Stimulating Our Longevity Points
by Lilian Kluivers
‘Do you ever fall ill?’ This is a regularly asked question of my students. What they really want to know is whether they can prevent themselves from falling ill by following the wisdom of oriental medicine.
Honestly, no one can ever promise that. We live in a society that is severely polluted. Consider the air we breathe, the food we eat… Even if you try to live as close to nature as possible, it’s not possible to exclude pollution from your diet. Besides that, we all have our individual constitution, our inherited energy. That also plays a big part in our health.
But, here’s the bright side. Having said this, oriental medicine has a lot to offer regarding longevity.
Below I will describe a sequence of simple Do-In exercises that stimulate our energy flow. This sequence includes the so-called longevity points, a combination of acupoints that activate and restore our yang energy and are known by their power to remove obstructions and tonify Qi. It’s best to practice these exercises after a workout, in the beginning of the day.
1. Rolling on your back with St. 36
Stimulate Stomach 36 with the four fingers, giving counter-pressure on your calf with the thumb.
Hold your hands like this and start rolling up and down your spine, from the sitting bones towards the shoulder blades and back. Twenty to fifty times – or until you feel the lower dantian becomes energetically active.
The lower dantian is the most important energy centre in our body. It’s location is 1,5 thumb width below the navel centre. It is the place where our Qi is stored and focusing here collects the energy we activate in our exercises.
2. Massaging the crown of our head
Sitting upright, place the fingers of one hand on the crown of your head, Governing vessel 20 Baihui, another Longevity point. Place the fingers of your other hand on Conception Vessel 6 Qi hai 1,5 thumb with below the navel center to stimulate the lower dantian.
Connect these points, meditating until you feel Cv 6 becomes energetically active. This combination raises Yang Qi, and calms Shen. You’ll feel very clear and aware afterward.
Two of the six Longevity points are on the Large Intestine vessel. The energy of this vessel helps us to get rid of things we don’t longer need, emotionally and physically. Because of the pollution in our environment, opening the Large Intestine vessel becomes even more important nowadays. It keeps our body as clean as possible. Notice that the Large Intestine vessel is closely connected to the Lung energy. Lungs are considered to love pureness, enabled by the Large Intestine vessel.
With the fingers of one hand, stimulate Large Intestine 10 Shousanli. From the increase of the elbow, you’ll find this point two thumb widths towards the wrist. Place the other palm or fingers on Cv. 6 and connect both points, meditating.
Now find Large Intestine 13 Shouwuli. From the increase in the elbow, you’ll find this acupressure point three thumb widths towards the shoulder. Place the other palm or fingers on Cv. 6 and connect both points.
4. Happy old age
We will now move to Small Intestine 6, Yanglao – see image.
Again connect this point with Cv. 6 by placing the palm or fingers on it. This acupressure point is very much connected with maintaining your health while growing older. It opens the Small Intestine vessel, which functions like a filter for our food as well as our impressions. Small intestine 6 is the so called Xi-point of this vessel. These points easily tend to obstruct the energy flow, treat it often to provide the Small Intestine meridian with energy.
5 Connecting three yang
Last but not least, find Triple Heater 8 Sanyangluo, on the outside of the lower arm, on the midline, four thumb-widths from the increase in the wrist. Connect this point with Cv. 6 until you feel the latter becoming energetically active.
In this point, we reach the energy of the three yang meridians of our hands. The hands are the upper limbs in our body and therefore more connected to yang – heavenly energy – in comparison to the feet. Besides that, Triple Heater energy supports the yang energy in our body in spreading the Qi and removing any obstacles in the energy flow. Opening this acupressure point, which is connected to the energy of all of these three yang vessels, functions as the finishing touch to our longevity sequence which is all about restoring yang energy.
Enjoy your day!
Lilian Kluivers is a shiatsu therapist and Do-In teacher and teacher trainer. She runs Do-In Academy, an international education that aims to help people use the wisdom of eastern medicine in everyday life. Lilian is an author of two books about Do-In published in The Netherlands and Belgium.