G-Jo for Summertime First Aid

Specific pressure points in Chinese G-Jo are well suited for relieving pain from bug bits, sunburn, and twisted ankles.

| May/June 1981

There are four things that can turn a wonderful hike into an absolutely miserable experience: sunburn, bug bites, poison ivy, and twisted ankles. At home, such ills might seem like small inconveniences, but when one is dealing with backpacks, bedrolls, and the thought that there are long miles to go before the itch or pain is relieved, even minor troubles can become major psychophysical health problems to all but the heartiest of trekkers.

Fortunately, there's a drugless, immediately effective method of relieving those problems, as well as about 250 other ailments and injuries we're likely to encounter during our lives. It's called G-Jo.

A Brief Overview

G-Jo (which means "first aid" in Chinese, but is actually much more than just an interesting first aid method) has two simple operating rules: Find the right acupressure points to relieve your symptom(s), and stimulate that point properly.

Of course, in order to find the correct spot, you'll first need to know which of the 116 G-Jo points is best for your problem, and then you'll have to determine its precise location. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Each G-Jo point is detailed in The Natural Healer's Acupressure Handbook: G-Jo Fingertip Technique, available at many bookstores or libraries] Generally, there are several of the pinhead-sized areas that—when stimulated—will relieve a symptom, and it's not unusual to have as many as 15 or 20 to choose from ... one or two of which will be profoundly effective.

To Hit the Spot

In order to locate a specific pressure point—for example, G-Jo No. 2, an excellent choice for relieving the discomforts of poison ivy, sunburn, and other minor burns or skin irritations—you'll need to use the tip, not the pad or fleshy part, of your thumb or finger. Begin by probing as deeply as you can in the appropriate area—in the case of G-Jo No. 2, on the outside of the arm at the end of the crease found at the crook of the elbow. First, though, straighten your arm and relax it, since it's much more difficult to locate a point if the area's muscles are tense. Now, with the tip of the thumb—using your left digit if you're probing your right arm and vice versa—poke around deeply until you discover a very tender "ouch" spot.

A G-Jo point will, when pressed, produce a unique feeling somewhat akin to the throb of a pinched nerve or toothache. Probing an area even as little as 1/4 to 1/2 inch away will cause a vastly different sensation. In addition, a good point will often make you break out in an immediate flush of perspiration—or create a sudden sense of relaxation or feeling of warmth—when it's deeply stimulated.

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