Sciatica is pain due to irritation and/or impingement of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve (shown in blue on the figure) passes through the buttocks and down the leg.
The location of certain meridians in Chinese medicine follow the pathway of the sciatic nerve. Massage to these meridians and acupoints can help ease sciatic pain.
Meridians are pathways for the flow of energy, called Qi (“chee”).
Meridians cover the entire body. If the flow of energy (Qi) is blocked for a long period of time in a meridian, we can experience pain. The pain from blocked energy can range from mild to severe. Massage for sciatica involves massaging the meridians that mirror the location of the sciatic nerve and/or the areas of referred pain from sciatica.
Meridians for sciatica
The Bladder meridian and Gallbladder meridian can be used to relieve sciatica. These meridians are located in the same area as the sciatic nerve and the main pain referral areas of sciatica. See the pictures below:
Acupressure points for sciatica
Acupressure points, also known as “acupoints,” or “points,” are specific locations on the meridians that are used to affect the flow of energy. By massaging these acupoints, we can get the energy flowing freely again. When the energy flows, the pain dissipates. Massage acupressure points to relieve sciatica.
Acupoints are named according to the meridian they are located on. For instance “GB 30” refers to the acupoint Gallbladder 30. Acupressure points for sciatica are shown below:
How to massage acupoints
Massage these four points to relieve the pain associated with sciatica.
Apply gentle, circular pressure to these points. Never use so much pressure that you cause contraction or pain in the area. The right amount of pressure “feels just right.” You will know that you have the correct of amount of pressure when you can feel a sensation at the point. Just keep breathing while a sense of relaxation builds. Practice and experiment with these points. With time, you will get it just right, the energy will flow, and the pain can subside.