Twisted an ankle while hiking/running on a mountain? If the ankle gets swollen and painful after you twist it, most likely you have sprained it. It means that you have stretched and possibly torn the ligaments in your ankle.
It can be awkward if you are hiking on a mountain and still have miles to walk to your car or if you are in the middle of a sport.
You could relieve the pain and improve mobility by applying acupressure. Majority of ankle sprain happen when you make a rapid shifting movement. Often the ankle rolls outward and the foot turns inward. This causes the ligaments on the outside of the ankle to stretch and tear. Less often, the ankle rolls inward and the foot turns outward. This damages the ligaments on the inside of the ankle.
Below I will introduce applying acupressure when the outside of the ankle is sprained. In the ancient Chinese Medicine classical books it says that: he who is good at Acupuncture, treat the left with the right side of the body and treat the right with the left side of the body. When the sickness is at the upper part treat it with the lower part of the body. When the sickness is at the lower part treat it with the upper part of the body. We call it balance Acupuncture. This applies to the sickness in the Luo meridians. When the sprain happens generally the Luo meridians are affected and we could apply the balance technique to it.
Let’s look at the below picture:
When the outer ankle is sprained the pain and swollen usually occur in the below area where I have the red circles around, directly below the outer ankle or in front of the outer ankle. Directly below the outer ankle is where the bladder channel is. In front of the outer ankle is where the Gall Bladder channel is. The formal is the Great Yang meridian and the latter is the Lesser Yang Meridian.
If the swollen and pain is mainly at UB 62, we find the Greater Yang Meridian on the opposite hand. For example if the left foot is sprained we find the right hand Greater Yang Meridian Small Intestine Meridian around the wrist. We can normally find a very tender point around SL 6. Locate it with the palm facing the chest. Your finger will fall into a depression on the radial side of the styloid process of the ulna. Find the most tender point around SL 6. Massage the point while gently rotate your left ankle. It could relieve the pain immediately.
If the swollen and pain is mainly around GB 40, find the right Hand Lesser Yang meridian Triple Burner meridian around the wrist. There is normally a very tender point around SJ 4 Yang Chi. Find the most tender point. Massage this point and gently rotate the left ankle. It could relieve the pain immediately.
If the pain is in between UB 62 and GB 40, find the most tender point between SL 6 and TB 4 and massage this point while rotate the ankle.
What it does is that it activates the energy flowing to the affected area and unblock the blockages.
Once I was in an evening Yoga class, one of the participant sprained his right ankle and couldn’t do any Yoga postures. He was sitting on the Yoga mat the entire class. When the class is finished i went to him and asked if i could offer some help to him. I found the most tender point on his left wrist, massaged it and asked him to rotate his right ankle. Immediately the pain was lessened and he could walk around without limping.
It is a useful technique to have if you are ever stuck with a sprained ankle.
Please note that if it is a serious sprain it is advisable to seek medical help.