Feel the Energy

Many people have heard about acupuncture and acupressure for pain relief but few have heard about deqi the important signal that the therapy will relieve the pain, and fewer people have actually felt the healing feeling called deqi (literally “feel the Qi”).

I have developed a powerful method to stimulate the feeling of Qi Energy. Though you may be familiar with this acupoint, read on and try the following suggestions to stimulate the Great Eliminator also known as Large-Intestine-4. The Chinese name for this acupoint is Hegu, which means Joining Valley. 


Many people know that this acupoint can relieve pain, especially headaches. It also aids bowel movements, eliminates congestion in the head, and excels at eliminating pain. This point boosts the immune system’s ability to eliminate colds and flu. It is also used to reduce fever, relieve pain, clear the skin, stop spasms, diminish tension, clear a stuffy nose, and decrease toothache. A nickname in the West is ‘The Dentist’s’ point because it can stop tooth pain and moisten the throat and tongue.

To Find

LI-4 is in the web of the thumb but how it is pressed changes the energy feeling

The energy point is found by holding the thumb against the fingers.

The name Joining Valley informs you how to position the hand to get the most powerful energy response by joining the thumb to the hand, making a mound with a valley.

Another name for the point is Tiger’s Mouth. Hold the hand out in front of the body with the thumb at the bottom. Open and close the space between the thumb and hand so the thumb acts like a tiger’s lower jaw; the acupoint is deep in the tiger’s mouth.

On Yourself

The best way to locate GREAT ELIMINATOR on yourself is to place your palms on your stomach. As you close the space between your receiving hand and thumb, notice the mound of flesh on the back of the hand and the crease in the mound.

Press from the end of the crease toward the bone in the hand.

To press LI-4, start from the end of the crease toward the bone in the hand.

Locate GREAT ELIMINATOR at the end of the crease, near the middle of the mound. Keep the thumb against the hand as you press. Place your pressing thumb on the end of the crease, massaging the mound of muscle against the bone of the hand. Feel the muscle roll around under your thumb.

Massage the muscle against the hand bone to feel for sore spots. What does the muscle feel like? Does it feel hard? Does it feel soft? Does it feel like stringy strands? Can you feel lumps in the muscle?


On a Partner

Also called the headache or toothache point

Release energy on another’s hand.

A simple way to locate this acupoint on a partner is to grasp your partner’s right hand with your left hand, using your right thumb to press GREAT ELIMINATOR. Hold your partner’s thumb against the hand, look for the crease in the mound, and press gently into the crease. Stroke back and forth along the hand bone to zero in on the acupoint. Remember some people are quite tender here.

Helpful Hints

Important: Press this spot into the bone of the hand, slowly sliding the tip of your pressing thumb along the bone. Slide along the hand bone toward the index finger for a short distance and then toward the wrist. Slide back and forth until the most sensitive spot can be felt. Press firmly on this spot. This point may be sensitive.

Sensitivity can make it easy to find, but you will have to work slowly to achieve an energy sensation. When the point is not sensitive, you will have to press harder to find it, but it will be easier to get the energy sensation.

Energy Feeling

Moving Qi can be easy at this acupoint if you take your time. Stop and hold the acupoint. Does energy move outward from the point? It may travel to another spot in the hand or up the arm of the hand being pressed.

The Qi sensation may be felt around the elbow or even the shoulder or head. When you increase pressure, the Qi sensations become stronger. If you increase the time the point is pressed, then more varied sensations may be felt.

More Information

The GREAT ELIMINATOR acupoint has more names than most points. In the West this acupoint has been called Large Intestine 4 or Colon 4 (Co.4). Colon 4 is the most well-known of all acupoints, but is often misused by the non-professional. People often know the Chinese name, Hegu (sounds like “ha goo”) or Hoku, even though they have no knowledge of other acupoints.

The first character he means ”to join, to unite, meeting, adjoining.” The second character gu means “a mountain pass or a mountain valley.” Translation of Hegu, “Joining Valley,” reveals the secret of how to press this acupoint for the strongest energy response. Hegu, Joining Valley, also evokes associations of the great river valley of China. Ancient Chinese history recorded how people cultivated and civilized areas along the Yellow River. This great river basin and vast flood plain provided fertile ground for producing food. The Yellow River floods also brought great destruction at times. Another danger to the farmers living in the valley came from nomadic herdsmen.

The northern mountains proved to be a natural obstacle against invading bandits, who used the mountain passes to access the riches of China along the Yellow River. The reason the Chinese built the Great Wall was to ‘head them off at the pass.’ Defending mountain passes helped eliminate the threat of invading tribes. Hegu stimulates the immune system to defend against invading microorganisms, thus the nickname GREAT ELIMINATOR.

Key Concepts to Remember about GREAT ELIMINATOR 

Location: On the hand, in the middle of the triangular web between the thumb and index finger

To find: First massage the web with your fingers, checking for tenderness. Then, hold the thumb against the side of the hand. Notice the crease in the mound. Press at the end of the crease into the mound against the hand bone of the index finger Energy feeling (deqi): Up the arm to the elbow, shoulder and head and/or toward the fingers

Use: Promote longevity. Detect difficulties with and improve Yang functions, including sensory organs, immunity and skin

Pain: All types (especially in the upper body, for example, for headache and toothache)

Conditions: Constipation, diarrhea, rash, fever, common cold, sinus problems

For more about acupressure massage and other healthy ideas visit my blog: MichaelTurk.com 

Pain’s Healing Secret

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