Integrative Medicine Blog
Ling Gu: Relief for Back Pain and Sciatica
Ling Gu, or "spirit bone," is a point virtually all of my sciatic patients will be familiar with. The point comes from the renowned Tung family style of acupuncture, and is a highly effective acupuncture point for relieving sciatic pain. This point is located on the hand opposite the side of the pain. Find ling ku by searching for a sore spot next to the round, bony end of the 2nd metacarpal (see diagram). Once you have found the sore spot in this area, press the point firmly so that it is sore, and continue pressure for 3-5 minutes. It is best to gently move the lower back by tilting and rotating the pelvis while pressing the point. You should notice pain relief during this process. If not, try pressing the point on the same side as the pain. Using acupressure for ling gu has worked well at need, and provides good temporary relief from the pain, and can help during long car ride, sitting through a movie or getting through a tough day at work. For longer lasting and permanent relief, however, using a needling technique is usually required.
Remember, as always, acupressure should be done with a calm mind and gentle intention. We aren't pushing the body into submission, we are allowing it to open to a healthier pattern.