Acupressure Points for Sciatica

May 23, 2022
3 min

Acupuncture Points Mentioned in this Article

Sciatica involves pain along the path of the sciatic nerve, often resulting from piriformis syndrome, disc compression, and other causes. Experiencing consistent pain in your lower back, perhaps even extending into your buttocks? Pay attention – this might be an indicator of sciatica.

Simply put, sciatica is a term used to describe pain that travels from your lower back, through your buttocks, and down your leg, following a path provided by your sciatic nerve. Think of it not as a disease, but a collection of troubling symptoms like pain, weakness, and potentially even paralysis, all brought on by damage or pressure on the sciatic nerve. These symptoms can be ignited by various factors like pressure, posture, and even internal conditions.

Main Causes of Sciatica

  • Piriformis Syndrome: There is a muscle deep inside your pelvis, named piriformis. When this muscle is stressed, it can poke the sciatic nerve, causing discomfort and pain, often due to poor posture, sitting for too long, or a back injury.

  • Disc Compression: Picture soft cushions (discs) between your spine's bones (vertebrae). When these are squeezed for too long, they might irritate your sciatic nerve, bringing on pain and sometimes even making it tough to stand. This is typically due to extended periods of sitting.

  • Other Causes: These could include changes inside your body like spinal tumors or injuries, shifting of the spine, or conditions like diabetes that affect your nerves.

Pressure Points for Sciatica on Legs

Bend Middle (Weizhong 委中) BL40 Acupoint

Bend Middle, located behind the knee, is notable for reducing sciatica pain and improving blood flow in the lower body. It is a special point that's well-known for helping reduce sciatica pain, which often strikes in the lower back and leg. It’s also good for relieving other kinds of pain like calf cramps, swelled veins in your legs (varicose veins), and some tummy and female-related discomforts. Plus, Wei Zhong helps lessen swelling in your lower body, shape your legs and buttocks, and improve blood flow.

Where is Acupressure Point BL40?

Bend Middle is right behind the knee, between two big tendons.

How to Find Acupuncture Point BL40?

  1. Sit down and straighten your legs, or lie on your belly.
  2. Slightly bend your knee to see two strands at the back of it.
  3. Bend Middle is in the middle of these two tendons, right behind your knee.

Jumping Circle (Huan Tiao 環跳) GB30 Acupoint

Jumping Circle, situated at the center of the lateral buttock, mitigates sciatica by reducing lower limb pain and enhancing circulation. It is recognized for its paramount impact on lower limb health, particularly focusing on sciatica by reducing pain and numbness in the waist and legs, and tackling lower limb paralysis and mobility issues. Furthermore, it has a slimming effect on the waist, buttocks, and legs, while promoting blood circulation and minimizing swelling.

Where is Acupuncture Point GB30?

Huan Tiao is positioned at the center of the lateral buttock, where the heel touches when the leg is flexed backward while lying prone.

How to find Acupressure Point GB30?

  1. Lay down facing the ground (prone position).
  2. Flex your leg backward, trying to touch the heel to your buttock.
  3. The point where the heel touches, or nearly touches, is the Huan Tiao point.

Wind Market (Feng Shi 風市) GB31 Acupoints

Wind Market, located where middle fingers touch thighs, aids sciatica relief and bolsters lower limb circulation. It is instrumental in dispelling wind-damp and fortifying the sinews and bones, with a pronounced impact on sciatica through its alleviation of lower limb numbness and support for robust leg circulation. Furthermore, it addresses various other conditions such as stroke paralysis, rheumatism, arthritis, dizziness, and headaches, and works towards the improvement of cold feet, knee pain, and general itching.

Where is Acupuncture Point GB31?

Feng Shi is found where the tips of the middle fingers touch the thighs when the arms are hanging naturally by the sides.

How to find Acupressure Point GB31?

  1. Stand up straight and let your arms and fingers hang naturally at your sides.
  2. Where the tips of your middle fingers touch your thighs, that’s the Feng Shi point.

Pressure Points for Sciatica on Foot

Suspended Bell (Xuan Zhong 懸鐘) GB39 Acupoint

Suspended Bell, found on the lateral side of the calf, aids sciatica by addressing lower limb pain and promoting gastrointestinal health. It is acknowledged for its proficiency in managing a spectrum of issues such as abdominal pain, bloating, headaches, and more, but it is particularly relevant to sciatica due to its ability to address lower limb pain, joint pain, and paralysis in hands and feet. Additionally, it provides alleviation for conditions like athlete’s foot and promotes a healthy gastrointestinal function, addressing issues like nausea and loss of appetite.

Where is Acupuncture Point GB39?

Xuan Zhong can be found on the lateral side of the calf, centered on the fibula, three inches above the ankle.

How to find Acupressure Point GB39?

  1. Locate the highest point on the outer side of your ankle.
  2. Place four fingers above this point to measure approximately three inches upwards.
  3. The point is in a small indentation on the fibula’s center, on the outer side of the calf.

Mound of Ruins (Qiu Xu 丘墟) GB40 Acupoint

Mound of Ruins proficiently manages various ankle, joint, and sciatica issues. It is pivotal in addressing various ankle and joint issues, notably relevant for sciatica due to its proficiency in managing ankle pain, poor blood circulation in foot muscles, and calf cramps. Additionally, it finds use in treating stiff, painful neck and shoulders, chest pain, and dizziness, and may provide relief for gallstone pain when pressed firmly.

Where is Acupuncture Point GB40?

Qiu Xu is located in a depression that forms below and in front of the outer ankle when toes are pointed upwards.

How to find Acupressure Point GB40?

  1. Point your toes upwards as far as possible.
  2. Find the depression that forms just below and in front of your outer ankle.
  3. Qiu Xu is located within this depression.

Pressure Points for Sciatica on Back

Sequential Limit (Zhibian 秩邊) BL54 Acupoint

The Sequential Limit Point eases stubborn pains, particularly in sciatica. Tt is great for easing pain, especially helping out with the stubborn pains that come with sciatica. Using this point can make the lower back (sacral area) feel better and help people move with more comfort and ease.

Where is Acupressure Point BL54?

It’s found 3 inches away from the middle of the sacrum (a triangle-shaped bone at the bottom of your spine), right below a specific back bone (21st vertebra).

How to Find Acupuncture Point BL54?

  1. Find the sacrum, the triangle-shaped bone at your spine's base.
  2. Locate the 4th opening from the top in this bone.
  3. Go 3 inches away from the middle of the sacrum, ensuring you stay level with that 4th opening and below the 21st backbone.
  4. The point is right in the middle of the big frame-like bone area (ischial foramen).

Celestial Gathering (TianZong 天宗) SI11 Acupoint

Celestial Gathering proficiently manages neuralgia and movement difficulties in the upper arm, and addresses other issues like sciatica and mastitis. It is pivotal in managing neuralgia in the upper arm, frozen shoulder, and difficulties moving the arm, with a particular impact on sciatica through its proficiency in improving blood and qi circulation in the shoulder and arm. It also facilitates alleviation of scapular pain and challenges in raising the arm, and supports women through issues like insufficient milk production and mastitis, while also addressing facial edema, chest pain, and sciatica.

Where is Acupuncture Point SI11?

Tian Zong is situated on the back, around the center of the scapula.

How to find Acupressure Point SI11?

  1. Find the midpoint of the scapular spine on your back.
  2. Find the inferior angle (bottom tip) of the scapula.
  3. Divide the line connecting these two points into three equal parts.
  4. Tian Zong is at a depression 1/3 of the length from the scapular spine.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Seek immediate medical attention for sciatic nerve pain if you have any of the following:

  • Still feel pain despite using pain relievers.
  • Endure pain for more than a week or if it intensifies.
  • Encounter sudden, sharp pain, weakness, or numbness in your lower back or leg.
  • Experience pain following an accident or fall.
  • Notice a loss of control over bladder or bowel movements.

How to Relieve Sciatic Pain Using Acupressure Points?

Before engaging in acupressure, ensure your hands are clean, and you are in a comfortable and calm environment. Allow yourself to relax and focus on the task at hand. Each acupoint has its specific method for optimal pressure and technique. For Xuanzhong, Qiuxu, Fengshi, use the normal acupressure techniques.

Begin by pressing gently on the mentioned points, gradually intensifying the pressure until you feel a sensation that's about 7 out of 10 in intensity. Maintain this steady pressure for a minute or two, all while taking deep, calming breaths.

Visualize the energy flow harmonizing within the affected areas as you press. If you're uncertain about pinpointing or applying pressure to these points, it's recommended to seek guidance from a trained expert.

How to Massage the Celestial Gathering Acupoint?

Place a peanut massage ball or squash ball around the Celestial Gathering acupoint, lean against a wall, and gently move back and forth, and side to side, allowing the ball to massage and apply pressure. Continue for approximately 30 seconds per side, repeating 5-10 times daily.

How to Massage the Jumping Circle Acupoint?

Position a peanut massage ball or squash ball at the Huantiao acupoint, sit upright, and slightly shift your buttocks side to side, allowing the ball to stimulate the area. Be mindful not to overstimulate, shifting to the opposite Huantiao point after no more than 20 seconds.

Gentle Muscle Releases for Sciatica Pain via General Butt Muscle Work

General muscle releasing work is sometimes required in addition to targeted acupressure massage for sciatica.

Essential Tools in Order of Preference:

Releasing Tension in the Upper Butt Muscle (Gluteus Medius)

  1. Positioning the Peanut: Position the massage peanut ball a few inches below the top of your hip bone, specifically on the side of your hip.
  2. Body Position: Lay on your side, ensuring your hips are neatly aligned one above the other.

  3. Movement: Bend your knee, pulling it towards your chest and then extending it straight out. Alternatively, you may keep the leg bent, drawing your lower knee up to meet the top knee, ensuring your feet remain grounded.

Releasing Tension in the Main Butt Muscle (Gluteus Maximus)

  1. Positioning the Peanut: Nestle the peanut ball anywhere between the flat bone at the base of your spine (sacrum) and the side of your hip, making sure it’s comfortably positioned on your butt muscles (glutes).

  2. Body Position: Perch slightly askew on the peanut, directing your body weight over it for optimal pressure.

  3. Movement: Bring your knee towards your chest before gently allowing it to fall to the side. Then, return to the starting position.


  • Gentle Movements: Ensure that your movements are gentle and controlled to prevent any further discomfort or injury.
  • Frequency: For optimal results, consider performing these exercises regularly, always paying attention to any signals of pain or excessive discomfort from your body.

  • Duration: Aim to maintain each position for a duration that feels comfortable, ideally around 15-30 seconds, while steadily and smoothly moving through each motion.

  • Consult a Professional: When in doubt, consult a healthcare professional or a physiotherapist before trying new exercises, especially if you're dealing with pain or other medical conditions to ensure safety and suitability.

  • Breathing: Maintain steady and calm breathing throughout the exercises to facilitate better muscle relaxation.

Engaging in these mindful, slow exercises can serve as a self-care method to gently manage and potentially relieve sciatic discomfort by releasing tension in crucial butt muscles. Always prioritize comfort and pain-free movements when practicing these releases.

Does Acupressure Relieve Sciatic Pain?

Yes, A macro study reveals acupressure's effectiveness in reducing sciatica pain. This study that included 12 studies with 1842 participants found that acupuncture, a closely related method to acupressure, was more effective than conventional Western medicine in terms of outcomes effectiveness, pain intensity, and pain threshold. These results were consistent across different treatment methods and drug categories. Moreover, the reported adverse effects were minimal.

In conclusion, acupressure can be a valuable tool in treating the pain associated with sciatica. By targeting specific acupuncture points, such as the Wei Zhong Bend Middle Point and the Sequential Limit Point, you can alleviate pain, promote healing, and improve your overall well-being. Don't let sciatica control your life – embrace the ancient wisdom of TCM and experience the transformative power of acupressure.

Enhance Your Acupressure Journey for Sciatica with the Moxa Acupressure App

The Moxa Acupressure App offers structured support and practices for managing sciatica. Embark on a more structured and supportive path toward managing sciatica pain by utilizing the Moxa Acupressure App. This comprehensive tool provides a myriad of practices and tailored sessions dedicated to restoring harmony within your body and specifically addressing sciatica discomfort. Allow the Moxa Acupressure App to be your guide in pinpointing the relevant acupressure points for sciatica, pacing your sessions optimally, and monitoring your progression through the journey. Facilitate your pathway to wellness and make managing sciatica pain simpler and more structured with the assistance of Moxa.

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