will stop on its own after 50 seconds, so you can go away from the blender and do something else.

Smootjie preset on Vitamix A3500

The Vitamix App – Even More Recipes and Presets

As this was not enough, you can explore over 600 recipes on the Vitamix app that you can download for free. Below is a screenshot from my mobile, presenting the app. Using your mobile or iPad, you can pair the app with your Vitamix blender via Bluetooth.

Apart from a crazy amount of recipes, the app will also give you 17 preset programs. The Vitamix Ascent 3500 comes with five preset programs for smoothies, hot soups, frozen desserts, spreads, and self-cleaning, and the app will add additional ones, such as dry chopping, nut butters, baby food, spice grinding, and more. You may just well open your own ‘conscious food’ chain!

Vitamix App
Vitamix App presets

Below are some examples of the recipes from the Vitamix app. This shows that the blender is certainly not limited to just smoothies. Now you can make your own salsa, guacamole, hummus, all sorts of sauces, dressings, and marinades, jams…you may be surprised by what you’re suddenly capable of!

Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes
Vitamix recipes

A Closer Look at the Features

After all the recipe madness, let’s have a closer look at the features, to understand what makes this machine so powerful and how to actually use it.

If you want, you can watch a short presentation video by Vitamix first:

64 Ounce (2 Litres) Container

You’ll get a generous size container made of BPA-free plastic. The container feels very sturdy and safe. The lid clips onto the container. If you happen not to close the lid properly, the smart machine won’t start, and will show a ‘no entry’ icon in the top left corner of the display. This is a very useful safety feature, which could prevent splashing your dark green smoothie all over your kitchen walls.

Vitamix A3500

1380 Watt 2.2 Hp Motor and Powerful Blades

The power of the motor, together with specially designed blades that don’t just cut through the food but smash it/pulverise it, makes it capable to crush even large chunks of fully frozen food. The motor power is also the reason why the machine gets quite loud at the high speed. Fortunately, you don’t usually have to use the high speed for more than 30 – 50 seconds.

Vitamix Ascent blades

Self-Detect Technology

The blender won’t start unless the container is placed correctly and the lid is fully closed, which is a great safety feature, helping to prevent disasters of the kind ‘your flat being freshly painted in dark green by your morning smoothie’. The blender will also recognise what size of the jug is sitting on it, so if you have purchased a tiny jug for grinding spices  or making very small amount of baby food in it, the machine won’t start (as a safety precaution) if you select an 8-minute pre-set for making hot soups, for example.

10 Speed Dial

If you don’t want to use the pre-set buttons, you can use the manual speed dial. If you read in one of the recipes ‘Select Variable 1’, this refers to the speed number on the manual dial. The dial has 10 speeds. You usually start blending on a low speed and then turn the know to its higher speed (10) until you reach the desired blending result.

Touch Controls

The touch controls make the machine look sleek and also easy to clean. The only downside of this, I think, is that it’s not suitable for the visually impaired. (Fortunately, there are other Vitamix models with more manual controls available)

Tamper

The tamper is used for pushing ingredients towards the blades. You usually use it when making ice cream, which requires only about 30n seconds of blending on high power, (if you left it blend longer it would start melting) and within those 30-ish seconds you push the ice and other frozen bits towards to blades. You can also use it to make nut butters or tahini – you’ll help to push all the nuts or seeds closer to the blades.

5 Blending Presets

This is a v very useful feature if, especially at the start you are not sure how long and with what intensity to blend certain things, e.g. ice-creams. In the case of ice-creams the preset is especially helpful, because if you use the manual controls, you may overblend the icecream, which will result in melting (due to the heat caused by the friction of the blades) and you’ll end up with a smoothie instead.

But even if you use a preset that has specific timing preprogrammed, you can turn the machine off any time you wish.

Five preset programs for Vitamix A3500

Timer

You can set the timer to a required length (through the plus and minus icons) and let Vitamix do its job. It will turn itself off automatically after the required length of time. This is one of my favourite features of this blender – the fact that I don’t have to stand next to it amidst all the noise, but do other things or even leave the kitchen if I wish.

The Pulse Function

The pulse function is very useful if you don’t want to over-blend your food. If you press the pulse button shortly, it will generate a quick burst, which is ideal for keeping the right consistency of the food. I have created a short demonstration video where you can see me using the pulse function to grind coffee beans.

10 Year Warranty and 30 Days Money Back Guarantee

The warranty provides you with peace of mind for 10 full years, and the 30-day guarantee gives you enough time to try and test the blender (and probably become a Vitamix addict).

Bluetooth Connectivity

The Vitamix Ascent 3500 is connectible via Bluetooth to your mobile or tablet, so you can download the Vitamix app with 17 presets and over 600 recipes.

vitamix ascent 3500

Sneak in All Sorts of Healthy Supplements

I also consume really healthy supplements that I would previously find quite unpleasant to eat on their own, such as Flax Seed oil, full of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for your cardiovascular health as well as skin and hair! Add a tablespoon of the oil into your green smoothie and you will never notice it. You’ll only start receiving compliments on your shiny hair.

My smoothies also mercifully hide powdered superfoods I had always wanted to eat but couldn’t bear it: Spirulina, turmeric, lucuma, maca…all get blended in the smoothie, and you wonder why you’re feeling great all morning juts after one glass of tasty green smoothie.

Imagine what all this could do to your health, especially your children’s health. A lot of kids hate greens, but all kids love getting involved in creating yummy treats!

Imagine treating your friends and family to a freshly made, delicious ice-cream, impress them with home-made almond/peanut/cashew butter, and never again have to buy baby food from a supermarket?

More Fruit & Veg in One Go Than in a Whole Day

For me personally, the fact that since getting the Vitamix3500i I started eating much healthier, (and profoundly enjoying it), which is leaving me feeling more energized and happier, completely justifies the price. Through my morning green smoothie only, I now consume more vegetables and fruit in one go than I used to in an entire day!

Green Smoothie by Vitamix

Your Investment Will Pay Off

The purchase price will pay off eventually – you won’t need to buy expensive smoothies from the supermarket (which are mostly apple juice anyway) or even more expensive smoothies from the juice bar. Also, you won’t waste as much food as you would previously; if you can’t consume all your fresh fruit and veggies, just freeze it for a delectable smoothie or ice-cream.

And, above all, your investment will also pay off in a much more important way – through your improved health, better moods, improved focus, and a happier frame of mind thanks to all the nutrients fuelling you up.

In the same way as you’d want to feed your baby the safest, healthiest baby food, give your pet the optimal nourishment, your car the most appropriate fuel, your body and mind equally deserve the best nutrition, so you can show up in the world at your best. You will have more energy and feel better overall, so you’ll have more to offer to the ones near you.

People will be positively affected by your good energy. If you sometimes think you have nothing to offer, then try to remember the time when your spirits were simply lifted by the presence of some really nice person. Someone who felt happy inside and shared that lovely energy with you. You can now be this person.

My Vitamic A3500

The Vitamix A3500 in my kitchen

Well Worth the Wait

Do I regret not getting my Vitamix much earlier? No, because only now, after years of using other blenders, I can truly appreciate everything it can do. I still have a fresh memory of all the bitty, lumpy, crunchy smoothies that my old blenders couldn’t fully process, and now I relish my super smooth, silky Vitamix smoothies, (plus sauces, dips, and nut butters) ten times as much.

Also, had I purchased one a few years ago, I would have most likely got an older model, and miss out on the super-sleek looking, space-saving, yet still generously-sized Vitamix Ascent 3500.

Conclusion

So back to my initial question: Yes, for me, Vitamix 3500 has been completely worth it. I am enjoying my food twice as much. I’m much more creative in the kitchen but saving a lot of time at the same time. I have started eating much more healthily without even realizing it. I do encourage you to try this amazing blender out, and if for any reason you don’t like it, simply return it within 30 days. To your great and long-lasting health!

vitamix food variety

Share Your Thoughts

I would love to hear your thoughts or share your experiences with Vitamix or other blenders. Just leave a comment below and I’ll get back in touch with you as soon as I finish my frozen yogurt!

Recommended Accessories:

Ice Cube Trays
Ice Cream Scoop

BY LUCIE DUN

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Acupressure Strengthening and Sedating Points

Acupressure Strengthening and Sedating Points

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One of the most exciting things about holistic healing is the fact that we can use our hands to facilitate healing processes in our bodies. This is often done by working with meridians (energetic pathways throughout our body) and their acupoints.

On this page, you will find a list of acupressure sedating and strengthening points that you can use for addressing specific issues, such as diminishing pain, strengthening your immunity, boosting your energy, balance your hormones etc. These techniques are based on the systems of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Feel Better by Balancing Your Meridians

Working with your meridians can often make you feel better in minutes. Strengthening the Spleen meridian, for example, can lift you from feeling down, boost your immunity, or even stop an approaching cold from taking hold of you. Sedating the Kidney meridian can diminish lower back pain. I have worked with my meridians many times, and it’s always been very exciting to feel the energetic shifts in my body, experience pain relief, and improvement in my overall state. Equally, it’s been amazing to be able to help others diminish their pain or improve their state in general.

Techniques for Balancing a Meridian

To balance a meridian, you can use the following techniques: 

  • Trace a meridian
  • Flush a meridian
  • Work with the acupressure points of a meridian

Tracing a Meridian

Watch the master practitioner of energy medicine Donna Eden trace all the 14 meridians. 

Flushing a Meridian

How to flush a meridian:

  • Trace it backward once
  • Trace it forward three times

(If you don’t know how to trace a meridian, watch the video above.)

Working With the Acupressure Points of a Meridian

There are three ways we can work with the acupressure points:

  • Sedate
  • Strengthen
  • Use the Three-Point Technique

Further down the page are diagrams that will show you how to sedate or strengthen any meridian, according to your needs.

How Do I Know What Acupoints to Use for a Particular Issue?

I highly recommend an app called POINTS which list a long number of conditions and the treatment protocols – e.g. of you have a headache, you will get a combination of acupoints that you can hold or massage to alleviate your pain. (You can read my review of the POINTS app here)

Sedating a Meridian

Step 1 – Sedate the Meridian 

Sedate (relax) a particular meridian by holding its sedating points. You will be sending its excess energy to the next meridian. (You’ll see how the meridian flow works on The Five Elements Wheel diagram further down.)

The Procedure:

Gently hold the sedating points for 2 – 3 minutes. Use the tips of your fingers (preferably the index or the middle finger).

Do this one side of the body first, (e.g. on your right foot + right arm).

Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the body (your left foot + left arm), also for 2 – 3 minutes.

Step 2 – Stabilise the Energy Flow by Holding the Control (Stabilizing) Points:

We now need to stop the flow of energy from the previous meridian. We’ll be stabilizing the shift in energy by holding the control points.

The Procedure:

Gently hold the two control points for 1,5 minutes.

Do this on both sides of the body.

Strengthening a Meridian

Step 1 – Strengthen the Meridian 

Strengthen the meridian by holding its strengthening points. You will be ‘borrowing energy’ from the previous meridian (see the Flow Wheel lower down)

The Procedure:

Gently hold the strenggetning points for 2 – 3 minutes. Use the tips of your fingers (ideally the index or the middle finger).

Do this one side of the body first, (e.g. your right side) and then repeat the same procedure on the other side of the body, also for 2 – 3 minutes.

Step 2 – Stabilise the Energy Flow by Holding the Control Points:

Gently hold the control points for about 1,5 minutes.

As in the previous step, do this on both sides of the body.

Three-Pointing a Meridian

The Three Point Technique is a combination of sedating and strengthening a meridian in one session. Sometimes a meridian needs to be cleared of stale or toxic energies first in order to receive strengthening energies. This means that we sedate it first to move the old energies out, and then strengthen it. In the end, we use the control points to stabilise the shift.

We often use the Three-Point technique to treat hormonal imbalances, such as during PMS or menopause. (In these cases it’s Kidney, Liver, and Spleen).

Step 1 – Sedate the Meridian:

Sedate (relax) the meridian by sending its excess energy to the next meridian.

The Procedure:

Gently hold the sedating points for 2 minutes. Use the tips of your fingers (preferably the index or the middle finger).

Do this one side of the body first, (e.g. on your right foot + right arm).

Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the body (your left foot + left arm), also for 2 minutes.

Step 2 – Strengthen the Meridian 

After sedating it, you will strengthen the meridian by holding its strengthening points.

The Procedure:

Gently hold the strengthening points for 2 minutes. Use the tips of your fingers (ideally the index or the middle finger).

Do this one side of the body first, (e.g. your right side) and then repeat the same procedure on the other side of the body, also for 2 minutes.

Step 3 – Stabilise the energy flow by holding the control (stabilising) points:

Gently hold the control points for about 1 minute. As in the previous step, do this on both sides of the body.

The Five Elements Wheel

The Five Elements Wheel, used in Traditional Chinese medicine, shows how meridians relate to each other and what elements of nature they represent. It is an excellent reference for working with meridians and their acupoints. For example, when you are holding strengthening points of a meridian, you are sending energy to the meridian from the previous meridian.

When you are holding the sedating points, you are sending energy from the particular meridian to the next meridian on the wheel.

Finally, when you are holding the control points (stabilising points), the flow of energy of particular meridian will be stabilised by another meridian.

The Five Elements Wheel

An Example of Working with Acupoints of a Meridian

Let’s see an illustrated example of working with a meridian. Let’s say we want to strengthen the Spleen meridian to boost your immunity or to lift you from feeling low. I have selected this particular meridian because this is one of the most important acupressure practices that you can use for self-healing. It is one of my favorite methods for improving my immunity and lifting my spirits.

Strengthening Spleen Meridian

Step 1 – Strengthen the Spleen Meridian 

Strengthen the Spleen meridian by borrowing some energy from the previous meridian (i.e. Heart meridian).

The Procedure:

Gently hold the following two points (Spleen 2 and Heart 8) for 2 – 3 minutes. Use the tips of your fingers (ideally the index or the middle finger).

Do this one side of the body first, (e.g. your right side) and then repeat the same procedure on the other side of the body, also for 2 – 3 minutes.

Spleen 2 acupressure point
Heart 8 acupressure point

Disclaimer: The images of acupressure points on this page are a part of an interactive acupuncture software/app called POINTS. You can find more information about the software in my review of this app. The images are licensed to Miridia Acupuncture Technology. 

Step 2 – Stabilise the energy flow by holding the control points:

Gently hold the following two points (Spleen 1 and Liver 1) for about 1,5 minutes.

As in the previous step, do this on both sides of the body.

Spleen 1 + Liver 1 acupressure points

Try the Following!

Here are a few selected issues that you may like to work on by using the list below:

Stomach ache: Sedate The Stomach Meridian

Lower back pain: Sedate The Kidney Meridian

Respiratory problems, cough: Strengthen The Lung Meridian

PMS – hormonal imbalances: Three-Point Kidney, Liver and Spleen Meridians

Feeling depressed: Strengthen The Spleen Meridian

Having low immunity: Strengthen The Spleen Meridian

Feeling anxious, having a panic attack: Sedate The Triple Warmer Meridian

Acupressure Sedating, Strengthening, and Stabilising (Control) Points – Full List

Disclaimer: The images of acupressure points on this page are a part of an interactive acupuncture software/app called POINTS. You can find more information about the software in my review of this app. The images are licensed to Miridia Acupuncture Technology. 

The Spleen Meridian

Sedating Points

Spleen 5 acupressure point
Lung 8 acupressure point

The Spleen Meridian

Strengthening Points

Spleen 2 acupressure point
Heart 8 acupressure point

The Spleen Meridian

Control Points (Stabilising Points)

Spleen 1 + Liver 1 acupressure points

The Heart Meridian

Sedating Points

Small Intestine 3 acupressure point
Gallbladder 41 acupressure point

Note: We never directly sedate the Heart meridian. Instead, we use the strengthening points of the neighbouring Small Intestine meridian.

The Heart Meridian

Strengthening Points

Heart 9 acupressure point
Liver 1 acupressure point

The Heart Meridian

Control Points (Stabilising Points) after strengthening

Heart 3 acupressure point
Kidney 10 acupressure point

The Heart Meridian

Control Points (Stabilising Points) after sedating

Small Intesstine 2 acupressure point
Bladder 66 acupressure point

The Small Intestine Meridian

Sedating Points

Small Intestine 8 Acupressure Point
Stomach 36 acupressure point

The Small Intestine Meridian

Strengthening Points

Small Intestine 3 acupressure point
Gallbladder 41 acupressure point

The Small Intestine Meridian

Control Points (Stabilising Points)

Small Intesstine 2 acupressure point
Bladder 66 acupressure point

The Bladder Meridian

Sedating Points 

Bladder 65 acupressure point
Gallbladder 41 acupressure point

The Bladder Meridian

Strengthening Points

Bladder 67 acupressure point
Large Intestine 1 acupressure point

The Bladder Meridian

Control Points (Stabilising Points)

Bladder 40 acupressure point
Stomach 36 acupressure point

The Kidney Meridian

Sedating Points

Kidney 1 Acupressure Point
Liver 1 acupressure point

The Kidney Meridian

Strengthening Points

Kidney 7 acupressure point
Lung 8 acupressure point

The Kidney Meridian

Control Points (Stabilising Points)

Kidney 3 Acupressure Point
Spleen 3 acupressure point

The Pericardium (or Circulation Sex) Meridian

Sedating Points

Pericardium 7 Acupressure Point
Spleen 3 acupressure point

The Pericardium (or Circulation Sex) Meridian

Strengthening Points

Pericardium 9 Acupressure Point
Liver 1 acupressure point

The Pericardium (or Circulation Sex) Meridian

Control Points (Stabilising Points)

Pericardium 3 Acupressure Point
Kidney 10 acupressure point

The Triple Warmer Meridian

Sedating Points

Triple Warmer 10 acupressure point
Stomach 36 acupressure point

The Triple Warmer Meridian

Strengthening Points

Triple Warmer 3 acupressure point
Gallbladder 41 acupressure point

The Triple Warmer Meridian

Control Points (Stabilising Points)

Triple Warmer 2 acupressure point
Bladder 66 acupressure point

The Gallbladder Meridian

Sedating Points

Gallbladder 38 acupressure point
Small Intestine 5 acupressure point

The Gallbladder Meridian

Strengthening Points

Gallbladder 43 acupressure point
Bladder 66 acupressure point

The Gallbladder Meridian

Control Points (Stabilising Points)

Gallbladder 44 acupressure point
Large Intestine 1 acupressure point

The Liver Meridian

Sedating Points

Liver 2 acupressure point
Heart 8 acupressure point

The Liver Meridian

Strengthening Points

Liver 8 acupressure point
Kidney 10 acupressure point

The Liver Meridian

Control Points (Stabilising Points)

Liver 4 acupressure point
Lung 8 acupressure point

The Lung Meridian

Sedating Points

Lung 5 acupressure point
Kidney 10 acupressure point

The Lung Meridian

Strengthening Points

Lung 9 acupressure point
Spleen 3 acupressure point

The Lung Meridian

Control Points (Stabilising Points)

Lung 10 acupressure point
Heart 8 acupressure point

The Large Intestine Meridian

Sedating Points

Large Intestine 2 acupressure point
Bladder 66 acupressure point

The Large Intestine Meridian

Strengthening Points

Large Intestine 11 acupressure point
Stomach 36 acupressure point

The Large Intestine Meridian

Control Points (Stabilising Points)

Large Intestine 5 acupressure point
Small Intestine 5 acupressure point

The Stomach Meridian

Sedating Points

Stomach 45 acupressure point
Large Intestine 1 acupressure point

The Stomach Meridian

Strengthening Points

Stomach 41 acupressure point
Small Intestine 5 acupressure point

The Stomach Meridian

Control Points (Stabilising Points)

Stomach 43 acupressure point
Gallbladder 41 acupressure point

Learn More About Meridians and Acupressure Points

I hope you enjoyed reading this page. If you’d like to learn more about acupressure points and how to use them, I highly recommend the interactive acupuncture software ‘POINTS’, which has been the source of the acupoint images on this page. You can read my review of this software here: POINTS Review – Acupuncture Points and Charts.

points - interactive acupuncture software

I also highly recommend the folding laminated chart pictured below. It shows every single acupressure point on our body, including the poetic ancient Chinese names for each important point. I’ve found this chart a very valuable study guide, especially during my Energy Medicine Foundation Course.

accupresure points and meridian chart 2
accupresure points and meridian chart 2

Share Your Thoughts

It would be nice to hear about your experience. Do you have experience with acupuncture or acupressure, and if so, with what results? Let me know your thoughts, questions, or other comments in the comments below and I look forward to getting back to you soon. 

BY LUCIE DUN

This site has been (very happily) built with DIVI, by Elegant Themes.

Disclaimer: Some pages on my website contain affiliate links. This means that if you decide to make a purchase through my links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. (The full Affiliate Disclosure can be read here.) If you’d like to learn more about affiliate marketing, e.g. how to earn extra income from blogging and promoting products you like and would recommend to others (which is what I do), check out Wealthy Affiliate, my favourite platform for online marketers. Thank you for visiting!

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POINTS Review: Acupuncture Points and Charts

POINTS Review: Acupuncture Points and Charts

If you have been searching for high-quality software and app with the topic of acupuncture points and charts, you may find this review useful. POINTS Acupuncture Reference software is a comprehensive, user-friendly, and very helpful tool for:

  • Anyone in need of getting rid of pain
  • Anyone who’d like to learn about self-healing and improving their health
  • Students and professional practitioners of acupuncture or acupressure
  • Anyone with an interest in ancient healing techniques

 

Affiliate Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through my links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. The full disclosure can be accessed here. Thank you for your support!

points - interactive acupuncture software

Product: POINTS – Interactive Avupunctiure Software

Available from: MIRIDIA Acupuncture Technology

Main Benefits: Pain Relief/Relaxation/Clearing Out Toxins

Price: £99/£79/£39 (limited time special)

My Rating: 9 out of 10

Acupoints, Acupuncture and Acupressure

First of all, let’s have a quick look at acupoints, and the difference between acupuncture and acupressure.

Acupoints:

  • Acupoints are small points on the surface of our body.
  • They have less electromagnetic resistance then the rest of the skin, (which is measurable by specific electronic devices) so when they are stimulated, they and trigger healing or pain relief.
  • They are detectable by infrared light.
  • They are located on the body’s energy pathways, knows as meridians.
  • I like comparing meridians to motorways, and acupoints to service stations.

Acupunture:

  • Uses small needles to stimulate acupoints.
  • It must be carried out by a professional – a licensed acupuncturist.
  • An acupuncture session can be expensive and may be quite time consuming
  • A qualified acupuncturist may not always be available when you most need it

Acupressure:

  • Uses pressure or massage to stimulate acupoints
  • You can use acupressure at home or anywhere else as a self-healing tool
  • Unlike with acupuncture, you don’t have to be as precise in terms of locating the point correctly

What Acupressure and Acupuncture Have in Common:

All the acupoints are the same, whether you use acupuncture of acupressure.

They are both based on the knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine.

Both acupressure and acupuncture can be highly effective and facilitate deep healing or pain relief.

Both acupressure and acupuncture have their foundation in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), where it has been practised for over two thousand years.

The principle behind the method lies in activating the body’s self-healing mechanisms to alleviate pain and treat illness.

Both acupuncture and acupressure stimulate the body’s acupoints (also known as pressure points). These points lie on fixed pathways or channels of energy, known as meridians. These energetic pathways are detectable by CT imaging methods, including MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), LCD thermal photography, infrared imaging, or ultrasound. They can be even visible to people with extrasensory perception abilities, such as the master energy medicine practitioner Donna Eden, who can see energy.

What makes acupuncture and acupressure work is the fact that each meridian pathway is energetically connected to a specific organ. (That’s why the points are named after the organ, eg LI = Large Intestine). Each meridian sends its energy and thus nourishes, a specific organ. Working with individual points that lie on the meridians (by applying pressure to them or needling them) can trigger multiple healing processes. It’s like switching a single light switch that will cause the whole room to fill with light. You can become your own body’s ‘electrician’!

points-interactive-acupuncture-software

POINTS – Interactive Acupuncture Software

As a student of energy medicine and holistic healing techniques, I am very interested in the systems that acupuncture and acupressure and based on. I like finding acupoints and using them to alleviate pain or detox the body. My favourite acupoints chart is the folding laminated accupressure chart by award-winning medical illustrator Vincent Perez.

accupresure points and meridian chart 2

But I also wanted to know what points to use for specific problems, and learn more about each of the points. So when I came across the website of Miridia Acupuncture Technology and found out about the POINTS software, I knew it was the very tool I’d been looking for for months.

points - interactive acupuncture software

A Brief Overview of POINTS

POINTS It is a reference tool that you can download to your computer or laptop, or you can get an app for your iOS devices.

Through POINTS, you will learn about practical use of acupoints.

The software (or app) contains complete information about all 361 acupoints and the treatment protocols related to each of the points.

You will also learn about the acupoints energy pathways, also known as channels or meridians.

POINTS will enable you to:

  • Understand the function of each acupoint
  • Search for a health problem in the list of symptoms
  • Locate the acupoints related to the symptom and treat it using acupressure (or acupuncture if you are a qualified practitioner; POINTS also contain needling instructions for every point)

I’ve got the iOS version of the software and I can easily say that POINS is one of the best interactive reference tools currently available.

points - interactive acupuncture software

How Can You Treat Yourself with Acupressure

Don’t worry if you are not a licensed acupuncurist. You can equally benefit from all the knowledge in POINTS software or app by using acupressure.
Once you know what issue you’d like to treat, look it up in the POINTS app and find the related points. (You can use the search tool in the app.)
Then, follow these steps:

 

  • Using a circular motion, apply pressure on the point for five seconds. Keep the pressure firm, but not painful.
  • Do this three times.
  • This cycle can be repeated several times a day.

Exploring POINTS

Now, let’s have a closer look at the software so you can start using it straight away. The POINTS software consists of three sections:

  • Points
  • Protocols
  • Charts

 

points, protocols and charts menu from Points acupuncture software

When you click on ‘Points’, a list of all the meridians and their related acupoints will appear (in their abbreviated form).

There are 14 of the main meridian names and 42 extra points.

points, protocols and chlist of acupoints names from Points acupuncture software

The 14 Meridians and Points Names

If you are not familiar with the abbreviations of the main meridians and acupoints, here is a quick reference list:

LU – Lung

LI – Large Intestine

ST – Stomach

SP – Spleen

HT – Heart

SI – Small Intestine

BL – Bladder

KI – Kidney

PC – Pericardium (Heart Protector)

TE – Triple Energiser (Triple Warmer)

GB – Gallbladder

LR – Liver

CV – Conception Vessel (Central Meridian)

GV – Governing Meridian

Selecting a Point

You can then click on the point of your choice. As an example, I clicked on ‘LI’, meaning the pathway (channel, or meridian) of The Large Intestine. You’ll see the entire meridian pathway as well as its acupoints.

Clicking on the blue tab ‘Information’ will reveal the main functions of the meridian. For example, The Large Intestine meridian regulates elimination of solid waste, and together with the Lung Meridian controls lung function and can even influence the health of your skin. 

the large intestine meridian

This image is the property of Miridia Acupuncture Technology.

Under the picture, you will see three display options: Channel, Muscolotendino, and Internal Pathways.

Channel

This shows the meridian channel with all its acupoints, as in the photo above. When I saw this for the first time, the first thought that came to my head was “Hold on, I don’t think large intestine is in my arm…!”

No, it really isn’t. What we see on the photo is only a part of the meridian, the part that runs on the surface. The energetic pathway then continues to flow deeper in the body through internal pathways, and through these internal pathways it connects to the organ it has been named after. So now you no longer have to get confused when you see the large intestine, kidney, or lung run up the model’s arm!

Muscolotendino

This option displays the muscular and tendinous tissues related to the meridian.

Internal Pathways

This shows the internal pathways of the meridian. Every meridian has external and internal pathways. What we see in the first photo (under ‘Channel’) is the external pathway – the pathway that runs near the surface of your skin and that has the acupoints on it.

But the meridian doesn’t end there – is continues to flow deep inside the body through its internal pathways that you can see in this picture.

Through pressing or needling the acupoints of the external pathway you can influence the internal pathways of the meridian – the ones that feed the related organ – and improve the health of the organ or system.

internal pathways of large intestine meridia

This image is the property of Miridia Acupuncture Technology.

Protocols for Over 360 Issues or Conditions

There are over 360 listed issues or conditions listed in the app.

Even if you are not an acupuncturist, you can still work with these points by pressing and massaging them.

protocols form the interactive acupuncture software POINTS

Here are some examples of the issues listed in the app:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Alcohol: Hangover
  • Alcohol: Intoxication
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Common Cold Prevention
  • Common Cold Treatment
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Cough
  • Depression
  • Dreams: Nightmares
  • Epilepsy – During and After Seizure
  • Fatigue/Exhaustion
  • Fear
  • Fever
  • Flatulence
  • Food Poisoning
  • Grief
  • Hay Fever
  • Headache
  • Hernia
  • Hiccup
  • Immune Function (Low)
  • Impotence
  • Indigestion
  • Inflammation (infection)
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Knee: Weakness, Pain or Stiffness
  • Labour: Induction
  • Labour: Prolonged
  • Laryngitis
  • Libido: Lack of sexual desire
  • Libido: Lack of sexual desire
  • Lover: Hepatitis
  • Low Back Sprain
  • Low Back: Weakness, Pain or Stiffness
  • Manic-Depressive Disorder
  • Menopause: Hormonal Imbalance
  • Menopause: Hot Flushes
  • Motion Sickness
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Nervousness
  • Nightmares
  • Neuralgia
  • Orgasm: Inhibited
  • Pain: Fixed
  • Pain: Tendons
  • Palpitations
  • PMS: Irritability
  • PMS: Lower Back Pain
  • PMS: Mental Depression
  • Pneumonia
  • Poor Memory: Forgetfulness
  • Post Pregnancy (various issues)
  • Sea Sickness
  • Shock
  • Shoulder: Weakness, Pain or Stiffness
  • Sinusitis
  • Sore Throat
  • Stomachache
  • Tinnitus
  • Toothache
  • Urinary Disorders
  • Vision (variosu issues)
  • Voice: Loss of
  • Weakness

(This is only a selected list from over 360 conditions covered in POINTS)

Example of using POINTS for specific issues

Let’s say you have a headache.

Under ‘List’, press ‘Protocols’ .

protocols-selected

Look for the ‘headache’ in the list of symptoms, arranged in alphabetical order.

Headache - search for the condition

Clicking on the issue will reveal a list of suitable acupoints that you can work with to treat the condition. For instance, if you click on ‘Headache: Frontal’, you will get an option of five acupoints that you can work with.

Headache - primary acupoints

Let’s say you select the first point offered – LI 4 (Large Intestine 4).

Clicking on ‘LI 4’ will reveal the exact location of the point through a photo as well as a detailed anatomy picture. The high-quality visuals and precision are one of my favourite aspects of the POINTS app.

Large intestine 4 - photo

This image is the property of Miridia Acupuncture Technology.

Large intestine 4 - anatomy

This image is the property of Miridia Acupuncture Technology.

Clicking on the blue tab on the right hand side,  ‘Information’, will reveal the Chinese and English name of the point, the location, attributes, functions, indications, and cautions. (For example: Large Intestine 4 should not be used during pregnancy, because it can induce labour.) 

large intestine 4 acupoint - information

An example of information about a specific acupoint. (A selected part only.)

This image is the property of Miridia Acupuncture Technology.

Another way of searching for various conditions is to use the search tool at the top right corner of the screen.

When you type in a condition or a symptom (e.g. a headache) a list of relevant points for addressing the issue will appear.

And, of course, each and every point is backed by a photo, an anatomy drawing, and detailed information, just like in the example with ‘Large Intenstine 4’.

Search-tool

PROS:

  • Easy to use with clear, comprehensive explanations of all the points and protocols 
  • A vast list of conditions and issues that can be treated immediately
  • Beautifully designed interface, real-life model in the photos, and great detail in the drawings, making it easy to locate every point with precision

CONS:

  • If you want to own both the desktop version and the app, you have to buy both of them
  • Not all the charts in the part ‘Charts’ are for beginner-friendly – some of them lack detailed information and can thus come across as incomprehensible to beginners.  

Customer Reviews 

points - interactive acupuncture software
points-review4

My opinion: Like this customer, I particularly like the search tool option as well as the extensive list of conditions under ‘Protocols’. The illustrations are great indeed.

points-review3
points-review2
points-review1

My opinion: One of the best features of POINTS is that it is both professional and easy to use, suitable for experienced practitioners as well as people with no experience in acupuncture.

Conclusion

Learning about the vast sea of acupoints as well as their functions can be incredibly overwhelming. However, POINTS presents all this knowledge in a simple, user-friendly way. This software may of great value to anyone – from people wanting to help themselves or others improve their condition, to students and professional practitioners of acupuncture or acupressure, and anyone with an interest in ancient healing techniques. I love this app and would recommend it to anyone.

points-interactive-acupuncture-software

Share Your Thoughts

If the POINTS software appeals to you and you are considering getting it or recommending it to someone, let me know in the comments below and feel free to ask any questions. If you aleeday own the software I would love to hear how it’s been orking for you and what your protocols you have found most effective.

miridia acupuncture technology

BY LUCIE DUN

This site has been (very happily) built with DIVI, by Elegant Themes.

Disclaimer: Some pages on my website contain affiliate links. This means that if you decide to make a purchase through my links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. (The full Affiliate Disclosure can be read here.) If you’d like to learn more about affiliate marketing, e.g. how to earn extra income from blogging and promoting products you like and would recommend to others (which is what I do), check out Wealthy Affiliate, my favourite platform for online marketers. Thank you for visiting!

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The Physiological Effects Of Caffeine

The Physiological Effects Of Caffeine

cofee

In this post, we’ll be talking about the physiological effects of caffeine on your body and explore how caffeine works. If you’ve ever asked yourself the question “Should I drink coffee?”, I think that by the end of this article you’ll know a bit more about the behaviour of caffeine and you may regulate your caffeine consumption accordingly.

Life Starts After Coffee!

I once saw this written on a blackboard in front of a little cafe in London. I couldn’t agree more with that statement, especially because it was 7 in the morning, and I truly didn’t feel much alive yet. This cheeky little slogan made me buy their coffee, although I had already had one at home. Sometimes it only takes one witty slogan to steer you in a direction of an unhealthy choice.

Not long after this, I encountered another funny one on a busy road in London Islington. It said: “This is the last coffee shop for the next 2500 miles”. Impossible to resist that one!

And one more, in Shoreditch, at the beginning of December:

“I dream of flat white Christmas…”

Good or Bad?

There are many different opinions as for whethere coffee is good or bad for you. Most of us love coffee (including myself). I find the smell of freshly ground coffee irresistible. It makes me think “If it smells so divine it must surely be God’s gift to us!”

Ok then, let’s start with the good news for the coffeeholics.

coffee beans

The Benefits of Drinking Coffee

It is believed that when coffee is consumed in moderation, without sugar and well before noon, it can benefit your system by sending more oxygen to your brain, speed up your reflexes, making you more alert, boost up your productivity and improve your mood. Some studies go even that far to claim that coffee can contribute to the prevention of cancer and Type 2 Diabetes.

The Dark Side of Coffee

However, it is equally known that drinking coffee can result in a number of problems such as feeling edgy and nervous, experiencing insomnia or even panic attacks. I once had a major panic attack after drinking 3 double espressos before a flight. (I was clearly asking for trouble by doing that!)

Depressive moods, trouble with sleep, panic attacks, very frequent colds, and craving for carbohydrates were very familiar to me during my thirties. It was eye-opening to learn that part of these issues may have been caused by my over-consumption of caffeine.

The best way is to gain some understanding how caffeine works, and then you can make better choices regarding when and how often to drink coffee, or if to drink it at all.

coffee cup and heart rate

How Caffeine Works

I used to drink coffee a lot because I thought it was stimulating my body, thus giving me more energy. But when I discovered how caffeine works, it kind of put me off from drinking it too often.

Caffeine and Adenosine

Have you ever wondered what’s behind the stimulating effect of caffeine?

When caffeine enters our body, it binds to the receptors of a chemical called adenosine. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that prepares our body for sleep by calming us down by slowing down our neural activity. It also dilates the blood vessels to ensure good oxygenation while we sleep. Basically, this chemical is responsible for giving us the ‘go to bed!’ signal so we can recharge our body.

But caffeine prevents adenosine from binding to its receptors. It blocks the molecules of adenosine from entering them. As a result, we don’t feel tired when we would be naturally.

But why does caffeine bind to the adenosine receptors in the first place? Because, interestingly enough, it is very similar to adenosine shape-wise. You could compare it to a key fitting into a keyhole. The key of caffeine has almost the same shape as the key of adenosine – thus it can easily block the adenosine receptor (keyhole) and molecules of adenosine just end up piling up in front of its own receptors, without being able to enter them. (Does it also make you feel rather sorry for them..?)

Caffeine Makes Us Deaf To Our Body’s Signals

Our body is wise, and so with the help of adenosine, it makes us tired and sleepy when it needs to rest and recharge – just as the battery in your mobile, which will signal when it’s time to plug it in a charger. However, when caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors, we may be naturally tired and in need of rest, but we don’t feel it, because adenosine has been blocked and cannot do its job – i.e. to calm our nervous system and make us tired.

Consequently, we feel the stimulating effect of caffeine,  while, in reality, our body really needs to recharge by having a nap or a deep rest, but we don’t feel ‘on top of the world’ and keep going at our full speed. Imagine what would happen to your mobile if it kept telling you that your battery is at 100% while in reality, it was 2%, and you kept using it recording videos, using multiple apps, having conference calls etc. At one point, it would inevitably shut down, when you’d need it the least.

The same happens with the ‘caffeine crash’. When the receptors of adenosine are unnaturally blocked by caffeine, adenosine will build up, and in the end we’ll end up more tired than if we hadn’t drunk any coffee at all.

Built-up Adenosine Will Catch Up With You

Notice that if you are on a several days’ coffee binge, that you often wake up tired. Even if you had enough hours to sleep, you’re not rested. Why’s that? Because by allowing caffeine to block all the adenosine receptors, there’s a lot of spare adenosine floating by, and once caffeine wears off, all the excess adenosine is suddenly fere to do their job, i.e. yelling at you how desperately exhausted you are.

You probably wouldn’t mind this at half-past eleven in the evening,  but at nine in the morning, after good eight hours of sleep, it’s not good news. And this is caused by that nice buzz of those few double espressos of yesterday.

So what do you usually do when you feel tired because of all that excess adenosine and just can’t get going in the morning? You usually reach for more coffee. And that, of course, creates even more blocked receptors, and more floating sleep-inducing chemicals that will hit you even harder later on. You have just caught yourself in a vicious circle.

What’s worst, you no longer experience that nice buzz that you get when you drink coffee only once in a while (as I do, after having learned my lessons). Now you either don’t feel anything or get this kind of wired, edgy feeling, verging on panicking, because your brain is not allowed to rest. It’s being ruled by caffeine, which can now dictate your moods and play quite wildly with your energy levels.

coffee beans and glass mug

Caffeine Fools You About Having Energy

So it’s good to remember that caffeine does not give us natural energy, it only conceals our tiredness. In a way, caffeine is ‘hijacking our nervous system’ by telling us we are not tired. It will ‘lie to us’ about feeling full of energy and then hit us with sudden exhaustion.

As much as I love coffee, I don’t like this ‘sneaky behaviour’ of caffeine. The idea that some external substance is bullying the molecules in my body by blocking their own receptors makes me want to start a petition for the rights of adenosine. But, of course, as soon as I smell the divine aroma of coffee, I forget all about it..!

Dopamine and the Comedowns

We love coffee because it can almost immediately improve our mood. This is caused by the release of dopamine, the ‘get going’ chemical that can cause pleasurable states that we want to experience every day, and which is the reason why the Starbucks, Costa or Nero signs have such magnetic effect on a lot of us.

But once the rush we get from artificially released dopamine is over, we can experience fatigue and low moods, even depression.

Caffeine Speeds Up Neural Activity

Do you know that jittery or even anxious feeling after you’ve had a strong coffee or any other caffeinated drink such as Red Bull?

As you already know, adenosine’s job is to slow down our neural activity. However, when it’s blocked by caffeine, it has fewer receptors available for the adenosine to ‘hit the brakes’ of the neural activity, which, in turn, will speed up instead.

So now there’s a storm of neural activity in our brain caused by caffeine, which results in the emergency production of adrenaline.

Adrenalin – the #1 Stress Chemical

Caffeine has the power to activate a number of neural circuits in our body. This causes the pituitary gland in our brain to ‘think’ that there is some sort of emergency happening, and that we are in danger.

Consequently, it will start to secrete hormones that send a signal to adrenal glands to start producing more adrenalin. Adrenalin is the hormone produced during the ‘fight or flight’ response, helping us survive by escaping danger or attacking an enemy or a predator.

To be able to get into such a state, we need an extra boost of energy and attention level – and this is exactly what we coffee drinkers get after downing a double espresso.

However, the price to pay for this heightened state is the comedown, when we suddenly feel even more tired than before drinking that coffee.

Increased Acidity: Cancer and Faster Aging

Caffeine is the culprit behind the chemical reactions of an emergency response – ‘fight or flight’ – and part of this reaction is a release of stress chemicals including adrenaline and cortisol. During the emergency response, the levels of adrenalin and cortisol in your body will increase. Both adrenalin and cortisol are acidic in nature. If we allow our body to become acidic, we are risking creation of the perfect environment for cancer.

Also, if your body is acidic, your body will age much faster!

It’s good to remember that if you drink coffee every day, your body’s’ acidity will be increasing. So this is another big reason why I reduced my coffee intake.

Caffeine Depletes Serotonin

Caffeine is also responsible for the depletion of serotonin, which is quite a big price to pay for the temporary caffeine-dopamine high. Serotonin has an important function of regulating our sleep cycles, digestion, pain control and immunity.

Lack of serotonin makes us also crave carbohydrates, so drinking too much can indirectly lead to gaining weight.

Disturbed Sleep

Caffeine can stay in your system for many hours and affect your sleep badly.

An espresso shot reaches a top level in your bloodstream within half an hour to up to 1 hour. Caffeine takes much longer time to process that you would think. Processing caffeine and getting rid of it from your system can take about 10 or even 12 hours!

So, it is wise to calculate when to have your cup of coffee, especially if you want to go to bed early and enjoy a deep, restorative sleep. The best thing is to have a good reserve of 12 hours before you plan to sleep. To be on the safe side, I tend to have my coffee by 10 am, so I’m ‘all clear’ by midnight.

If I had a coffee at 1pm, I would still have difficulty in falling asleep at 11pm. Other people may not – it all depends on individual metabolic system.

Is Caffeine Addictive?

Yes, you can develop a caffeine addiction. Whilst, in y case, it used to be mostly psychological, (I just could not imagine my morning bus commute to work without as comforting hot cup of soya latte) other people can develop physical dependency and experience withdrawal symptoms. A day or two after your last coffee binge you may suddenly experience a huge drop in energy, feeling extremely sleepy and weak, getting headaches, or experiencing digestion issues.

Best Coffee Alternatives

Let’s be honest. There are no coffee alternatives. Coffee is coffee, however hard you tried to swap it for guarana drinks or chicory.

If you love coffee as I do, it’s a life-long love affair and that’s it. Instead, I’d suggest drinking coffee in moderation and don’t try to replace it with anything – it’s a lost battle. If you torture yourself with all the coffee imitations, you’ll end up returning to coffee and drink it

The best thing you can do is to learn a few tricks on how to access those ‘get going’, pleasant states through other methods, such as controlled breathing or meditation. This will help you reduce your cravings for coffee in the most natural way, without feeling restricted or forced. This is what’s happened to me when I discovered these techniques, and I’m happy to share them here:

Controlled Breathing

One way of getting our body more alkaline than acidic is deep breathing. You can check four easy breathing techniques that can help you with that in my article Breathing Techniques for Your Health.

Meditation

I was intrigued when I came across a Google talk by a meditation teacher Emily Fletcher, called ‘Why Meditation is the New Caffeine’. She says she hopes that one day coffee shops will be replaced by meditation stations. Why? Because meditation can give you a similar energy boost a slight ‘high’ like caffeine, without the bad side effects like jitters or energy crash. It produces dopamine and serotonin, but without making your body acidic, but alkaline. Ank alkaline environment is means slowed process of aging and prevention of cancer!

Recharging with meditation15 Minutes!

What’s even more exciting, meditation has been more and more viewed and approached as a productivity tool. If you commit to a regular practice, you can gain the kind of energy that you’d normally seek in caffeine, and have much more done. But unlike caffeine, with meditation, your sleep will get better and you might even need fewer hours of sleep that you’d need in the past. I’m happy to say that this has happened to me, and I describe my experience in my article The Physical and Psychological Benefits of Meditation, where I dive into the fascinating science behind this ancient practice.

A Ray of Hope for Coffee Lovers

If you managed to get to the end of this article, and you are a coffee lover (like me!), you may be wondering: ‘Can I ever enjoy my coffee guilt-free?’

Here’s a ray of hope for coffee lovers: If you become more conscious about drinking coffee and adopt a number of healthy habits, you may, at least to a certain extent, decrease the harmful effect of caffeine on your body. Timing and frequency play a huge role in this. Occasional morning coffee can be enjoyable and shouldn’t give you any dramatic side-effects, especially if you take good care of your body through sport, breathing practices, or meditation.

Seeing the bigger picture has helped me limit my caffeine intake. Now I treat myself to a morning cup of coffee about two times a week, but definitely not as a daily ritual, or even several times a day as in the past.

I hope that you have found this post helpful and, if you are a coffee lover, not too daunting. If you think you just cannot function without coffee, I would highly recommend trying breathing practices and meditation, and see that your need for daily caffeine boost will decrease naturally, without having to restrain yourself and feel you are missing out on one of your favourite treats.

Your thoughts on this topic are much welcome in the comments below!

BY LUCIE DUN

This site has been (very happily) built with DIVI, by Elegant Themes.

Disclaimer: Some pages on my website contain affiliate links. This means that if you decide to make a purchase through my links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. (The full Affiliate Disclosure can be read here.) If you’d like to learn more about affiliate marketing, e.g. how to earn extra income from blogging and promoting products you like and would recommend to others (which is what I do), check out Wealthy Affiliate, my favourite platform for online marketers. Thank you for visiting!

Free starter membership with Wealthy Affiliate

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Breathing Techniques for Better Health

Breathing Techniques for Better Health

breathing techniques

In this article, I’ll be describing four breathing techniques for better health, increased levels of happiness, deeper sleep, or even prevention of panic attacks. Most of us are not really aware of our own breath and end up breathing in a shallow, stressed way. However, being able to control our breathing can lead to a number of huge health benefits and improve many aspects of our lives.

Autopilot Breathing

We enter this life on an in-breath and leave it on an out-breath. Between these two breaths that symbolise our emerging and coming back, we mostly breathe in an automatic, unconscious way. This is because our breathing is controlled by our autonomic nervous systems – it happens automatically, all by itself.

There’s nothing wrong with breathing without thinking of it every second, but a lot of us are breathing in a stressed, anxious way, which then makes us even more stressed and can even result in getting ill.

A yoga teacher Lucas Rockwood illustrates this fact in his famous TED Talk ‘Change Your Breath Change Your Life’. He says that when we cross the street and have a narrow miss with a passing car, the shock causes our sympathetic nervous system to produce a shallow type of breathing, which is typical for the fight or flight response.

A lot of us are breathing this way – as if we were about to be hit by a car – all day long. From the moment we wake up, to the moment we fall asleep. We are responding to our environment on autopilot, and this can be detrimental to our health. It is no secret that many cases of cancer or other serious diseases are primarily caused by stress and unbalanced functioning of the involuntary nervous system.

Controlled Breathing Benefits

Fortunately, we can considerably improve the quality of our lives if we stop living on autopilot and start taking care of your body and mind more consciously. This includes specific breathing exercises mentioned in this article.

Controlled breathing, when done correctly, can have a highly positive effect on our mind (or moods and states of mind) and body, (e.g. our nervous system and our endocrine system).

It can help us with the following:

  • Changing the pH of our blood

I find it fascinating that the way we breathe can make a difference in our blood’s pH – i.e. being either more alkaline or acidic. The deeper we breathe, the more alkaline our blood becomes. If our breathing is shallow most of the time, it causes carbon dioxide to be trapped in our blood, and that can make our body highly acidic. I often remind myself that cancer thrives in an acidic environment, and this makes me remember to breathe deeply more often!

  • Oxygenating our blood

It is a well-known fact that cancer cannot thrive in a well-oxygenated environment.

  • Lowering our cortisol levels

Lowering our stress level by decreasing the amount of cortisol strengthens our immune system and makes us ‘cold-proof’.

  • Falling asleep and improving the quality of your sleep

I’ll be describing two powerful breathing exercises for falling asleep – feel free to try them tonight!

  • Creating ‘out of the body experiences’

This can be achieved by extreme breathing practices that should always be done under supervision of an experienced guide. However, even the simple techniques described in this post can create a feeling of a mild ‘high’, if not exactly an out of the body state. 

Simple Breathing Techniques for Different Purposes

There are many ways of using breathing for improving our health and state of mind. I have selected a few of my favourite ones – the ones that I have tried and tested and that helped me in different situations.

The techniques are known as:

  • Water Breathing
  • Coffee Breathing
  • Whiskey Breathing
  • 4-7-8 Technique

 

Water, Coffee and Whiskey Breathing

I guess you’re wondering about the funny names of the first three techniques. They’ve been named like that by a Lucas Rockwood, the yoga teacher who talked about them in the ‘Change Your Breath, Change Your Life’ TED talk.

Of course, L. Rockwood had not invented any of these techniques. They have been known since ancient times as pranayama, which comes from Sanskrit and means control of life force or regulation of the breath.

(The word prana translates as life force, and ayama can be interpreted as expansion, restraint, control, extension or stopping.)

The yoga teacher Lucas Rockwood, however, has decided to call the breathing practices in a rather more amusing, and therefore more easily memorable way. So let us start with the first technique:

drop of water

Water Breathing

This technique will help you release stress and bring you into balance.

When to Do Water Breathing:

Anytime you feel you need to de-stress and feel more balanced.

The Procedure:

  1. Sit back in your chair comfortably, relax your shoulders.
  2. Put your hands on your lap and close your eyes.
  3. Inhale through your nose to the count of four.
  4. Exhale through your nose to the count of four.

If you want the exercise to be really effective, do up to 10 rounds of the inhale/exhale.

You can scroll to 4:09 to watch Lucas Rockwood talk about Water breathing.

How Often Can You Do Water Breathing?

This exercise can be done anytime throughout the day, as many times as you need.

One way to remember this is imagining a bottle of water that you carry with you the whole day and sip from it anytime you feel thirsty; you can use it anytime you feel like and you can’t really overdo it. This is similar to Water breathing – you can ‘carry it’ with you all day and use it whenever you need without worrying about doing too much of it.

How Have I Benefitted From This Exercise?

This exercise has helped me to feel calmer and less stressed in many situations. When something really upsets me, I use this technique in combination with an energy medicine technique called ‘Mellow Mudra’, which I’m describing in my post How to Relieve PMS. I highly recommend learning these two techniques together.

irish whiskey

Whiskey Breathing

One of the techniques, which Lucas Rockwood calls ‘Whiskey Breathing’, is used specifically for falling asleep. Why Whiskey? Some people have a little ‘nightcap’ before going to sleep, as it’s traditionally considered to help with falling asleep.

I personally don’t find Whiskey the best sleep aid; although alcohol can help you fall asleep, it will make your sleep shallower, as alcohol can take several hours to metabolise, and it gives your kidneys and your liver extra job to process the alcohol while you’re asleep. If you like to drink alcohol in the evening, then allow at least an hour to have your last drink before going to sleep. (More on this in my article 20 Ways for Better Sleep.)

Anyway, back from booze to breathing. We’re using this exercise mainly for falling asleep. After about 10 rounds of the Whiskey breathing your heart rate slows, your blood pressure drops, and your parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated, helping you rest and digest better. (This is the opposite of your sympathetic nervous system which governs the fight or flight response.)

We should use this exercise with care – i.e. we should not do it throughout the day because it could make us drowsy or tired.

When to Do Whiskey Breathing:

Right before sleep – when you’re already in your bed.

Do not do this technique during the day because it will make you drowsy.

The Procedure:

  1. Lie down and close your eyes.
  2. Inhale to the count of 4.
  3. Exhale to the count of 8.

Repeat this cycle several times. You can do this cycle 10 times in a row, or until you fall asleep.

You can watch the technique in the video further up – just fast forward to 5:27.

How Often Can You Do Whiskey Breathing?

Make sure you only practice this technique when you need to fall asleep, and not during the day.

How Have I Benefitted from This Exercise?

This has worked as a sleeping aid for me and helped me to enjoy better sleep. I also use it before meditation to get more centered. 

cofee

Coffee Breathing

This breathing technique will stimulate you when you need a kick of energy. And like coffee, you should not over-use it. As Lucas Rockwood says, Coffee breathing is a technique that people get most excited about, but it should be used most sparingly.

Why is that? The technique uses fast, rapid breath that stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which is related to the fight or flight system. If we do too much of it, we might get overly agitated. (Imagine downing five espressos in a row.)

When to Do Coffee Breathing:

In the morning, and/or in the afternoon. When you need to get in the ‘clean the house, answer emails’ kind of mood and energy.

Important: It is not recommended to do it in the evening if you want to have a good quality sleep!

The Procedure:

Coffee breathing is different from the other techniques he presents. With this technique, we focus only on the exhale. The main point is to push the air out from your lungs in a similar way to sneezing, in a sharp, rapid way.

Do 20 rounds of fast and short out-breaths from your belly.

Try to keep your shoulders relaxed, don’t let them jump up and down. It’s your lower abdomen/diaphragm that should be doing all the work.

The exercise goes as follows – do this through your nose only:

  1. Exhale
  2. Exhale
  3. Exhale
  4. Exhale
  5. Exhale
  6. Exhale
  7. Exhale
  8. Exhale
  9. Exhale
  10. Exhale
  11. Exhale
  12. Exhale
  13. Exhale
  14. Exhale
  15. Exhale
  16. Exhale
  17. Exhale
  18. Exhale
  19. Exhale
  20. Exhale

You can do three rounds of these 20 exhales, ideally in the morning and afternoon, when you feel that you’re getting tired.

In the video further up, scroll to 7:02 to watch Lucas Rockwood explain the mechanics of Coffee breathing.

How Often Can You Do Coffee Breathing?

Not too often – just a few times a day when you need a boost of energy. (Think about coffee – you shouldn’t drink it too often either) Morning and afternoon are ideal times for practicing this. Use it with care so you don’t end up over-agitated, which could even lead to a blackout or a panic attack.

How Have I Benefitted from This Exercise?

For me, this exercise is a life-saver! I do it almost every day when I work on the computer and need a refreshing break. It always fills me with fresh energy.

little girl sleeping

The 4-7-8 Technique

The following method that I’ve learned from Dr. Andrew Weill, can help people with sleeping disorders, such as insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, shallow sleep, or interrupted sleep.

The method is knowns as The 4-7-8 Technique and, like the Water, Coffee, and Whiskey breathing, it is based on the ancient yogic practice of breath control called pranayama (already mentioned further above, but why not having little recap:

Prana = Life Force

Ayama = Regulation, Expansion, Control, Restraint, Pranayama = Control of life force (or Regulation of the breath)

Dr. Andrew Weil talks about the 4-7-8 technique as a ‘natural tranquiliser for the nervous system’.

Many people fall asleep after just one minute of doing this technique, which decreases your tension and allows your body to relax, all of which improves the quality of sleep.

After 2 or 3 months of regular practice you are likely to notice significant changes in your physiology, such as:

  • Your sleep will improve
  • Your digestion will improve
  • Your heart rate and blood pressure will slow down
  • Your blood circulation will increase, so if you’ve suffered from cold hands, they may start to feel warmer thanks to improved circulation
  • You’ll be less susceptible to anxiety and panic attacks

When to Do The 4-7-8 Technique:

Right before going to sleep or before meditation.

The Procedure:

  1. Place the tip of your tongue just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there for the rest of the exercise.
  2. Let all air out first by exhaling.
  3. Inhale through your nose to the count of four.
  4. Hold your breath for the count of seven.
  5. Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight (try to keep your tongue behind your front upper teeth)

Do four rounds of this technique (not more than that).

Watch Dr. Weill demonstrate this technique in the following video. 

How Often Can You Do The 4-7-8 Technique?

For the exercise to be effective, you should do it at least twice a day.

How Have I Benefitted From This Exercise?

Dr. Weill has successfully taught the 4-7-8- technique to patients with severe forms of panic disorder. He presents it as a highly effective anti-anxiety technique as well as a sleep aid, and I can back this up by my won positive experience in both fields.

You can also read more about this technique in my article 20 Tips for Better Sleep.

Recap of All Four Techniques

Water Breathing

Purpose: To de-stress and balance you

Procedure: Inhale to the count of 4, exhale to the count of 4. Do this up to 10 times.

When/How Often: Anytime throughout the day.

Video: Change Your Breath, Change Your Life – Lucas Rockwood  (4:09)

Whiskey Breathing

Purpose: To help you fall asleep

Procedure: Inhale to the count of 4, Exhale to the count of 8. You can do 10 rounds of this, or more if you want to fall asleep.

When/How Often: Right before falling asleep. Not during the day – may make you drowsy.

Video: Change Your Breath, Change Your Life – Lucas Rockwood (5:27)

Coffee Breathing

Purpose: To energise you

Procedure: 3 rounds of 20 short, sharp out-breaths

When/How Often: In the morning and/or in the afternoon when your energy starts dropping or when you need to get going

(e.g. clean the house, answer emails etc.)

Video: Change Your Breath, Change Your Life – Lucas Rockwood (7:02)

The 4-7-8 Method

Purpose: To help you fall asleep, to prevent panic attacks

Procedure: Inhale to the count of 4, Hold to the count of 7, exhale to the count of 8

When: Right before falling asleep or before a sitting meditation

Video: Asleep in 60 Seconds – Andrew Weil

Conclusion

If we can learn to control our breathing, we can dramatically improve our health – from our immune, endocrine, and nervous, system, to our moods and states of mind. The techniques mentioned in this article are simple, effective and available to everyone. Let’s hope the word gets spread and that more people will learn to use them to combat everyday stresses, prevent many health issues, and feel better on the whole. And if you happen to forget about these exercises, at least remember  to breathe deeply more often, to keep your body more alkaline – which can help with preventing cancer!

Share Your Thoughts

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and above all, that you will take some of these breathing techniques with you and use them to improve your health and feel better. I look forward to hearing from you about how it has worked for you. Just leave a comment below – I look forward to reading about your own experience!

BY LUCIE DUN

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The Spleen Meridian

The Spleen Meridian

Spleen Meridian by Welcome Collection

This page is dedicated to the Spleen meridian and several techniques based on Traditional Chinese Medicine for using it to support our health. Although these ancient healing techniques can appear simple, they may cause important shifts in your energy and boost your immunity. Working with the Spleen meridian can sometimes even prevent an illness, e.g. stop an approaching cold from taking hold of you. 

The Meridian for Better Immunity and More Joy

The Spleen meridian is an energy pathway with strong nurturing and immunity-boosting qualities. It’s at its peak flow between 9 and 11 am.

The main functions of the spleen (as an organ) is the support of our immune and cardiovascular systems.  The spleen is responsible for cleansing our blood and aiding our immunity. It removes old red blood cells and produces (and stores) white blood cells known as lymphocytes. The lymphocytes have an important function of cleansing bacteria from the blood in the spleen. They also facilitate tissue healing and other important immune responses throughout our whole body. 

The Pathway of Spleen Meridian

The Spleen meridian begins at the big toe, in the lower, proximal part of the nail (see the illustration).

Spleen 1 Acupressure Point

The energy pathway then continues to flow up the inner leg, across the groin, the stomach, and through the diaphragm.

The path of the Spleen (SP) meridian is marked in red colour on the following diagram.

Spleen meridian line front view

Note: After the start of the journey on the big toe, (and before continuing to flow up the front of the body) the Spleen meridian pathway goes up the inner leg for a bit, which you can see on the picture below:

Spleen meridian line back view

Important: This diagram shows the meridian pathway on only one side of the body. This is for clarity purposes only; in reality, it flows as a pair through both sides of the body, right and left.

Ancient Prints Depicting Meridian Pathways

It is fascinating to look at ancient Chinese prints and paintings that depict meridian pathways and compare them with modern acupuncture and acupressure diagrams.

We now have devices that are able to detect meridians including their acupressure points. What’s fascinating is that they are almost exactly the same as in those ancient illustrations.

The master energy medicine practitioner Donna Eden was born with the ability to see energies, and she had been able to detect meridian pathways even before she learned they existed!

Spleen Meridian by Welcome Collection
Kidney Meridian by Wellcome Collection

Compare the pathways marked in these ancient prints with the modern-day diagram above it.

If Spleen Meridian is Out of Balance

If the spleen (both as an organ and energetic pathway) is out of balance, it can physically manifest by low immunity, susceptibility to colds, digestive problems (such as loose stools), weakness of the limbs, and fatigue.

An imbalance of the Spleen meridian can also manifest in the emotional areas: You can become over-worried, depressed, have low self-esteem, being too clingy,  and wallow in self-pity.

Fortunately, ancient medicine has left us with a heritage of techniques for balancing the Spleen meridian, which will allow us to enjoy a better immune system, feeling more joyful, and having higher self-esteem. Yes, self-esteem is not only ‘in your head’, but can get a boost by strengthening this specific energy pathway!

Techniques for Balancing Spleen Meridian

If you suffer from any of the symptoms and issues mentioned above, try the following techniques: 

  • Trace Spleen meridian
  • Flush Spleen meridian
  • Work with the acupressure points of Spleen meridian

Tracing Spleen Meridian

Tracing Spleen meridian will help you boost your immunity, vitality, get your energy going, and aid with removing toxins out of your body.

See the master practitioner of energy medicine Donna Eden (the one who can see energies) trace the Spleen meridian in this video (scroll to 1:44).

Flushing Spleen Meridian

How to flush a meridian:

  • Trace it backward once
  • Trace it forward three times

 (If you don’t know how to trace it, watch the video above.)

Working with the Acupressure Points of Spleen Meridian

There are three ways we can work with the acupressure points:

  • Sedate
  • Strengthen
  • Use the Three-Point Technique

Below I am showing diagrams that will teach you how to sedate or strengthen the Spleen meridian, according to your needs. 

Sedating Spleen Meridian

Generally, we don’t sedate the Sppeen meridian too often, because usually it needs to be strengthened. However, as you’ll see further down, sedating it can still be used for certain situations.

Step 1 – Sedate the Spleen Meridian:

Sedate (relax) the Spleen meridian by sending its excess energy to the next meridian, which is Lung. You’ll see how the flow works on the wheel diagram (The Five Elements Wheel) further down.

The Procedure:

Gently hold the following two points (Spleen 5 and Lung 8) for 2 – 3 minutes. Use the tips of your fingers (preferably the index or the middle finger).

Do this one side of the body first, (e.g. on your right foot + right arm).

Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the body (your left foot + left arm), also for 2 – 3 minutes.

Spleen 5 acupressure point
Lung 8 acupressure point

What Is Happening on The Five Elements Wheel:

Earth element (Spleen meridian) flows into Metal element (Lung meridian).

This means that Spleen meridian is being freed from excess energy by sending it to Lung meridian.

You can also view it the other way – the helpful assistant Lung is ‘vacuuming’ excess energy from the overcharged Spleen meridian.

You can see this happening on the wheel (from yellow to white, inside the circle):

Spleen to Lung Five Elements Cycle

Step 2 – Stabilise the Energy Flow by Holding the Control Points:

We now need to stop the flow of energy from the previous meridian. We’ll be stabilizing the shift in energy by holding the so-called control points.

The Procedure:

Gently hold the following two points (Spleen 1 and Liver 1) for 1,5 minutes.

Do this on both sides of the body (like in the previous step).

Splleen 1 and Liver one acupressure points

What is happening on The Five Elements Wheel:

Wood element (Liver) controls Earth element (Spleen).

This means that Liver meridian will ‘stop’ the flow of energy from the previous step, therefore preventing the Spleen meridian from having too much energy taken away. This intervention of the controlling element (Wood) will stabilise the energies.

You can see this happening on the wheel (from green to blue, inside the circle):

Liver to Spleen Five Elements Cycle

Strengthening Spleen Meridian

Step 1 – Strengthen the Spleen Meridian 

This is one of the most important acupressure practices that you can use for self-healing.

How to proceed:

Strengthen the Spleen meridian by borrowing some energy from the previous meridian (i.e. Heart meridian).

The Procedure:

Gently hold the following two points (Spleen 2 and Heart 8) for 2 – 3 minutes. Use the tips of your fingers (ideally the index or the middle finger).

Do this one side of the body first, (e.g. your right side) and then repeat the same procedure on the other side of the body, also for 2 – 3 minutes.

Spleen 2
Heart 8 acupressure point

What Is Happening on The Five Elements Wheel:

Fire element (Heart) flows into Earth element (Spleen).

This means that Heart meridian is strengthening the neighbouring Spleen meridian by sending its energy into it (or flowing into it).

Or, if you want,  you can view it the other way – Spleen is getting some extra energy from its adjacent Heart meridian.

You can see this happening on the wheel (from red to yellow, inside the circle):

Heart to Spleen Five Elements Cycle

Step 2 – Stabilise the energy flow by holding the control points:

Gently hold the following two points (Spleen 1 and Liver 1) for about 1,5 minutes.

As in the previous step, do this on both sides of the body.

Splleen 1 and Liver one acupressure points

What Is Happening on The Five Elements Wheel:

Wood element (Liver) controls Earth element (Spleen).

Liver meridian will control the flow of energy from the previous step, therefore preventing the Spleen meridian from taking too much energy from the Heart meridian. 

You can see this happening on the wheel (from green to yellow, inside the circle):

Liver to Spleen Five Elements Cycle

You have probably noticed that this is the same procedure as when we were holding the control points after the Sedating procedure in the first example. The control points are always the same after sedating and strengthening a meridian.

Three-Pointing Spleen Meridian

The Three Point Technique is a combination of sedating and strengthening a meridian in one session. Sometimes a meridian needs to be cleared of stale or toxic energies first in order to receive strengthening energies. This means that we sedate it first to move the old energies out, and then strengthen it. In the end, we use the control points to stabilise the shift.

We often use the Three-Point technique to treat hormonal imbalances, such as during PMS or menopause.

Step 1 – Sedate the Spleen Meridian:

Sedate (relax) the Spleen meridian by sending its excess energy to the next meridian, which is Lung. You’ll see how the flow works on the wheel diagram (The Five Elements Wheel) further down.

The Procedure:

Gently hold the following two points (Spleen 5 and Lung 8) for 2 minutes. Use the tips of your fingers (preferably the index or the middle finger).

Do this one side of the body first, (e.g. on your right foot + right arm).

Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the body (your left foot + left arm), also for 2 minutes.

 

Spleen 5 acupressure point
Lung 8 acupressure point

What Is Happening on The Five Elements Wheel:

Earth element (Spleen meridian) flows into Metal element (Lung meridian).

This means that Spleen meridian is being freed from excess energy by sending it to Lung meridian.

You can also view it the other way – the helpful assistant Lung is ‘vacuuming’ excess energy from the overcharged Spleen meridian.

You can see this happening on the wheel (from yellow to white, inside the circle):

Spleen to Lung Five Elements Cycle

Step 2 – Strengthen the Spleen Meridian 

After sedating it, you will strengthen the Spleen meridian by borrowing some extra energy from the previous meridian (i.e. Heart meridian).

The Procedure:

Gently hold the following two points (Spleen 2 and Heart 8) for 2 minutes. Use the tips of your fingers (ideally the index or the middle finger).

Do this one side of the body first, (e.g. your right side) and then repeat the same procedure on the other side of the body, also for 2 minutes.

 

Spleen 2
Heart 8 acupressure point

What Is Happening on The Five Elements Wheel:

Fire element (Heart) flows into Earth element (Spleen).

This means that Heart meridian is strengthening the neighbouring Spleen meridian by sending its energy into it (or flowing into it).

Or, if you want,  you can view it the other way – Spleen is getting some extra energy from its adjacent Heart meridian.

You can see this happening on the wheel (from red to yellow, inside the circle):

Heart to Spleen Five Elements Cycle

Step 3 – Stabilise the energy flow by holding the control points:

Gently hold the following two points (Spleen 1 and Liver 1) for about 1 minute. As in the previous step, do this on both sides of the body.

Splleen 1 and Liver one acupressure points

What Is Happening on The Five Elements Wheel:

Wood element (Liver) controls Earth element (Spleen).

This means that Liver meridian will ‘stop’ the flow of energy from the previous step, therefore preventing the Spleen meridian from having too much energy taken away. This intervention of the controlling element (Wood) will stabilise the energies.

You can see this happening on the wheel (from green to yellow inside the circle):

Liver to Spleen Five Elements Cycle

Learn More About Meridians and Acupressure Points

I hope you enjoyed reading this page. If you’d like to find out a bit more about acupressure points, I highly recommend getting the folding laminated chart pictured below.  It shows every single acupressure point on our body, including very poetic ancient Chinese names for each important point. I’ve found it a very valuable study guide, especially during my Energy Medicine Foundation Course.

accupresure points and meridian chart 2
accupresure points and meridian chart 2

Share Your Thoughts

It would be nice to hear about your experience. Have you used the techniques mentioned here, and if so, with what results? Let me know your thoughts, questions, or other comments in the comments below and I look forward to getting back to you soon. Be well!

BY LUCIE DUN

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