5 Acupressure Points for Hiccups: A Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach

August 30, 2022
4 mins

Acupuncture Points Mentioned in this Article

Hiccups can be quite a nuisance and embarrassing, but they are a common physiological reaction caused by spasms in the diaphragm. While hiccups usually stop on their own after a few minutes, they can be triggered by various factors such as eating too quickly, overeating, or even emotional instability.

What Are Hiccups?

Hiccups are spasms in the diaphragm creating the "hic" sound. Hiccups happen when your breathing muscle, known as the diaphragm, gets a little twitchy and contracts in a way it's not supposed to. Right after it twitches, your vocal cords close up suddenly, which creates the familiar "hic" sound we all know. While they might be annoying, hiccups are usually harmless and happen to pretty much everyone from time to time. They can come about for a bunch of reasons—maybe you ate your meal too fast, had something spicy, or drank a fizzy drink.

What Causes Hiccups from TCM perspective?

Hiccups in TCM are caused by a deficiency of "zheng qi" and stomach qi imbalance. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), hiccups are believed to be caused by a deficiency of "zheng qi" (upright energy) and an imbalance in the stomach qi. By understanding the TCM approach to hiccups, we can explore the use of acupressure points to alleviate this uncomfortable condition.

Emotional stability is also important in preventing hiccups according to TCM. High levels of stress, suppressed emotions, and imbalances in the autonomic nervous system can lead to instability in the body's qi pathways, including the stomach qi. Therefore, maintaining a stable mood and positive attitude towards life can help prevent the rebellion of stomach qi and reduce the occurrence of hiccups.

According to TCM, the stomach and spleen play crucial roles in the body's digestion and absorption of nutrients. Therefore, it is essential to cultivate good eating habits to maintain a healthy stomach qi. Chewing food slowly, eating until you are eighty percent full, and having regular meal times can help support proper digestion.

Pressure Points on Body for Hiccups

Ridge Mound (Liangqiu 梁丘) ST34 Acupoint

Ridge Mound alleviates gastrointestinal symptoms and hiccups. Ridge Mound, an acupoint on the stomach meridian, is adept at treating acute gastrointestinal symptoms and issues in the knee joint, offering a potential remedy for stomach discomforts and hiccups. By stimulating Ridge Mound, it can help to alleviate various digestive symptoms and enhance muscle tonality in the thighs, contributing to overall gastrointestinal health and well-being.

Where is Acupuncture Point ST34?

Ridge Mound is located about three finger-widths above the outer upper knee, at the intersection of two muscles.

How to find Acupressure Point ST34?

  1. Place your fingers on the outer side of your upper knee.
  2. Move approximately three finger-widths upwards along the thigh.
  3. Locate the intersection of two muscles and apply gentle pressure; this is Liangqiu.

Dove Tail (Jiuwei 鳩尾) CV15 Acupoint

Dove Tail treats symptoms from emotional unrest influencing hiccups. Dove Tail acupoint specializes in treating physical symptoms stemming from emotional unrest, such as palpitations, cold extremities, and stomach issues, which might influence hiccup occurrence. Particularly, manipulating this point helps regulate blood circulation and stimulates the vital organs, offering a natural remedy for discomforts without the necessity of medication.

Where is Acupuncture Point CV15?

The Dove Tail Acupoint is located where the left and right ribs meet in the center, below the sternum.

How to find Acupressure Point CV15?

  1. Place a finger at the base of the sternum, where the left and right ribs meet.
  2. Move your finger approximately one inch downwards.
  3. Apply gentle pressure; you’ve found Dove Tail.

Pressure Points on Head for Hiccups

Wind Screen (Yifeng 翳風) TH17 Acupoint

Wind Screen provides relief from hiccups and cools internal conditions. Wind Screen is celebrated for treating facial issues and pain in the neck and shoulders, but it's also noted for providing relief from hiccups by potentially cooling and calming the body’s internal conditions. Manipulating this point addresses several conditions like facial paralysis, swelling, and more, making it a multifaceted point for general wellness.

Where is Acupuncture Point TH17?

Wind Screen is situated in a small depression in front of a protruding bone behind the earlobe.

How to find Acupressure Point TH17?

  1. Find the protruding bone located behind your earlobe.
  2. Press your earlobe backward, revealing a small depression in front of this bone.
  3. Gently press; the Wind Screen point is here.

Foot Reflexology Points for Hiccups

Yellow Emperor (Gongsun 公孫) SP4 Acupoint

Yellow Emperor aids in digestive health and influences hiccup occurrence. Yellow Emperor is particularly helpful for stomach and spleen issues, with palpable effects on stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, which can directly influence hiccup occurrence. This point also aids in soothing foot pain and improving irritability, promoting overall well-being and digestive health.

Where is Acupuncture Point SP4?

Yellow Emperor is located one inch below the joint protrusion on the side of the big toe.

How to find Acupressure Point SP4?

  1. Identify the joint protruding on the side of your big toe.
  2. Move approximately one inch towards the heel.
  3. Apply gentle pressure; this is the Yellow Emperor point.

Hand Reflexology Points for Hiccups

Inner Pass (Neiguan 內關) PC6 Acupoint

Inner Pass soothes the digestive system and provides hiccup relief. Inner Pass plays a crucial role in alleviating stomach issues and chest tightness, especially when these symptoms arise from stress or emotional difficulties. By focusing on this point, you encourage smoother energy flow, providing a potential soothing effect on the digestive system and relief from hiccups.

Where is Acupuncture Point PC6?

Inner Pass is located approximately two inches from the wrist crease, between two tendons on the inner forearm.

How to find Acupressure Point PC6?

  1. Position your palm facing upwards and bend your wrist slightly.
  2. Locate two tendons running down your inner forearm.
  3. Move two inches from the wrist crease between these tendons.
  4. The Inner Pass point is here; apply gentle pressure.

How to Use Acupressure to Stop Hiccups?

Using acupressure on points like Liangqiu, Neiguan, and others listed above may relieve hiccups. The former point, Liangqiu, located above the knee, is acknowledged for addressing acute gastrointestinal issues and knee joint ailments. By pressing this point for a minute or two, it may evoke a sour sensation, believed to help subdue hiccups. On the other hand, Neiguan, recognized for its capacity to soothe the stomach and alleviate chest tightness, can also be activated to possibly bring relief from hiccups, especially when they are induced by stress or emotional tribulations.

Engage with these points thoughtfully, using clean hands, and applying steady, firm pressure, while encompassing your focus around achieving an unimpeded, soothing energy flow throughout the body.

Other Strategies During a Hiccup Episode

Drinking water slowly and deep-breathing exercises can alleviate hiccup spasms. During a hiccup episode, there are a few strategies you can try to alleviate the spasms in the diaphragm. First, slowly drinking water can reduce nerve stimulation in the esophagus and stomach walls. Taking a deep breath and holding it for as long as possible before slowly exhaling can enhance diaphragm activity and alleviate spasms. Repeat this breathing exercise several times. These simple self-care techniques can provide quick relief during a hiccup episode.

Simplify Your Acupressure Sessions with Moxa

The Moxa Acupressure App guides through acupressure practices for varied wellness objectives, including hiccup relief. Seek a gentle reprieve from bothersome hiccups with the aid of the Moxa Acupressure App. Engage with Moxa to delve into a digital environment that's wholly dedicated to guiding you through your acupressure practices. Uncover rituals and sessions uniquely crafted to cater to your specific wellness objectives and needs. Regardless of whether you're navigating through stress, seeking bodily balance, or yearning for relief from persistent hiccups, Moxa stands ready to direct you toward the apt acupressure points.

The incorporation of the Moxa Acupressure App into your self-care practice demystifies and enhances the act of acupressure, rendering it both accessible and pleasant. Here, technology meets ancient healing, enabling you to elevate and prioritize your holistic wellness with ease.

Do note, while acupressure can offer notable advantages, ensuring your safety and well-being is paramount. The details provided herein are purely educational and should not be perceived as a substitute for professional medical counsel. For queries or concerns regarding any particular medical condition or treatment alternatives, always reach out to a certified healthcare professional.

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