By Michael A. Sassack, L.Ac.
I have very narrow ear canals (weird, right?). As a result, being under water often results in my ears being plugged up and the ensuing frustration. Lucky for me, however, I have learned a fancy trick or two in my point location studies. There is a point called San Jiao 17, which is located directly behind the ear lobe where the mandible (jaw bone) connects to the skull. Applying pressure on said point elicits a dull, achy feeling, and can relieve swimmer’s ear.
Recently I was with my family in Wisconsin swimming in Lake Arrowhead. As usual, I left my head submerged for too long, which left my right ear feeling all plugged up. It wasn’t until the following day that it started aching and throbbing. I used San Jiao 17 about five times for 30-45 seconds each with positive results. I could actually feel my ear physically draining after several applications.
Non-invasive acupressure can occasionally be very effective for many symptoms. Next time you experience something like this, know that it is not necessary to go rifling through the medicine cabinet right away. Rather, by using a little knowledge of acupressure, you can avoid the drugs altogether! Best of all, you don’t need a license to practice self-acupressure. Try it out for yourself – I’d wager you’ll be glad you did.
Michael A. Sassack is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist serving the northwest suburbs of Chicago.