Triple Heater for your Neck – Acupressure Points TH 4, 5 and 9

What Does Triple Heater Mean?

The Triple Heater is one of the twelve classic meridians that traverse through the body. The Triple Heater Meridian starts in the back of the hand and progresses up to the side of the head. The comprehensive diagram depicts three of the main Triple Heater points for neck and shoulder blade tension and tightness. Neck and shoulder blade stiffness and tension afflict many of my headache clients.  The cool thing about the Triple Heater points is that when you press them, your results are immediate. I have always thought that Triple Heater is a more impressive-sounding name for a meridian than some of the other names such as the Large Intestine or Gall Bladder meridians.

Which Triple Heater Points Should I Use to Relieve Neck and Shoulder Blade Tension?

Acupressure points will be more tender than the surrounding tissues. First, find Triple Heater 4 in the back of your wrist. It is located right between the two forearm bones on the back of your wrist. This point is nestled in between these bones and you will feel increased tenderness when you find the point.  Triple Heater 5 is found along the back of the forearm, about one-third of the way from the wrist to the elbow. Finally, locate Triple Heater 9 in the back of the forearm, closer to the elbow, roughly one quarter of the way between the outer elbow bone and the back of the wrist.

How Do I Use the Triple Heater 4 Point to Increase Neck Motion?

Firstly, I make sure a client has no underlying pathology limiting neck motion. The client must also not be taking blood thinning medication. Bruising from even gentle pressure could result from the blood thinner. Secondly, I find the TH 4 point with either my finger or thumb. The point is quite tender. Finally, I ease off the point and then leave my hand on the point with minimal, non-tender pressure. I maintain pressure for 60 seconds. After 60 seconds, I ask my client to turn their neck to the left or right. As a result of the contact pressure, they can turn their head further immediately. If the lighter pressure for 60 seconds does not increase neck turning, I may do a firmer massage for 15 seconds. Sometimes the extra pressure works when the lighter pressure is not enough.

What Can I Use the Triple Heater 5 and 9 Points for?

I find Triple Heater 5 also helps loosen the neck but also seems to ease shoulder blade tension. Triple Heater 9 tends to be more beneficial to decrease tension in the shoulder blade area.  Press further up your arm, near the elbow region, and you may relieve low back pain.

Do not worry about finding the exact points. Do a circular massage with your thumb up the forearm and you will hit the points. You will have little question if you find the points because they will be tender. As a result, you will find the shoulder blade tension will ease up even as you massage your forearm.

When Should I Use the Points?

Some people respond excellently to the acupressure point. The key is knowing which people are likely to respond. If your neck partially loosens up with gentle massage and stretches, then you will be likely to see further loosening from the Triple Heater points. The acupressure points can then be the “frosting on the cake,” so to speak, to restore the neck motion to normal.

I tell clients that if the points do not work, they have lost one minute of their life. The points do not work for everyone and you will find out quickly if you are a responder.  For example, I do not use the points if a client’s neck motion is limited after trauma such as a car accident.

You can remember what points that are in your hand, wrist and forearm correspond to which areas of your body. The web space between your thumb and forefinger helps your headache, the back of the wrist loosens the neck and the further up the forearm you go, the further into your shoulder blade the relief goes. When you get to acupressure points in your elbow, the relief spreads into your low back. We will discuss these back relief points in a future blog.

Why Do Acupressure Points Work?

When people see these strange points improve their neck and shoulder blade tension, they ask me how do these points work so quickly in the way that they do? It defies what we consider to be common sense. I can demonstrate what the acupressure points do but I am not able to say precisely why they work. I am not the Inventor of this system. Scientific explanations for acupressure are incomplete. Can you explain how exactly your eye works or precisely by what mechanism you bend your elbow? You do not need to understand why acupressure works to achieve good results!



-You understand that if not done properly, some techniques and exercises described in this blog could harm you. Any activities you perform are at your own risk, and you expressly agree to waive any claims against the author for any harm that may arise from your own actions. By reading this blog and conducting these exercises, you accept this risk. This blog provides content related to physical and/or mental health issues. As such, your use of techniques described acts as your acceptance of this disclaimer. Consult Chapter 2 in my book, “Calming the Headache Storm” to make sure the headache is not the sign of a more serious problem. The techniques, advice and strategies contained in this blog may not be suitable for every individual and should be abandoned if your headache increases. Seek the advice of your physician.



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