How To Do Acupuncture For Back Pain At Home? Know Tips From Expert

How many sessions of acupuncture do you need for back pain? Are there any pressure points on feet to relieve lower back pain? Explains experts.

Tavishi Dogra
Written by: Tavishi DograUpdated at: Jan 29, 2021 12:18 IST
How To Do Acupuncture For Back Pain At Home? Know Tips From Expert

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Acupressure points to relieve lower back pain: Is chronic back pain severely debilitating you? Or is it negatively affecting your routine? Probably the severity may not be acknowledged by the people other than the sufferers! There can be a lot of causes for back pain. Some of the reasons include lack of exercises, stress over-exercising. Do you know that mental stress, anxiety, depression can also lead to back pain? Not exercising can lead to back pain, especially when the lifestyle is sedentary—Over-exercising, overexertion, and not doing a warm-up before beginning exercises can lead to back pain.! Ask ten people for the condition of their back. Nearly 8 out of them will report pain in their back. Back pain can be acute or chronic. Acute pain begins suddenly and can last up to six weeks before resolving. Chronic back pain is a long-term condition and can last as long as three months or more. Chronic back pain can be responsible for other health problems as well. The critical aspect is managing back pain after ruling out any serious condition such as a fracture. There are several home remedies and methods available to deal with back pain that can provide considerable relief. One of the techniques that can help in resolving back pain is acupuncture. 

How does acupuncture work to relieve back pain? 

Acupuncture is a type of an age-old healing practice of Chinese Medicine and a form of alternative medicine. When this technique is executed under professionals, thin needles are placed at a specific point in the body. These points are decided as per the area of the body, which is painful. But, to your surprise, acupressure can be done with your fingers at your home. Acupuncture is thought to spur the release of pain-killing chemicals and central nervous system to impart a sense of well-being in a person. It may trigger the release of opioids that can cause sleep and lessen pain. It may also change the brain-chemistry by altering the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones. While one may get an expert acupuncturist to resolve back pain, one can again do self-acupuncture at home.

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Dr Jyoti Sharma (BHMS) explains how you can benefit from the art of acupuncture at home

  • Put your hands on your waist and find your spine. Come over on each side of your spine. You can either press the specified area with a thumb, or you could press the area with fingertips as well. Since you are standing, your feet are steady. The same procedure can be repeated by leaning the back slightly backwards.
  • By pressing the specified points, one activates the self-healing mechanism of the body. On the same level, halfway away, another muscle is pretty tender as there is a lack of strong support from the spine. Press here tenderly with your fingers.
  • The next muscle to be addressed is in the middle of each buttock. Put your palms over there and press gently. It can also manage pain due to the sciatic nerve.
  • The next you have to go is going in the front region four -fingers under your belly-button. Press a little gently there, and you can experience a sort of connection with relieving your back pain. This technique also helps in relieving menstrual cramps.
  • Sit on a stool. Take your fingers behind the leg and just below the knee and press your calf muscles gently. Remember not to be too hard while pressing.

Here is a tip, don’t press directly on your spine!


Points to be addressed while doing  acupuncture at home

Since stress is also a significant reason for back pain, acupuncture shall also be done for relieving stress. The way it has to be done for managing stress and the associated back pain is listed below. There are three points to be addressed:

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  • The first one lies below the wrist on the side of your palm. Four fingers below your wrist, and between the two tendons, lies the point that needs to be pressed with your other hand's thumb or fingers.
  • The second point that can be pressed to relieve stress lies between your eyebrows. This point is also known as the third eye. Let your index finger do the action in a circular motion.
  • The third point that can relieve stress lies in the sternum or the middle bony part of your chest between two nipples. Here the point can be pressed with the first three fingers of your hand in a gentle, yet firm way. The point here can be tender usually.

Can Real And Sham Acupuncture Both Ease Back Pain?

Acupuncture Both Ease Back Pain

"But both real and sham acupuncture can ease back pain or any pain condition. But the effect will last for a longer duration with real acupuncture. Few studies suggest that there is a significant pain reduction with Real and Sham Acupuncture. It doesn't mean that Traditional Acupuncture does not work, but sham Acupuncture has something to do with how the body transmits or processes brain signals. Other studies have suggested that prick of the needle around the area of injury or pain could create a 'super placebo' effect that alters how the brain responds to the pain. According to a study conducted in 2007, consisting of 1200 patients with backache, the result showed reduced pain after real and fake acupuncture. Hence, both real and fake Acupuncture helps ease the pain, but with Real acupuncture, it's more effective because the receptors present in that specific point are highly active, and the flow of 'qi' or the 'prana' through the meridian points are more" says Mita Vinay, Founder, Bodhsara, an ecosystem of wellness spaces and healthy habits.

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Takeaway Tips by Dr Jyoti Sharma 

Back Pain

  • It is advised to move your thumb or fingers in a circular motion while applying firm yet gentle pressure on the points. 
  • The circular motion shall continue for five seconds at one point before moving to the next point. 
  • When you are applying acupressure to relieve stress, apply pressure on each point for three minutes. 
  • It is essential to listen to your body while using acupressure to them. 
  • If any of the points are sore to touch, give that part of the body a break.


Mita Vinay states that "analgesia system is the pain control system in our body. When needling is done on any part for pain relief, it interferes with the pain receptors and helps to diverge the pain and reduce the intensity of pain transmission to the brain from the spinal cord, thus minimising the pain's severity. The brain sends a message to the spinal cord to close the neuron gate (of the pain pathway) and stimulate the production of endogenous pain relievers (Opioid Peptides), due to which the perception of pain is blocked." While most people think of applying these acupuncture techniques as a last resort, the scenario shall be such. When awareness about alternate practices is increasing in this age, acupuncture appears to be a growing field. The good part is that one may not need to pay hefty amounts to experts. It can be done by knowing the correct points to the press. Gentle application of pressure on various points on the back is way safer than taking over-the-counter medications. It is a holistic form of treatment.

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