Introduction to Tai Yang Acupressure Treatment

Close-up of a woman rubbing her temples
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Tai Yang is an acupuncture point located in the area of the temple (lateral to the eyebrows) that is used also in acupressure and Qigong healing, to relieve a host of common ailments.

Like Yin Tang, the acupuncture point Tai Yang belongs to the category of “extraordinary points,” i.e. those which are not part of a particular meridian, but rather stand alone as potent therapeutic locations.

Location and Actions of Tai Yang

Tai Yang is located at the tender depression in the temple area -- just lateral to both the outer canthus of the eye and the outer end of the eyebrow. It’s the place that feels most soft and tender.

Tai Yang is a wonderful point, having the power to eliminate wind, clear heat, cool and clear the eyes, and alleviate pain. It’s particularly useful in cases of headache, dizziness, toothache, and redness, swelling or pain associated with various diseases and disorders of the eye.

The point is also known, to martial artists, as a “vital spot” to which a powerful strike could be fatal.

How to Apply Acupressure to Tai Yang (Supreme Yang)

To applying acupressure to Tai Yang, use the soft padded ends of your first and middle fingers: right fingers on right Tai Yang, left fingers on left Tai Yang. With very light contact (just enough to move the skin beneath your touch), move your fingers in a tiny circular motion. Though you can experiment with circling in both directions, I would recommend beginning with the direction that corresponds with the primary movement of the Microcosmic Orbit: moving upward when for the part of the circle closest to your spine, and downward for the part of the circle closest to the front of your torso.

Apply this acupressure technique to the left and right sides simultaneously, continuing for two to three minutes, or longer.

Ear Acupressure as a Compliment to Tai Yang

After you’ve completed qigong self-massage at Tai Yang, slide your hands down from your temples to your ears, for a round of ear acupressure. Massaging the visible portion of the ear (the auricle) is a simple and powerful practice -- which can activate and balance the entire body-mind.

Qigong self-massage at the ear is based upon the principles of ear acupuncture (aka auriculotherapy) -- a Chinese Medical technique which understands the visible portion of the ear to be a micro-system. What this means is that there are points in the ear that correspond to every part of the body: every limb, gland, and organ. (The hands, feet, and orbit of the eye are other commonly-employed micro-systems.)

The particular correspondences of ear acupuncture, i.e. which points in the ear correspond to which limbs or organs, are based upon the overlay of a homunculus (a tiny image of a full human body) onto the shape of the auricle. The ear acupuncture system, in its modern incarnation, was developed by the French neurologist Paul Nogier.

The technique for ear acupressure is simple: Use the thumb and side and end of the forefinger of each hand to gently squeeze and stretch the corresponding ear. Start at the bottom of the ear (the lobe) and work your way upward; then back down to the lobe.

Repeat this several times, doing your best to stimulate evenly all portions of the ear -- as though your ears were made of taffy or silly-putty, and you are shaping and expanding them slightly. The massaging action, once again, should be very gentle. If comfortable, you can end the ear qigong self-massage by gently folding your ears over, “closing” them for a couple seconds.

Once you’ve applied acupressure to your ears, for sixty seconds or longer, return for a final round at Tai Yang, in that tender depression at your temples.

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Reninger, Elizabeth. "Introduction to Tai Yang Acupressure Treatment." Learn Religions, Aug. 27, 2020, Reninger, Elizabeth. (2020, August 27). Introduction to Tai Yang Acupressure Treatment. Retrieved from Reninger, Elizabeth. "Introduction to Tai Yang Acupressure Treatment." Learn Religions. (accessed May 9, 2021).