Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
The old children’s song reflects the amazing state of your body’s construction. Every part is connected to the other at a deeper level than we perceive.
Nowhere is this more evident when you consider the acupoints in the toes and how they can help the headache you thought came only from your head. Therefore, let’s look at several of these points.
Liver 2 and 3 (LIV 2 and 3)
LIV 2 and 3 points are in-between the web space by the big and second toe. In particular, LIV 3 corresponds to the Large Intestine 4 (LI 4) point in the webspace of the thumb and index finger. Remember, LI 4 is on the bony back of your hand, not the fleshy palmar part. Similarly, just like the LI 4 point, you can find Liver 2 and 3 points on the top of your toes, not on the fleshy pad on the sole of your foot.
Acupuncturists use four points LIV 3 and LI 4 in both hands together for various maladies, including headaches! Interestingly, acupuncturist may use these powerful “Four Gates” points together for enhanced effect.
Reach the LIV 2 and 3 points by bending forward to apply pressure to them. More commonly, you can cross one leg over the other to bring your foot closer to you.
What Effects Can I See from the LIV 2 and 3 Points?
You can see headache reduction! However, I find LIV 2 and 3 relieve headaches in the back of the head. By contrast, the LI 4 point relieves frontal headaches.
In addition, some people have neck stiffness and pain when they try to look up. Consider acupressure points LIV 2 and 3. Oftentimes pressure on these points allow people to look up further with less pain.
Hamstring tightness can release with toe point pressure. However, since I can achieve rapid increase in hamstring flexibility with the LI 4 point and several elbow points, I prefer to use the more accessible arm points.
Are There Other LIV 2 and 3 Effects Mentioned in the Acupuncture Texts?
Absolutely! In addition to headache reduction, dizziness, ankle pain and blurred vision are possibilities. Most of the symptoms mentioned in the texts relate to abdominal issues such as urinary retention, abdominal distension and so forth. Both points supposedly treat epilepsy and insomnia. I need to make it clear that I have never used these points for those purposes. Consult your acupuncturist for more in-depth information and treatment!
Do Not Use the LIV 2 and 3 Points If You Are Pregnant!
Even though these points are not specifically mentioned as being an issue, I would avoid them. Why? The acupoint pressure impulse passes through the abdomen on the way to the brain. I prefer to be too careful than not careful enough. Consequently, you are better off sticking to the more local points in the head for relief. Remember, LI 4 is a definite no-go if you are pregnant!
More Toes Points
Adjacent to the LIV 2 and 3 are the Stomach 43 and 44 points. We will look at these points in the next blog. The specificity of acupressure points is incredible. Acupoints address totally different symptoms even if they are just a few millimeters from each other!
–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.