Acupressure for Sciatica: Targeted Techniques for Pain Relief

Acupressure for Sciatica: Targeted Techniques for Pain Relief


Sciatica – it’s a condition of the compressed sciatic nerve. It can cause a constant, dull ache or a sudden, sharp pain in the hip, back or leg even! Looking for natural help? Acupressure may help with the pain. Let’s explore the methods you can use.

Overview of Sciatica

Sciatica is a condition that causes pain in the lower back and down one or both legs. It is caused by various things such as muscle irritation, pregnancy, joint issues and disc injury.

To reduce sciatica pain, acupressure can be used. Acupressure is an old healing technique from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It manipulates pressure points throughout the body to redirect energy. This energy reduces tension and pain, and promotes relaxation. By doing acupressure regularly, lasting relief from sciatica symptoms can be achieved and future flare-ups prevented.

Benefits of Acupressure

Acupressure is an ancient Chinese method. It involves applying pressure to specific points on the body. These points are called acupoints. It is used to treat and prevent illnesses or injuries. It helps qi (the body’s energy) to flow more freely, bringing balance.

The practice of acupressure can reduce muscle tension and improve circulation. It also helps you relax and cope with pain. Studies have shown it can help with sciatica nerve pain and other types of aches and pains. It may also help treat side effects like fatigue and insomnia. These come from physical discomfort and mental stress caused by chronic pain.

Acupressure Points

Acupressure: an old-time healing art. It applies pressure points to restore balance and flow to the body. Results can be dramatic and immediate when used on sciatica pain points. Pressure points, along the body’s meridians, help ease discomfort in the lower back, hips, and legs.

This article explores acupressure points used for sciatica treatment:

Bladder 60

Bladder 60 is known as Kun Lun in Chinese medicine. It’s located on the outside of the lower leg, right below the tibia bone and behind the fibula bone. It’s very useful for relieving sciatica pain.

When you press this point, it sends signals of relaxation to nerves in the cells. This helps reduce muscle spasms and tension. Qi circulation along the bladder meridian increases, which reduces pain and boosts energy flow.

For sciatica due to standing or sitting a lot, gentle pressure on Bladder 60 can help with:

  • Low back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Tight hamstrings

Find this point by pressing the outside edge of your lower leg until you feel a slight depression between two bones. When you do it right, you’ll feel deep muscle relaxation for 30-45 seconds.

Pressure should be deep but gentle. Too much force can cause further problems. Stimulating Bladder 60 also strengthens the hamstring muscles (in the upper leg) and calf muscles (on the lower leg).

Gallbladder 34

Gallbladder 34, also known as Yang Ling Quan, is found on the back of the knee’s external malleolus – the bony protuberance at the outside corner. It is used to ease sciatica pain and other related issues in the lower body.

The point is located one thumb width below the fibula on the lower leg. As per Chinese Medicine, this point is connected to the liver and gall bladder’s meridians. Applying pressure to Gallbladder 34 may help relieve sciatica pain if it is due to either organ’s stiffness.

Massaging Gallbladder 34 can assist in reducing sciatica discomfort caused by tightness or tension in the lower body muscles and any connected spasms or cramps. Pressure should be gentle and circular initially. One should increase pressure levels with each session but not too much as it may cause more discomfort. It is important to remain calm and breathe regularly while stimulating Gallbladder 34 for optimal results.

Kidney 3

K3, also known as the Kidney 3 acupressure point, is located between the big and second toes on the inner side of either foot. This point is part of a Chinese technique which aims to balance the body and mind by tapping into energy meridians.

Studies suggest that applying pressure to this point may help reduce sciatica pain. Stimulating K3 is thought to reduce inflammation and muscle tension in the lower back, which can help to relieve sciatica symptoms. It can also be used to reduce anxiety, stress, headaches and eyestrain, and improve digestion and blood circulation.

When using K3 for sciatica relief, it’s important to use the correct technique. Apply direct pressure with your thumb or index finger to a depth of 1cm for up to 5 minutes, until you experience pain relief. Don’t press too hard or deeply, as this could cause further discomfort or tissue damage.

Stomach 36

Stomach 36 (ST36) is a powerful energy point. It is located on the front of the lower leg, four finger-widths down from the kneecap and one finger width towards the outer side. Below the patella, in line with it, is a slight indentation.

Acupressure applied to ST36 for several minutes twice daily can reduce sciatic nerve discomfort. It relaxes muscles, reduces tension and relieves pain. It stimulates nerve endings and improves circulation. This helps speed up healing and reduce inflammation around the muscle tissue.

It also reduces postoperative swelling and boosts immunity levels. This boosts overall wellbeing.


Acupressure is a way of relieving pain. It works when used correctly. Here, we’ll learn the techniques used in acupressure and how to do them. We’ll also talk about common acupressure points that help reduce sciatica pain.

Using Your Fingers

Using your fingers is a quick, easy way to give targeted acupressure for sciatica. Find the points on each side of the spine, just above the hips. Press firmly here to help ease pain in both legs.

Go up each side of the spine from the top of the buttocks to below the shoulder blades. If symptoms get worse, stop pressing immediately. Check with your health practitioner for advice before continuing.

For more localized treatment, use a circular motion along each side of your calves and thighs, up towards the hips. Reach as far back as you can. Finish off by pressing diagonally across each bend in your arms to their underarms – alternating arms if needed – until you feel relaxation around sore spots in your shoulders and upper arms.

Using a Massage Tool

Massage tools are helpful for acupressure sessions. They intensify deep tissue stimulation and help energy move along body points. Tools often used with acupressure for sciatica are foam rollers, massage balls, massage cups, and more.

  • Foam Rollers: These offer a wide area of coverage for big body parts, such as legs or back. The roller can do more than your hands. For example, using it on the lower back to target the sciatic nerve can bring relief from pain.
  • Massage Balls: Massage balls like lacrosse, golf, or softball work on trigger points in the back or legs. Pressing them activates healing in the muscles and reduces tension around the sciatic nerve.
  • Massage Cups: Suction cups are placed over the affected area. This improves circulation, reduces muscle tension, and relieves pain near the sciatic nerve root. Take special care when performing self-treatment.

Using Essential Oils

Essential oils are a great way to combine aromatherapy and acupressure for sciatica pain relief. Lavender is popular for reducing muscle tension and providing a calming feeling. Mix with a carrier oil, like olive or coconut, and apply directly to the area in pain. Put lavender oil in a diffuser to create an invigorating atmosphere.

Alternatives to lavender are peppermint, wintergreen, and camphor. These oils support circulation and reduce muscle tension. Create a blend in a bowl of carrier oil. Rub the warm area between two to four times a day, for five minutes or more, depending on pain levels.

Additional Tips

Acupressure‘s great for sciatica pain relief, but there’re more tips to maximize effectiveness. Posture, cold/heat therapy, and light physical activities can help. Let’s explore these tips for sciatica relief and better health overall!


Meditation is an effective tool to manage stress and chronic pain. Mindful breath exercises and positive affirmations can help reduce sciatica pains. With regular practice, meditation can help us learn how to control pain.

It can also help lower stress and anxiety linked to persistent physical pain. When relaxed, exploring self-acupressure points can be easier. But, make sure you have attained relaxation through breathing or relaxation techniques before trying acupressure techniques for sciatica relief.


Stretching is a great way to reduce sciatic nerve pain. Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up like walking or light aerobics.

The seated cat stretch is especially good for sciatica. Sit with legs crossed, hands on knees. Round your back like a cat, pushing the tailbone towards the thighs, hold for 5-10 seconds. Arch your back and push out your chest with chin pointing down towards a knee. Hold for 5-10 seconds and relax. Do this 4 times.

The swan stretch can also help. Lie on your stomach, palms down near shoulders. Lift head, chest, arms and upper back slowly, feeling a stretch. Keep hips flat against floor. Stay in position for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat 3 times, or longer if possible.


Consuming food with natural anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric and ginger may ease swelling and inflammation related to sciatica. Eating a variety of healthful fruits, veggies, omega-3 fatty acids from fish like salmon, whole grains, legumes, and nuts may help diminish pain and improve overall health. Additionally, eliminate processed foods from the diet for maximum benefit.

Staying hydrated is essential for reducing sciatica-related pain. Drinking 8–10 glasses of water daily helps keep the body hydrated, flushing out toxins from an unhealthy diet or lifestyle habits.

Exercise is key for managing sciatica symptoms, but some activities should be avoided until after pain has subsided or stabilized. Spinal strengthening exercises are important to manage inflammation and sustain strength of the surrounding muscles. Avoid any exercises or movements that put extreme strain on the low back area or worsen existing pain to prevent injury or further damage.


Acupressure is a great way to ease sciatica pain. Pressure points used for sciatica help boost energy and circulation around the affected area. This can help reduce inflammation and discomfort.

We have listed the most useful pressure points for sciatica and how to use the techniques correctly:

Summary of Benefits

Acupressure is a great choice for sciatica pain. It’s cost-effective and low-risk. Research on acupressure and sciatica is limited. But evidence suggests it might help when combined with other treatments, such as physical therapy and acupuncture.

The massage technique used in acupressure helps reduce inflammation and improve circulation. This leads to better nerve function and relaxed muscles. Plus, it relieves pain.

Regular acupressure, tailored to the individual, can reduce sciatica pain. By using points along the meridians connected to specific body parts, practitioners can focus their massage treatments on the pain origin.

Plus, acupressure improves overall health. It boosts circulation and helps the musculoskeletal system stay in balance.

Additional Resources

If you have sciatica pain, acupressure may be useful. Consult your doctor or physical therapist to get more info. The NCCAOM is a non-profit, reputable organization that provides certification and education in Chinese Medicine. They offer educational material on acupressure, including safety precautions. The AAMA has continuing medical education courses for sciatica related conditions.

Books such as Acupressure for Sciatica: Targeted Techniques for Pain Relief can provide advice for exploring the technique.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition characterized by persistent pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down through the hips, buttocks, and legs.

2. Can acupressure help relieve sciatica pain?

Yes, acupressure can be an effective way to relieve sciatica pain. The targeted techniques used in acupressure can help reduce inflammation and release tension, allowing the body to heal naturally.

3. What are some acupressure points for sciatica pain relief?

Some acupressure points for sciatica pain relief include LV3, GB34, BL60, BL23, and BL40. These points are located along the energy meridians that are connected to the sciatic nerve, and stimulating them can help to ease pain and promote healing.

4. Is acupressure safe for everyone?

Acupressure is generally safe for most people, but it may not be appropriate for those with certain medical conditions, such as blood disorders or skin disorders. If you have any concerns about whether acupressure is safe for you, it’s best to consult with a qualified practitioner.

5. How long does it take to feel the effects of acupressure?

The effects of acupressure can vary from person to person, but many people report feeling relief within just a few minutes of receiving treatment. However, it may take several sessions for the full benefits of acupressure to be felt.

6. Do I need to see a professional for acupressure treatment?

While some acupressure techniques can be practiced at home, it’s generally recommended to see a qualified practitioner for the best results. They can identify the most effective acupressure points for your particular condition and provide personalized treatment to help you find relief from sciatica pain.

the back recovery program by alex larsson
Jane Smith is a natural health enthusiast on a mission to uncover effective methods for achieving pain-free living. Through her personal journey with chronic back pain, she has become well-versed in holistic approaches such as yoga, Pilates, and essential oils.

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