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How to Quickly Boost Mental Alertness and Energy with Acupressure

One of the first points that I learned about during my education in contemporary medical acupuncture was GV-26, also known as Governing Vessel 26.

GV-26 is also called Shui Gou, and is traditionally used as a first-aid revival point due to its effectiveness in restoring consciousness and mental alertness after a person has fainted or become extremely weak.

I regularly recommend GV-26 as a point that people can apply pressure to for about a minute at a time to increase mental alertness and physical energy. Pressure can be applied with the tip of a finger, or for increased effectiveness, with the tip of a fingernail.

I have found that self applied pressure to GV-26 is particularly useful for drowsy drivers, as it tends to provide an almost immediate boost of alertness that can be life-saving. GV-26 can also promote mental clarity and focus, useful for when a project is at hand and the brain feels a bit sluggish.

GV-26 is located between your upper lip and nose, about one-third of the way down from the bottom of your nose. If you have a copy of Acupressure's Potent Points: a Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments, you can view a picture of GV-26 on page 94.


Beyond promoting mental alertness, I have consistently found that application of pressure or an acupuncture needle to GV-26 can accelerate healing and restoration of range of motion after a sprain/strain of the back.

Stimulation of GV-26 by finger or needle can produce powerful effects because this point allows access to two important cranial nerves: the trigeminal and facial nerves. Both of these nerves carry signals back to the brain stem in areas that are ripe with autonomic nervous system activity.

For those with knowledge of human anatomy:

GV-26 provides access to muscular branches of the right and left buccal branches of cranial nerve VII, and superior labial branches of the infraorbital nerve, which is a branch of the middle division of cranial nerve V. GV-26 also provides access to branches of superior labial arteries and tributaries of companion veins.

If you find acupressure to be helpful to your health, I recommend that you get a copy of Acupressure's Potent Points: a Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments to have as a reference book.

Another book that provides plenty of useful guidance on how to use pressure (trigger point therapy) to self-treat a number of common physical ailments is:

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief, Second Edition

Please consider sharing this tip on using GV-26 with those who drive daily and may need a boost in alertness here and there.

One related resource, designed for students and people who read, write, crunch numbers, program, or do some other work for a living that requires good mental focus is the following holistic audio CD:

Inner Focus: For Improved Focus, Concentration, and Mental Clarity


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I never knew about the "alertness" factor with this acupressure point, but I have used it for years for dizziness. It works very well. Just press the point until the dizziness subsides. - It brings the world back together, as it should be.