Acupressure for a Rotator Cuff Injury

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If you've experienced a rotator cuff injury, one method of relieving the pain is by trying acupressure. Learn about acupressure for a rotator cuff injury with help from a doctor of oriental medicine in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Acupressure 101
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Hilary Talbott, acupuncture physician and clinical herbalist. Today, we will be discussing acupressure for rotator cuff injuries. Now, the rotator cuff is an actually really complex joint, and there's a lot of different directions and planes and range of motion that occur because of this complexity, so when you hurt this joint, if you're going to get acupressure or acupuncture, it's important that you and the physician understand exactly which meridians are involved. Now, if you've just injured the shoulder and the injury's pretty fresh, you don't want to do acupressure really on that joint when it's super inflamed and painful, and believe it or not you might actually choose to treat the other shoulder. Because the meridians are bilateral, they do connect, and so there's this idea that you can treat one shoulder by treating the opposite. So, if it's really painful and inflamed you're going to want to treat the opposite shoulder. Let's say you're at the point, though, where you're doing physical therapy and re-having the shoulder itself. There are two points, local points, there's a large intestine point and a triple-burner point. Right kind of like the eyes of the shoulder, if you will. These are points that I almost always with shoulder injuries will stick needles deep into the joint, and sometimes actually burn moss and deliver some intense heat and help with inflammation. But a little bit of moderate to firm acupressure with your thumbs can really be helpful, and then depending on which meridian is affected, you can use distal points. So let's say that you experience the pain up the side and in the front of the shoulder, as opposed to the back. Continuing with channel theory, that would be the large intestine that is affected, large intestine channel, so you would come down the channel which stops... there's a point right here at the end of the crease of the elbow... and then there's also a point just down in kind of the meaty part of this muscle right here, large intestine ten, and this is a fantastic point to really get like some firm stimulation, open up the channel into the shoulder. So, if you had a fresh injury and this was really swollen and painful, this might be a point that you'd choose on the same arm to try and increase circulation into the joint. Like I said, the rotator cuff is a really complex set of muscles and there's a bunch of different meridians that run through, so it's important to understand which ones are effected in order to effectively treat the pain re-have the muscle. So I encourage you to seek out your local acupuncture physician. If you don't have one, check out AcuFinder.com to find one in your area. I'm Hilary Talbott, and that was acupressure for rotator cuff injuries.

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