A few beers with a friend after work in Portland may not affect your body much. But when the bartender announces it’s Tequila Tuesday and suddenly there’s a shot in your hand, the night can easily turn into a celebration of indulgence and wild fun. You wake up late Wednesday morning, rushing for work, cursing the sunshine for assaulting your vision, and forcing down some toast to soothe your stomach. We’ve all been there at least once.
Before you miss that important client meeting and take another personal day off work, try to get your body and mind back into action with simple acupressure massage you can do yourself. Acupressure is the practice of applying firm pressure to specific points on the body to alleviate symptoms of aches or illness. When treating a hangover, go for pressure points that address dizziness, headache, eye pain, and nausea.
The most effective pressure point on the body for that room-spinning feeling is called Taichong (LR3). Taichong, associated with the liver, is located on the top of the foot in the depression between the bones leading to your big toe and second toe. Press on this spot on either foot (or both!) for a few seconds and massage in a circular motion for some relief. This point has the added bonus of helping with headaches.
Hoku (LI4), also known as the Union in the Valley, is the pressure point on your hand just between the joint of your thumb and the bone that leads to your index finger. Give it a firm squeeze with your opposing hand for about 30 seconds, then switch sides. You can even do these right at your desk without standing out and making it painfully obvious to all your coworkers that your night was a little more than you meant it to be.
Wearing sunglasses in your cubicle may up your office coolness quotient, but it won’t win you any points when it’s time to give your presentation in the conference room at noon. The pressure point Feng Chi (GB20) can help with blurred vision and eye discomfort. To find this point, feel the back of your head until you can feel where your neck muscle and the base of the skull meet. Clasp your hands together behind your head and apply firm pressure on both sides with your thumbs. Massage gently towards your skull for maximum effect.
Quze (PC3) is a great pressure point to help relieve nausea fast. To find this point, put your forearm on your desk with your palm facing up and your arm slightly bent. Look for the indentation in your elbow that is closer to your torso. Apply pressure and massage this point on either side of your body to calm your stomach. This point can also help when you’re feeling overheated with hangover sweat.
Overindulgence doesn’t have to ruin your day with pain and queasiness. The next time you find yourself stuck with a hangover, try acupressure yourself and don’t forget to hydrate!