Welcome to a fun new collection of hormone balancing vignettes created by a licensed acupuncturist for both laypeople and professionals, to help boost your stamina. As you know, we can feel extremely tired and depleted from simple daily tasks when our thyroid levels are low; this is true whether caused by hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, postpartum hypothyroid or thyroiditis.
The good news is our 5,000-year-old history of Chinese medicine can shed a lot of light on how to treat thyroid concerns, and you can even do a mild form of acupressure on yourself anytime without much exertion or particular tools. All you need to do is press these specific points on yourself on both sides 10 times per set, several times daily or until symptoms improve. Also, you can help your kids with these same issues by just giving them the acupressure points and gentle massage. Pressing this point increases circulation within the energy pathways and can also be used preventively upon awakening each morning to avoid developing the symptoms. Remember also that these vignettes are not medical advice; you're always welcome to book an in-office or phone session at www.ShamesHealth.com
Let's begin with a special point on the sole of the foot. This spot, known to acupuncturists as Kidney 1, is located one third of the way down the foot in the depression you can see when flexing the toes inward. It is excellent for thyroid as it boosts the vital energy we acupuncturists call Qi, and in a person with fatigue this point often feels tender when forcefully massaged. It is invigorating particularly when used first thing in the morning, and can also soothe a sore throat (one symptom of an inflamed thyroid).
Now let's move on to a point further along the Kidney Meridian (the circulation pathway that in Chinese medicine helps regulate stamina and reproductive functions). This point on the inner ankle is known to acupuncturists as Kidney 7. Kidney 7 is located on the ankle two inches above the medial malleolus (the slightly protruding bone of the inner ankle) and midway between the malleolus and the Achilles tendon. It is excellent for adrenal fatigue, edema or water retention, and abdominal bloating. Many people with low thyroid struggle with digestive difficulties and so this point can be a great benefit to your gut. And finally, Kidney 7 helps boost the adrenals, which makes sense when one considers that people with poor digestion and edema and stomach bloating, tend to have adrenal malfunction and like thyroid patients become tired quite easily. This is one of my favorite points for hypothyroid patients with an adrenal component.
This point along the Kidney Meridian (the circulation pathway that in Chinese Medicine helps regulate stamina and reproductive functions), is known to acupuncturists as Kidney 7. Kidney 7 is located on the ankle two inches above the medial malleolus (the slightly protruding bone of the inner ankle) and midway between the malleolus and the Achilles tendon. It is excellent for adrenal fatigue, edema or water retention, and abdominal bloating. Many people with digestive difficulties can benefit from this point. This point helps boost the adrenals, which makes sense when one considers that people with poor digestion and edema and stomach bloating, tend to have adrenal malfunction and are tired much of the time.
The next point to use is known to acupuncturists as Spleen 9, located at the inner side of the knee, below the head of the tibia. It is often tender to the touch, especially on women, and is excellent for treating conditions of fluid retention such as bloating, weight gain, or swelling of the legs and ankles. Most everyone with thyroid concerns have experienced the painful sensation of bloating after eating even a moderate meal, and feeling swollen in the throat, belly, or legs.
In acupuncture theory, water retention is an accumulation of what we consider "Dampness," which is often the result of a weak Spleen Meridian. Dampness is an accumulation in the body of unusable fluids; it is not at all the same as true hydration where the body has the ability to utilize water and electrolytes we consume in the proper way. Accumulated Dampness is the main cause of excess weight in the abdomen or legs in Chinese medicine. At its most extreme, excess fluid retention become dangerous stored in the body, as in ascites or congestive heart failure.
As we move up toward the upper body remember that whether you're pressing these points on yourself or on your child, use the strength of your thumb and forefinger, and instead of simply pressing if you'd like you can massage for 30 seconds with firm circular motion instead. This next point, known to acupuncturists as Triple Burner 5, is located midway on the back of the forearm two inches below the wrist crease. It helps for a couple reasons; Triple Burner 5 helps reduce pain especially headache and joint discomfort which so many people struggling with low thyroid will experience. I know for myself and most of my patients, neck pain is a perennial complaint of thyroid folks.
Interestingly, TB 5 can also be used to give your immune system a boost in case you're noticing difficulty fighting off pathogens like cold or flu viruses. Hormones and immunity go hand in hand in really fascinating ways; for instance, the majority of us hypothyroid patients have Hashimoto's which is an immune system dysfunction that is part and parcel of the thyroid problem.
And finally, this last one is excellent to tie our constellation of thyroid points together. This point, known to acupuncturists as “YinTang”, is located on the forehead midway between the two eyebrows. It is excellent for calming the mind (especially overthinking) and thus helps thyroid patients struggling with anxiety.
And I'm happy to show you also what acupuncture needles really look like when inserted into various trigger points along the body's energy pathways. Actually, it is very hard to see the hair-thin stainless-steel acupuncture needles themselves, but you can pretty easily see the handle which in this case is red. You can also see a happy client and long-time friend of mine, enjoying his relaxing acupuncture.
Thanks so much and feel free to email me your questions at [email protected]
About the Author: Dr. Gigi Shames is a Doctor of Natural Health. Ms. Shames is also a Licensed Acupuncturist. Offices in Marin and Sonoma, plus phone coaching, via (415) 233-0165 or www.ShamesHealth.com