Point of the Week
Triple Burner 5 can boost immune system when flu hits
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By Gigi Shames  September 13, 2013 12:00 am

Welcome to a special edition of Point of the Week, where we show you what acupuncture needles really look like when inserted into various trigger points along the body's energy pathways. (Actually, it is very hard to see the hair-thin stainless steel acupuncture needles themselves, but you can pretty easily see the handle, which in this case is red.) This point, known to acupuncturists as Triple Burner 5, is located midway on the back of the forearm two inches below the wrist crease. It is excellent for cooling heat and reducing pain (especially headache and joint discomfort). Interestingly, TB 5 can also be used to give your immune system a boost in case you're noticing difficulty fighting off pathogens like cold or flu viruses.  Pressing this point increases circulation within the energy pathways and can also be used preventively upon awakening each morning to avoid developing the symptoms. Now, let's go over how you can use the strength of your fingers or thumb to affect a similar result with acupressure (instead of the actual needles utilized by professional acupuncturists).

Note: Remember these vignettes are not medical advice. 

Step one: Locate the point TB 5 on the wrist. The correct point will likely feel a little tender when using a firm touch.  
Step two: Using your thumb or index finger, press and hold the pressure for 10 seconds. Repeat several times per hour or until symptoms lessen. 
Dr. Gigi Shames, LAc NHD, is a licensed acupuncturist in Cotati. She can be reached at (415) 388-0456 or www.ShamesHealth.com.
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