Acupoint (Meridian) Massage Therapy

Acupoint (meridian) massage therapy refers to the use of the hands or other parts of the body to massage specific acupoints or meridians on the surface of the patient’s body, according to a variety of specific skills of movement. Acupoint (meridian) massage therapy promotes the overall metabolism through local stimulation of the body, thus adjusting the coordination and unity of the functions of various parts of the body and maintaining the relative balance of yin and yang of the body. Therefore, it can enhance the body’s natural disease resistance ability, relax the muscles, and facilitate blood circulation and fitness.

Principles of Treatment

Acupoint (meridian) massage therapy helps to regulate the spleen and stomach, nourish the lung and qi, strengthen the immune system, and resist the virus.

Treatment Mechanism

Acupoint (meridian) massage therapy is based on the theory of TCM. Through the benign stimulation of specific meridian acupoints, it can regulate the function of the corresponding viscera and treatment can help to prevent disease by improving the immune system. Studies have shown that stimulating relevant acupoints through appropriate acupoint massage can enhance the strength of respiratory muscles, improve pulmonary ventilation and lung function, relieve anxiety and depression in patients, and significantly improve the quality of life.

Selection of Points Main Points

Hegu, zusanli, fei shu, shen shu, san yin jiao

  • Match Acupoints with Symptoms
  • 1) Medical observation period
  • • Gastrointestinal discomfort: Match with tianshu.
  • • Fever: Match with yuji.
  • 2) Clinical treatment period (not applicable for severe and critically severe cases)

a. Mild

i. Syndrome of cold dampness and stagnation of the lung: match with dazhui.

ii. Lung syndrome of dampness and heat: match with quchi.

b. Moderate

i. Syndrome of dampness - toxic stagnation of the lung: match with yinling quan, and quchi.

ii. Syndrome of cold dampness obstructing the lung: match with dazhui and yinling quan.

c. Convalescent periodi. Deficiency of lung and spleen: match with pishu and qihai.

ii. Deficiency of qi, deficiency of the lung and temper: match with qihai and yongquan.

Location of Acupoints

To find the hegu point, open one hand upside down naturally, and extend the thumb on the other hand. Place the thumb on the back of the hand near flexor pol-licis brevis. Press the thumb down, and the point below the fingertip is the hegu point. Obvious soreness is expected when pressure is applied at this acupoint.

  • 1) With the patient in the sitting position, the zusanli point is located outside the lower leg, 3 cun below dubi, on the connecting line between dubi and jiexi.
  • 2) Feishu is located on the back, 1.5 cun from the third thoracic spine process.
  • 3) Shenshu is located at the waist, 1.5 cun from the second lumbar spine process.
  • 4) Sanyinjiao is located on the medial side of the lower leg, 3 cun above the tip of the medial malleolus, the posterior margin of the tibia.
  • 5) Tianshu is at the center of the abdomen, 2 cun from the umbilicus.
  • 6) Yuji is located at the posterior of the first metacarpal phalangeal joint, the middle point of the first metacarpal bone, the edge of the white eminence behind the metacarpal bone. Obvious soreness is expected when pressure is applied at this acupoint.
  • 7) With the patient in the sitting position with head bowed down, the dazhui point is at the lower part of the neck, at the indentation under the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebra.
  • 8) Quchi is located at the tip of the transverse striation of the elbow when bending the elbow. Obvious soreness is expected when pressure is applied at this acupoint.
  • 9) With the patient in the sitting position, the yinlingquan point is found by using the thumb to push up along the medial edge of the lower leg bone (medial tibia) to the lower knee joint. The yinlingquan point is at the indentation where tibia bends upward.
  • 10) With the patient in the prone position, the pishu point is located in the eleventh thoracic spine process, 1.5 cun from the median line.
  • 11) With the patient in the supine position, the qihai point is located at the anterior median line, 1.5 cun inferior umbilicus.
  • 12) The yongquan point is at the foot acupoint of the human body. It is located at the upper third of line between heel to the junction of the second and third toes, or indentation in the front of planta pedis when bending tones vigorously.

Operation Method

  • 1) Dazhui and feishu: Both are kneaded by the middle finger or index finger of both hands alternately for 1-2 minutes per acupoint until the patient feels soreness at certain areas.
  • 2) Feishu and pishu: With patients’ hands behind their backs in the akimbo shape, use the thumb to knead for 1-2 minutes per acupoint until patients feel soreness at certain areas.
  • 3) Yuji: Both hands can be crossed to press yuji at both sides, rubbing back and forth for 3-5 minutes, until warmth is felt at certain areas.
  • 4) The rest of the acupoints can be kneaded with the thumb for 1-2 minutes per acupoint until the patient feels soreness in certain areas.
  • 5) Pat lung meridian: Pat about 30 times by palm repeatedly from the clavicle to the thumb along the medial outer edge of the upper limb.

Operation Precautions

  • 1) Massage should not exceed 20 minutes per treatment, preferably once in the morning and once in the evening, such as getting up and before going to bed.
  • 2) For self-massage, it is better to wear only a vest and shorts, and try to contact the body surface directly during operation.
  • 3) Some substances can be used as lubricants during operation, such as talcum powder, sesame oil, massage milk, etc., which can enhance the curative effect and prevent skin damage.
  • 4) In case of local skin breakage, ulcer, fracture, tuberculosis, tumor, bleeding, etc., massage is prohibited.
  • 5) Patients who sweat after massage should avoid direct contact with wind to prevent catching a cold.
  • 6) Do not use massage therapy on patients who are hungry, full, drunk, or overtired.


Acupoint (meridian) massage should not be performed on patients with severe or critically severe COVID-19 who suffer from shortness of breath, dyspnea, delirium, confusion, etc.

Acupoint (meridian) massage is also contraindicated for the following situations:

  • 1) Patients with undiagnosed acute spinal cord injury or with spinal cord symptoms.
  • 2) Patients with various fractures, joint tuberculosis, osteomyelitis, bone tumors, and severe senile osteoporosis.
  • 3) Patients with severe heart, lung, liver, and kidney failure; extreme weakness; and malignant tumor.
  • 4) All kinds of acute infectious diseases, acute peritonitis (including gastric and duodenal ulcer perforation).
  • 5) Patients with bleeding tendency or blood diseases.
  • 6) Patients with open soft tissue injury, water and fire scald, skin ulcer, and various sores and ulcers.
  • 7) Women over 3 mont hs of pregnancy should not have acupoint (meridian) massage on the abdomen, buttocks, and lumbosacral regions as well as acupoints with specific functions such as hegu and sanyin jiao.
  • 8) When a person is mentally ill or overly stressed.
  • 9) Patients with high fever and high fever convulsion.
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