Any body temperature above the normal range of 36–37°C (98–100°F) is defined as fever. A high body temperature is part of the body’s immune response to fighting the infection and is not usually dangerous. Fever is often accompanied by alternating sweats and chills, and people often feel chilled even as their body temperature climbs.
Most fevers will ease after a while, and there is not much you can do except alleviate the symptoms. Unless the temperature rises to dangerous levels, it’s generally best to avoid taking medication. As you wait for your body to clear the infection, you can reduce your symptoms through natural techniques. Learning how to use the acupressure points for fever at home will provide some much-needed relief.
Does Acupuncture Help With Fever?
If you have a general understanding of acupuncture treatments, you’ll know that acupuncture promotes blood circulation, stimulating the flow of energy through the body. Although this is often associated with increased heat, you can also use acupuncture to relieve fever symptoms. Stimulating certain acupoints may help to reduce congestion in the nose and throat and relieve flu symptoms, while other treatments can relieve the headaches and neck pains often associated with fever.
Acupuncture treatments, particularly those that employ liver or kidney points, may help to clear the infection that is causing the fever. By reducing stress, increasing sleep quality, and bringing the body back into balance, acupuncture helps to bolster the immune system, making you less likely to succumb to infection or fever.
Can You Get A Fever After Acupuncture?
In some cases, symptoms of fever may follow standard acupuncture treatment. Fever after acupuncture may be caused by irritation or reaction at the needling point. Usually, fever is a sign of recovery, evidence that your body is fighting back against the infection or disease. If it is especially uncomfortable or long-lasting, you should consult with your acupuncturist or doctor.
Fever after acupuncture may also be due to the circulation of toxins in the body stirred up by the acupuncture treatment. In this case, you should try to rest as much as possible and drink plenty of water to promote detoxification.
How Can I Reduce My Child’s Fever Naturally?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), fevers are considered a hot form of illness, requiring treatment with herbs appropriate to hot conditions. If the wrong herbs are used, i.e., those applicable to cold, it may end up making your symptoms worse. Consult with a specialist in traditional medicine before selecting herbs or tonics to give to your children.
Acupuncture for young children, known as Shonishin, uses small metal tools to tap or scratch over the acupuncture pathways in place of needles. Though it does not involve piercing the skin, Shonishin treatments can still provide effective relief from fever symptoms in children.
For older children and teenagers, acupuncturists often begin by using only a few needles, slowly increasing the number as the children become more comfortable with the therapy. Some kids grow to enjoy the treatments, some becoming so relaxed that they fall asleep on the table!
Acupressure for fever is an effective replacement for acupuncture therapy, especially in children. One advantage acupressure has over acupuncture for fever is that parents can massage their children at home without having to visit a specialist. For mild fevers, massaging the acupressure points for fever can provide swift relief for you and your child.
Are There Any Acupressure Points For Fever?
A recent study published in 2022 explored the use of acupoints for exogenous fever. Researchers applied Radix et Rhizoma Rhei and Natrii Sulfas plaster at CV-8, and Herba Ephedrae and Radix Bupleuri at GV-14. The disappearance of fever in the application group was 1.82 times higher than that in the non-application group. The rate of disappearance was also faster in the application group than in the non-application group, leading the researchers to conclude that acupoint application is an effective treatment for exogenous fever.
In addition to CV-8 and GV-14, there are many other acupressure points for fever. Here are six of the best acupoints for relieving headaches, sweats, aches, and pains, and other common symptoms of fever.
Acupoint: LU-10 (Other Names: Lung-10/Yu Ji/Fish Border)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), activating this lung meridian point dispels heat from the lungs and eases congestion in the nose and throat. Known as the Yu Ji (“Fish Border”), LU-10 is among the best acupressure points to reduce fever and colds. In clinical trials, acupuncture at LU-10 has also shown promise in relieving acute attacks of bronchial asthma.
This lung meridian point is located on the fleshy part of the palm. You can find it on the radial aspect of the midpoint of the first metacarpal bone, below the base of the thumb. Apply firm pressure while breathing deeply.
Acupoint: GV-14 (Other Names: The Governing Vessel-14/Da Zhui/Great Vertebra)
GV-14, known as the Da Zhui in Chinese, helps to regulate heat and dispel wind from the body, making it an excellent acupressure point for fever. The Da Zhui is used to treat conditions including febrile disease, malaria, night sweats, and swelling of the eyes.
A controlled clinical trial at the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine showed the effectiveness of the Da Zhui acupoint in reducing fever and restoring normal body temperature. The researchers found electroacupuncture at GV-14 to be significantly more effective at fever reduction than the antipyretic drug Antondine, restoring the body to a normal temperature in 75.9% of cases. The researchers concluded that acupuncture at GV-14 had a definite therapeutic effect on high fever.
GV-14 is located on the back, in the depression below the 7th cervical vertebra, also known as the great vertebra. Look for the large knobby bone at the nape of the neck, which is especially prominent when you tilt your head forward. This is an easy acupressure point to locate and a safe point for parents to use at home, making it one of the best acupressure points for fever in toddlers.
Warm the acupoint with a towel or heating pad, then rub with your index and middle fingers.
Acupoint: LI-4 (Other Names: Large Intestine-4/He Gu/Joining Valley)
Stimulating acupoints on the large intestine meridian may help to improve the body’s natural immunity, reducing the risk of infection and subsequent fever. LI-4 is a versatile acupoint, effective for a wide range of conditions, including stiffness and aches in the muscles, headaches, runny nose, and sore throat. It’s one of the best acupressure points for fever and body pain.
The He Gu, as this acupoint is known in Chinese, is located on the hands, between the first and second metacarpal bones. This area is delicate in infants and young children, but LI-4 is among the most useful acupressure points for fever in adults.
Acupoint: LI-1 (Other Names: Large Intestine-1/Shang Yang/Metal Yang)
Another one of the useful acupressure point for fever and cold found on the hand, the Shang Yang is located on the radial aspect index finger, just posterior to the corner of the nail.
Activating the Shang Yang clears heat from the body, reducing symptoms of sore throat and fever. Acupressure at LI-1 helps to calm the spirit and bring balance to the internal organs.
Acupoint: GB-20 (Other Names: Gallbladder-20/Feng Chi/Wind Pool)
GB-20, called the Feng Chi in Chinese, is known to be highly effective in relieving headaches. Stimulation here dispels heat from the head and the face, providing relief from conditions such as dizziness, vertigo, neck and shoulder stiffness, headaches, eye strain, and fever.
A useful acupressure point for fever and headache, GB-20 has also shown promise in treating migraines. In a controlled study, scientists demonstrated that electroacupuncture at the Feng Chi inhibits calcitonin gene-related peptide expression in rats, concluding that acupuncture treatments at GB-20 could relieve migraine headaches by regulating chemicals and reactions in the body.
GB-20 is located where the base of the skull meets the top of the neck, lateral to the tendons of the trapezius muscle. To stimulate this acupoint at home, place your thumbs on the nape of your neck and apply gentle pressure in a circular motion. Increase the pressure gradually to clear the head, expel heat, and calm the spirit.
Acupoint: GB-43 (Other Names: Gallbladder-43/Xia Xi/Clamped Stream)
The last acupoint on our list of acupressure points for fever is GB-43, known as the Xia Xi or “Clamped Stream.” This is an effective point for headaches, dizziness, and chest pain. When combined with the He Gu (LI-4) or Shang Yang (LI-1), it can also be used to treat fever.
One of the few foot acupressure points for fever, this gallbladder meridian point is located between the fourth and fifth toes. Sit with the knees bent, and the waist leaning forward, and rub the Xia Xi with your thumb. To relieve headaches and swelling and clear heat from the body, massage this point twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, for three to five minutes.