Feng Chi: Gallbladder 20 Acupressure Point

Woman massaging neck at her desk

Chad Springer / Getty Images

Feng Chi, also known as 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.

Location

Feng Chi lies 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. 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.

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. It is also called this because “wind pathogens,” as they are called in Chinese medicine, tend to collect here. Wind pathogens are responsible for the common cold, among other ailments, so one thing this means is that it's a really good idea to cover this part of your neck when it's cold and/or windy outside—say with a hat or scarf—so that wind pathogens don't enter there.

Helpful Actions

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 (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

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.