Acupoints Heart 7 and Pericardium 7

A note for newcomers: Are you just getting started with acupressure? For helpful tips about acupressure with animals, refer to the links at the end of this article.

Acupressure Points Heart 7 and Pericardium 7

Heart 7 (HT 7) and Pericardium 7 (PC 7) are two of the strongest points on the Heart and Pericardium meridians. Working these Fire points on animals with a Fire Element constitution will help them stay healthy, happy and calm.

HT 7 and PC 7 also have a soothing effect on the emotions of all animals, regardless of constitution. They encourage relaxation and a clear focused mind. In summer these points help with seasonal symptoms such as heat intolerance and seasonal rashes. They also relieve the following symptoms any time of the year:

Fever, pain or inflammation associated with front leg lameness, shoulder or elbow dysplasia in dogs, hoof abscesses or tendon injuries in horses, emotional disturbances especially for animals that tend to be “high strung , nervous or panicky, travel sickness.
 

Instructions for finding HT 7 and PC 7 on your animal

Let’s find HT 7 and PC 7 on your animal. Use the photos and the detailed instructions below to see where these points are located. Once you’ve found the points try stimulating them using acupressure. You’ll find these points at the same location on both sides of the body.

A Note about doing acupressure on more than one point at a time: HT 7 and PC 7 are often stimulated at the same time. The functions of both points compliment one another and they are easy to press at the same time. Feel free to stimulate either point separately or to do them together depending on your animal’s specific needs and preferences.

A Note about the "knee" joint: HT 7 and PC 7 lie on the foreleg near the joint commonly referred to as the "knee". This joint is more properly called the carpal joint or carpus. (Fig. 1: The yellow circle shows the carpus on a horse) The true "knee" is the stifle joint on the hind leg. I will refer to this foreleg joint as the carpus or carpal joint throughout this article.

Finding HT 7 and PC 7 on Horses

(for small animal description see below)

Point Location Description: HT 7 lies on the outside surface of the foreleg near the back of the carpus. It is found above the accessory carpal bone (Fig. 1: the yellow arrows point to the accessory carpal bones on a horse) the small bony bump extending out from the back of the carpal joint. It is only one finger’s width forward from the back line of the foreleg. PC 7 is found on the inside surface of the foreleg at the same height as HT 7 and ever so slightly further forward.

Anatomic description:  HT 7 lies on the caudo-lateral surface of the foreleg immediately proximal to the accessory carpal bone. It lies very close to the caudal line of the leg. PC 7 lies on the caudo-medial surface of the foreleg, immediately proximal to the accessory carpal bone at the height of HT 7. It lies ever so slightly forward to the location of HT 7.

Hands-on description – how to find HT 7 and PC 7 on a horse: First make sure to maintain awareness of your stance while you work so that you are always in a secure position in relation to your horse. Most horses are happy to receive acupressure on these points but for those few that respond strongly, it is important that you are safe.

As with all acupressure on the foreleg, start by stroking with a relaxed flat hand along the outside surface of the foreleg, from the elbow down to the hoof, to test the horse’s receptivity. Repeat this on the inside surface of the foreleg. If the horse accepts your touch, then you can proceed. If not then you need to work on that sensitivity before you begin your acupressure. Refer to our book Basic Acupressure for Horses for detailed acupressure tips.

Once your horse accepts touch, you’ll need to get into position. Stay safe while working by leaning over from the waist or squatting down next to the lower leg but do not kneel. Make sure that you are facing forward, toward the horse’s head. Using the arm that is farther from the horse, keep your hand quietly but firmly over the front of the cannon bone. Now you are safely positioned and can proceed with confidence. (Fig. 2 shows the safety position with the right hand on the cannon bone.)

Now prepare the area for acupressure. Start by using the hand closer to the horse’s body to stroke the back of the carpal joint (commonly called the "knee" ). Curve your palm around the back of the foreleg at a level about 10 inches/25 cm above the carpal joint and very gently squeeze into the leg as you draw your hand down past the joint toward the hoof. Do this 3 to 6 times, slowly, allowing the horse to get used to your touch. This step also gently activates the Heart and Pericardium meridians making your acupressure on these points more effective. Now you are ready to locate the points.

In order to find the points easily, first locate the accessory carpal bone. This is a small bone that sticks out of the back of the carpal joint. View Fig. 1 for clarification. (The points are shown in Figures 3 and 4).

Once you have found this bony bump (the accessory carpal bone) it is easy to find both points. HT 7 lies just above the accessory carpal bone on the outside of the leg. Note in Fig. 4 just how far back it lies, almost on the back edge of the leg. (Fig. 4 shows the points from the back view.) PC 7 lies at the same height as HT 7 on the inside of the leg, ever so slightly forward of HT 7. Feel around the region to find where it feels right for each point. Then place your thumb on HT 7 and your index finger on PC 7. You are in a “pinching position, holding both points between your fingertips. (Fig. 5 shows the acupressure technique) Squeeze in gently, stimulating both points simultaneously. Rest here quietly, allowing the chi to come to balance. Release your pressure slowly when it feels right – usually after 30 to 60 seconds. Refer to our book Basic Acupressure for Horses for detailed acupressure instructions. And don’t forget to refer to the “Notes for Acupressure Practice at the end of this article for additional acupressure tips.

Finding HT 7 and PC 7 on Small Animals

Point Location Description: Heart 7 lies on the outside surface of the foreleg near the back of the carpus, at the bottom of a deep grove above the carpal joint. Pericardium 7 is found on the inside surface of the foreleg at the same height as HT 7 and ever so slightly further forward. (Fig. 6: The yellow arrow points to the groove on a dog. The points are shown as two yellow dots.)

Anatomic description:  HT 7 lies on the caudo-lateral surface of the foreleg immediately proximal to the accessory carpal bone. It lies in the deep grove between the radius and the tendon. PC 7 lies on the caudo-medial surface of the foreleg, immediately proximal to the accessory carpal bone at the height of HT 7, ever so slightly forward of HT 7.

Hands-on description – how to find Heart 7 and Pericardium 7 on a small animal: These points are easiest to find when the animal is lying on the side with legs extended. Begin your work by stroking the entire outside surface of the foreleg with a flat hand. If the animal accepts that then repeat the stroke on the inside surface of the foreleg from the elbow joint down to the paw. As long as your animal accepts touch here, you can proceed. If not then you need to work on that sensitivity before you begin your acupressure. Refer to our book Basic Acupressure for Horses for detailed acupressure tips that work for all animals.

Now prepare the area for acupressure. Start by curving your palm around the back of the foreleg above the carpus and very gently squeezing into the leg as you draw your hand down past the joint toward the paw. Do this 3 to 6 times, slowly, allowing the animal to get used to your touch. This step also gently activates the Heart and Pericardium meridians making your acupressure more effective.

In order to find the points easily, locate the deep groove just above the carpal joint on the outside of the leg. This groove is formed by the radius bone and the tendon at the back of the leg. View the yellow arrow shown in Fig. 6 for clarification.

Once you have found this groove, it is easy to find both points. HT 7 lies on the outside surface of the leg in the bottom of the groove, behind the radius bone, and above the accessory carpal bone. PC 7 lies at the same height on the inside surface of the leg, ever so slightly forward of HT 7. Feel around the region to find where it feels right for each point. Then place your thumb on HT 7 and your index finger on PC 7. You are in a “pinching position, holding both points between your fingertips. (Fig. 7 shows the acupressure technique.) Squeeze in gently, stimulating both points simultaneously. Rest here quietly, allowing the chi to come to balance. Release your pressure slowly when it feels right – usually after 30 to 60 seconds. Refer to our book Basic Acupressure for Horses for detailed acupressure instructions. And don’t forget to refer to the “Notes for Acupressure Practice at the end of this article for additional acupressure tips.
   

Notes for Acupressure Practice:

Tip one: Monitor your emotional state when working on the Fire meridians
Working on the Fire meridians [Heart (H), Pericardium (PC), Triple Heater (TH) and Small Intestine (SI)] often increases your animal’s sensitivity to your emotional state. This means you’ll need to be calm, grounded and centered before you approach your animal. And don’t forget to breathe slowly and deeply while you work! Both you and your animal will benefit.

If your animal is under great stress or in crisis, consider applying a bit of Rescue Remedy on the points to help calm the animal down. Doing so will make your acupressure session more effective. Work slowly and as deeply as the animal will easily allow. When your animal is under this level of stress make sure to work frequently on these points throughout the day.

Tip two: Try this massage technique in conjunction with point stimulation
Use this technique at the beginning of your session using HT 7 and PC 7. This move opens up and activates the points and their meridians. For many animals, especially those with a Fire Element constitution, it can become a favorite.

How to do it: Before starting, make sure you understand the information described in the Hands-on Descriptions above. Begin by stroking the back of the carpus with a flat hand wrapped around the points and stroking toward the hoof or paw. Repeat 3 to 6 times. Then, using the “pinching position described above, place your thumb and forefinger on HT 7 and PC 7 respectively to orient yourself. Now move your hand up about 1 to 3 inches/ 2 to 6 cm toward the animal’s elbow. Then apply gentle pressure in this new position by squeezing in with your thumb and forefinger as if you were doing acupressure. Then, maintaining your pressure, slide your fingers down over and past the points, over the accessory carpal bone, to just below the carpus. Release your pressure and repeat 3 to 6 times. Follow this technique with direct pressure on the points as described in the hands-on text above. Then close your session by repeating the sliding technique described above. Countless animals can attest to the effectiveness of this technique.

Helpful Links:

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