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(2 pages total)

Page 2 - Knee Warm-up

Acupressure point Liver 8

Acupressure point Liver 8

Acupressure point Stomach 36

Acupressure point Stomach 36

The next point is located on the inside of the leg at the fold of the knee. With one finger, press upward against the bone between 2 tendons. Bending the knee more helps to find the tendons. Feel around for the most sensitive—even painful—spot. This point is designated Liver 8; it alleviates pain and stiffness in the knee. Massage in a circle 12 times. Repeat as many times as you like for up to 2 to 3 minutes. Again, I usually circle 24 times.

Find the “hole” or depression in the knee below and to the outside of the kneecap. Measure 4 finger breadths down from the bottom edge of the hole to find this point—Stomach 36. It’s close to the shinbone—about one finger breadth away from the crest. Massage as directed for the other points. This one is known as the “three-mile point.” The Chinese say that if you walk three miles and then rub this point, you can walk another three miles. Massaging here improves range of motion and also treats numbness and pain in the leg. Stomach 36 is considered one of the most important acupressure points in the body. Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that, among other things, it harmonizes the intestines, regulates qi, strengthens the immune system, and acts as a general tonic.


3. Massage again

Go back to lightly massaging the knee front to back 12 times and side to side 12 times. Repeat as many times as you like. I normally do this only once.

Pre Tai Chi knee warm-up

Pre Tai Chi Knee Warm-up

I was first shown this procedure by Wasentha Young at a Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists’ training camp in the early 1990s. John Yamas, O.M.D., L.Ac. and Marlene Smith, L.Ac. added to my understanding of the acupressure points, their uses, and how to find them. I also consulted The Acupressure Atlas by Bernard Kolster, M.D. and Astrid Waskowiak, M.D., as well as the online sources TCM Discovery and Acufinder.

Margaret Emerson has been practicing t’ai chi (taiji), qigong, and meditation since 1979 and teaching since 1989. She lives in Arcata, California where she also writes and paints. Her books are Breathing Underwater: The Inner Life of T’ai Chi Ch’uan, A Potter’s Notes on Tai Chi Chuan, and Eyes of the Mirror, a memoir. She is a contributor to the book Martial Arts Teachers on Teaching, also to Qi Journal, Black Belt Magazine, and Aikido Today. Her new video is “Wu T’ai Chi, Kao Style: As Practiced and Taught by Margaret Emerson.” Margaret’s Web site is www.margaretemerson.com.

©Reprinted from Qi Journal, Winter 2011-2012 issue

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