Discover 2 ways to use the Chinese Reflexology Lung point to boosts your body’s defenses against respiratory viruses.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit the world in spring of 2020, my family like many others was impacted by the stress and uncertainty. We live in Northern California and our community was the first in the entire country to be ordered to shelter in place. It took me several weeks to adjust to the new “normal.”
Once things settled down, I took some time to assess what would be the best information to share with my readers. In the spring, I do an annual free course giveaway where I teach a full course and make it available to view for free.
This year, it was a no brainer to teach about Strong Lung Qi & Stress Relief. What I usually do after the annual course giveaway is teach my six-week Sole Fundamentals program for people who want to learn more in depth about how to use Chinese Reflexology for health and vitality.
However, with COVID shutting schools down, I didn’t have the bandwidth to teach a 6-week course as my son has been home all day since March. If you’re a parent, you know that “working from home” with a kid in the house is not the easiest thing to do!
A plethora of plush hamsters would visit my workspace. One of them named Mozzarella was particularly fond of cheese. Puffball, the big hamster, was always hungry and would sit in front of my laptop and stare at me like my cat does about an hour before dinner.
Every couple of hours, there was also a show and tell of random Lego creations.
I wouldn’t trade a moment of it, so I knew I had to come up with a different way to work.
I pondered what I could do instead of teaching a six-week course, and put the question out to the Universe. The answer I received was to create the Sole Circle membership site.
The Sole Circle is a place to nurture self-care. Students learn Chinese Reflexology at their own pace with ongoing support and encouragement from me.
Initially, it required a bit of time and effort to start up the membership site, especially when surrounded by cheese-loving hamster pals. But now that the Sole Circle has been up and running for a couple of months, things are starting to settle into a rhythm. As a result, I now have more time and space to write articles and create content to share with you.
After teaching Strong Lung Qi and Stress Relief, I was hoping things would settle down with COVID, and I’d be moving on to new topics. But since coronavirus numbers shot up in June and July, and we’re heading into the end of summer (when the seasons change, the weather can pull the body out of balance and weaken its natural defenses), this is the ideal time to share how to use the Lung Chinese Reflexology point to help out during COVID times.
About the Lungs – A Chinese Medicine Perspective
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the Lungs are considered to be a delicate organ. What that means is that they’re easily affected by external influences—things outside of the body. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, this would include germs, viruses, pollen, pollution, and even the weather.
It’s important to support the Lungs because they’re delicate. The Lungs also disperse wei qi. This is a “defensive qi” (life force energy) that’s dispersed by the Lungs to the surface of the body to the area between the muscles and skin. Think of wei qi like a force field that protects the body from external influences that can cause disease.
Massaging the Chinese Reflexology Lung point sends healing qi to the Lungs and its associated energy meridian. This then helps to strengthen and balance the Lungs. Basically, you’re sending life force energy to support the Lungs, both the physical organ and the associated Lung qi.
Lung qi is the energy that moves air through the physical organ and it also helps the Lungs disperse wei qi to create the “force field” that acts as a barrier to protect the body from external influences.
How to Locate the Lung Reflexology Point
Now let’s go over how to locate the Chinese Reflexology point for the Lungs. This “point” is actually a rectangular area located on the ball of the foot below the three middle toes.
The area on the left foot is for the left lung and the area on the right foot is for the right lung.
The upper portion of the rectangle correlates to the bronchial tubes that lead into the lungs, and the lower portion of the Lung reflexology point corresponds to the lower portion of the lungs containing the alveoli, which are tiny air sacs where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged.
Under the big toe, you’ll notice a fleshy mound on the ball of the foot. You want to exclude this area from the Lung point. Similarly, you want to exclude the fleshy part of the sole under the pinky toe.
Be sure to include the rest of the ball of the foot that is located below the three middle toes.
Massage Technique for the Lung Point
To massage the Lung point, wrap the fingers of both hands around the foot to provide support. Then use both of your thumbs to press and massage the Lung area of your foot. Press in with the thumb tips and massage in small circles as you make your way across and down the point. Alternately, you can press and massage up and down.
Please be mindful not to irritate the skin on your feet. Do not over-vigorously massage the points or use excessively strong pressure.
If you feel any friction while you’re massaging, use a moisturizer or massage oil to reduce the friction because you don’t want to irritate the skin on the feet or on your hands.
So for right now, simply try this massage technique for about 3 to 5 seconds per foot, just to get a feel for it.
Take a Balanced Approach
Before I get into how to use the Lung point, including recommendations for how long to massage the point and how often to massage it, it’s time for a quick personality test.
Are you a Type A personality who has a tendency to overdo things? Do you tend to dive hardcore into new things?
If you’re debating whether you fit this category, then the answer is YES! And here’s one more litmus test: did the following thought cross your mind?
“Since this reflexology point is beneficial for the Lungs, massaging more must be better.”
I’m here to tell you that more is NOT more. It is possible to get too much reflexology, and you can over-massage your feet, which is counterproductive to healing.
In order to restore balance and harmony in your body, you need to take a balanced and harmonious approach.
So please follow the instructions in this article and note that the times and instructions are for using your hands to massage your feet, not any external tools. I do teach how to use a reflexology stick in Sole Mastery, my six-month in-depth program. And I actually recommend that Type A personalities start with my introductory Sole Fundamentals program because that program breaks you out of the habit of pushing yourself too hard, and then you’re ready to learn how to safely and effectively use a reflexology stick.
2 Ways to Use the Lung Chinese Reflexology Point During COVID Times
There’s one more thing to mention before we get into how to use the Lung Chinese Reflexology point during COVID times.
The information in this article and on my website is not medical advice, nor is it intended to replace proper medical advice or treatment. If you are feeling unwell or suspect you have COVID-19, go see a doctor.
Side note: I gotta admit my brain couldn’t come up with a better way to describe this time we’re living in. “COVID times” sounds like a merry jolly party if you didn’t know what COVID was, and parties go against physical distancing requirements.
By the way, most people don’t realize I have a really dry sense of humor. I just deliver those zingers with a straight face. Just don’t spray aerosols when you laugh out loud.
Massaging the Chinese Reflexology Lung point helps you:
- Get a quick and temporary boost to your wei qi (defensive qi dispersed by the Lungs)
- Strengthen and balance your Lung qi over time, which helps the Lungs disperse wei qi
1. Quick and Temporary Boost to Wei Qi (Defensive Qi)
If you need to go to the store or be in a place where there are a lot of people around, you may want a quick and temporary boost to your wei qi. Massaging the Lung reflexology point sends qi and blood to the Lungs, which helps to boost Lung qi, and this supports the Lungs in dispersing the wei qi to the outer surface of the body. Remember wei qi is the defensive qi that creates a force field to protect the body against what Chinese Medicine considers to be external pathogens.
So what I do is after I return home from grocery shopping and unpack everything, I massage the Lung reflexology points on my feet.
Here’s what I recommend to temporarily boost your Lung and wei qi:
- Massage the Lung point for 60 seconds per foot when you get home
Please note that you should not massage this point every day. I would recommend massaging the Lung reflexology point for a maximum of twice a week for a maximum of 60 seconds per foot. Do this when you feel it would be most beneficial to boost Lung and wei qi.
If you massage a reflexology point on your foot too often or too vigorously, this will cause irritation to the skin, which is not conducive to healing. In addition, even if you might not notice any obvious skin irritation, over the long run, too much massage will cause calluses to form on the feet. You won’t notice the calluses forming day-to-day, but they will start building up. Then it’s more difficult to stimulate the Lung reflexology point because calluses have formed over it.
Another thing to note is that any irritation on the foot can actually transfer to the body. For example, if somebody wears shoes that pinch their toes for prolonged periods, this can lead to energy constrictions in the head. That’s because the reflexology points on the toes correlate to the head, face and neck. Irritating the foot can lead to energy disruptions in the corresponding area of the body.
There’s no point (bad pun unintended) to massage your points excessively because there’s a limit to how much you can boost your Lung and wei qi.
Think of it like being short-staffed at an electric vehicle factory. Let’s say the paint shop doesn’t have enough workers and there’s a bottleneck of cars waiting to be painted. The factory manager can pull some workers from the assembly line to fill in at the paint shop.
But doing this on a regular basis is disruptive. It’s okay to do it if there’s a temporary need for more workers once in a while, but if there’s an ongoing staffing issue, then you can’t keep pulling workers from other parts of the factory to work in the paint shop.
It’s similar for the Lung point. When you’re massaging this Chinese Reflexology point, you’re directing qi and blood from somewhere else in your body to the Lungs. If the Lungs are weak overall, there’s a limit to the benefit you get from massaging this point because you’re not addressing the underlying weakness in the Lungs and the rest of the body.
You’ve got to address the root problem, and I’ll talk more about this in the section of this article entitled, “Why Holistic Is Better.”
2. General Maintenance to Strengthen and Balance Lung Qi
Now, what if you’re exposed to lots of people every day, like say for work? You want the temporary boost to your Lung and wei qi, but I just told you that you shouldn’t massage the Lung point every day. In this case, focus on building up and strengthening your Lung qi over time.
Massaging the Lung reflexology point consistently over time helps strengthen and balance the Lung qi. Going back to our factory analogy, this is similar to hiring a few extra workers for the paint shop so that there’s a reasonably competent crew painting the electric vehicles.
Here’s what I recommend to strengthen and balance your Lung qi:
- Massage the Lung point for 30 to 60 seconds per foot twice a week
As mentioned above, do not massage this point every day. Do not massage the Lung reflexology point for more than 60 seconds on each foot or more than twice a week.
What’s more important is that you massage regularly and consistently over a period of time. I’m talking months here, because consistent massage is really the best way to get the most benefit from practicing Chinese Reflexology.
Your body needs the physical passage of time to heal and get stronger.
So if you work five days a week with exposure to a lot of people, I would recommend massaging the Lung point for 60 seconds twice a week, but space it out over the five days you’re working. E.g. Massage on Tuesday and Thursday. Or if you’re having a day where you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, do the 60-second massage on that day, and wait a day or two before massaging your Lung point again.
Why Holistic Is Better
It’s time to revisit the EV (electric vehicle) factory analogy. So let’s say the staffing issue at the paint shop has been resolved. A dozen workers were required, and the company now has 12 competent people working in the paint shop. Everything is good, right?
Hold on, not yet! Why not?
Only looking at what’s going on in the paint shop is similar to the typical Western approach to health. Okay, now I’m stacking an analogy on top of an analogy. But, I’ve got a point to make. Oooh, the double analogy stack + pun!
Western medicine tends to look at health challenges in isolation, so the focus is on where the problem appears in the body. If there’s something going on in the lungs, the focus is on the lungs. If a person has a problem with their gums, they see a periodontist. If one’s wrist is sore, they get physiotherapy for the wrist.
Bringing it back to the EV factory, if there’s a staffing problem in the paint shop, the Western medical approach would be to look at what’s going on in the paint shop.
But what if there’s a bigger issue with management? Or the layout of the factory? Or the manufacturing process is inefficient?
If you only look at the paint shop and focus on fixing things in the paint shop, the factory is still going to come to a grinding halt if there’s a supply chain issue. For example, they can’t get enough batteries for the electric vehicles.
So going back to the double analogy, which I think I’m about to turn into a triple analogy…
What if there are other things going on in the body that are impacting the Lungs?
The Chinese Medicine perspective doesn’t look at organs in isolation. It looks at the body holistically because all of the organs and energy meridians are interconnected, and can affect each other.
In Chinese Medicine, you might look at a person’s digestion if they had a respiratory issue. You would definitely look at a person’s Spleen and Stomach if they had a problem with bleeding gums. If their wrist was sore, you might look at their Liver. The Chinese Medicine approach is holistic. Look at the whole factory, and everything that affects the factory. You can’t maintain strong Lungs if other organs and energy meridians in the body are weak.
So there’s a lot more to strengthening the Lungs than just massaging the Lung point. As it would take an entire book to explain the how and why—and even that would only be scratching the surface—the key takeaway is that for Lung health, it’s better to take a holistic approach, But it’s better to get started with some reflexology because that’s better than no reflexology.
There’s a limit to what I’m able to share on my blog because of the one-way direction of information and the limitation of words and pictures. Plus it takes quite a bit of time to write an article amongst a coterie of hamsters. I just did a word count check, and I’m already at close to 3,000 words.
As a result, I take the approach of asking myself, what’s the best information I can share within the confines of the medium?
The answer for this article was to share two ways to use the Lung point. I always say that some reflexology is better than no reflexology.
But massaging more points and understanding why you’re massaging the points is even better. I bake Chinese Medicine theory into the reflexology routines I recommend, but I do it so seamlessly that most people don’t realize how much thought I put into the recommendations.
There’s a lot of Traditional Chinese Medicine theory behind which reflexology points I recommend, how often you should massage them, and the order to learn and practice them.
With Chinese Reflexology, there is one scenario where more is more…
The more points you massage, the more powerful it is because when it comes to Chinese Reflexology, 1 + 1 = 3. The reflexology points work synergistically together to support organs that work synergistically together.
Once you start massaging your Lung point on a regular basis, you begin the process of building up your body. I hope you’ll be interested in learning more points, but if not, the Lung point is most definitely the best point I can share with you during these times.
Stay Healthy and Strong!
Ways to Learn More:
If you’d like learn more ways to support your Lungs, check out my Strong Lung Qi and Stress Relief course. In this course, you’ll learn what affects the Lungs from a Chinese Medicine perspective. You’ll also learn an additional way to use the Lung point, more about the interrelationship between the organs and energy meridians, points for stress relief, and handy points you can discreetly massage in public when you can’t openly rub your feet.
I also recommend the Self Study Guide on Cold Recovery and Prevention. This guide (plus tutorial video) covers points to boost the body’s qi, especially if you feel like you’re on the verge of catching a respiratory bug.
Since 1 + 1 = 3, I created a special Respiratory Health Bundle where you SAVE 35% on both courses!