Acupressure Treasures - Feng Chi - Gallbladder 20

Feng Chi - Gallbladder 20
michellegibson / Getty Images

Gallbladder 20 (GB20) is an acupuncture point located at the meeting-place of the base of the skull and top of the neck, just lateral to the tendons of the trapezius muscle. Acupuncture or acupressure at this point can help relieve a number of common ailments, including headache, stiff neck and nasal obstruction associated with allergies or the common cold.

The Location Of Feng Chi (GB20)

Right at the base of the skull, at the top of the back of the neck, in the soft depressions just lateral to the thick tendons of the trapezius muscle, lies Gallbladder 20 -- Feng Chi. This is an “acupressure treasure” that many come upon spontaneously, noticing that it just feels good to massage this spot: an intuition which turns out to be consistent with what we know of the acupuncture meridian system.

Feng Chi = Wind Pool

Feng Chi translates into English as Wind Pool, so-named because the location of the point resembles a small pool within the landscape of the body; and because what are known in Chinese Medicine as “wind pathogens” (the cause, for one, of the common cold) tend to collect here. One thing this means is that it's a really good idea, when it's cold and/or windy outside, to cover this part of your neck -- say with a hat or scarf -- so that wind pathogens don't enter there.

The Helpful Actions Of Feng Chi

Feng Chi is helpful in resolving a number of common ailments of the head and neck, including headache, vertigo, pain or stiffness of neck, blurry vision, red or painful eyes, tinnitus, nasal obstruction, common cold, and rhinorrhea (runny nose, nasal discharge associated with allergies or hay fever or common cold). It’s also very useful for insomnia and tends to have a relaxing and balancing effect upon the nervous system.

In relation to qigong practice, massaging Feng Chi supports a release of the soft palate -- as when saying “ahhh” -- and allows energy to flow into the crystal palace area (aka the upper dantian) in the center of the head. In relation to the Taoist Three Treasures, the upper dantian is associated with Shen: spiritual energy.

Acupressure Technique For Feng Chi - Gallbladder 20

To activate Feng Shi, simply slide the ends of the middle fingers of your hands into the space where the base of your skull meets the top of your neck, right along the centerline (i.e. right on top of the spine). Then, let the two fingers slide away from each other, over the two trapezius tendons (which will feel like a pair of thick ropes beneath your fingers) where they’ll land in the pool of Gallbladder 20. Use a gentle circular motion, with light to moderate pressure, to massage the two GB20 points, continuing for one to three minutes. Repeat as necessary throughout the day.