Of utmost practical value, He Gu -- the fourth point on the Large Intestine meridian -- is a treasure indeed! It’s easily accessible for self-massage qigong acupressure, and has within its capacities the alleviation of some of our most common minor maladies.
Name & Location Of He Gu - Large Intestine 4
He Gu translates into English as “Union Valley” -- a nice reminder of the point’s location in the valley-like depression between the thumb and the index finger, on the top side of the hand. He Gu is apparently also the name of a mountain -- another convenient thing to remember, since when we squeeze our thumb and index finger together, that valley-like depression rises up to look like a miniature mountain.
An alternative name for LI4 is Hu Kou or “Tiger’s Mouth.” This is the name used frequently in qigong and martial arts practice, to refer to the entire thumb-and-index-finger nexus -- a potent gathering-place of life-force energy.
Acupressure Technique For He Gu
Use the extended fingers of your left hand, to support the underside (palm side) of the base of the thumb and index finger of your right hand. Then, use the end of your left thumb to find a tender spot on that mound of flesh between thumb and index finger of your right hand.
Apply moderate to deep pressure at that tender-place (which should be somewhere near the center of the mound), moving your left thumb in tiny circles as your apply the pressure. Continue for one or two minutes, and then switch to the other hand.
Traditional Indications For He Gu (LI4)
He Gu’s specialty is resolving pain that is the result of stagnation (of life-force energy). It works by strongly increasing the flow of qi through the channels, aka meridians, particularly the Large Intestine meridian.
The pain to be resolved can be anywhere in the body, though particularly in the (1) head, face and neck; and (2) abdomen. For instance, He Gu can help to release: headaches, neck-aches, toothaches, eye pain, sore throat, and nasal obstruction. In the abdominal region, it is used to alleviate abdominal pain, constipation and amenorrhea.
[Note: because of He Gu’s strong moving action, it should be used with extreme caution or not at all if you are pregnant -- unless you are overdue and wishing to induce labour.]