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How to use acupressure to treat insomnia
by Scott Ferry

Du-20: first find the place where your fontanelles never closed
where the white cord floats upward into the heavens
twirl this hollow into a whirlpool

Large Intestine 4: flatten the muscled pearl just proximal to the web
between your thumb and index finger until you feel each scalene
unravel and drop each shoulder (if you may be pregnant,
don’t use this point)

Pericardium 6: on the yin side of your wrist slide your finger between the two
tendons from the base of your hand two inches towards your elbow burrow
a thumbnail between these roots until your heart purrs silver
and each eye wells a single tear

Ren 17: place your index finger on your breastbone where your nipple line
would fall if gravity did not pull press into your chest with compassion
like joining with the self—a self you would paint for your great grandchildren
a self before the masking before the armor caught tight around each intercostal
let your spirit into the cage / let the cage out of your spirit

Ren 4-6: place your entire hand on the area just below your umbilicus
and hum a still lake know that the bottom of the water connects to a spring
in Angola to the flood-tap of the Columbia to the bioluminescence
of the Mariana Trench

Liver 3: lastly lay an index finger in the depression between the great toe
and the second toe here the qi blinks on all the streetlights in the neighborhood
reaches sparking wires up the thighs through the three burners and back into
your breath

now if you place your palms over your eyes you may map a city
asleep

IMAGE: Sleeping Woman by Oskar Kokoschka (1908).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Even though acupuncture is a trusted form of Chinese Medicine practiced for thousands of years, it is still mysterious as to why it works and how it works. I tried to harness this mystery in this poem, but I also give the reader a real acupressure treatment, which should work to calm the shen (spirit), move the qi, and settle the mind.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Scott Ferry helps our Veterans heal as an RN. In previous lives, he taught high school and practiced acupuncture. His second book, Mr. Rogers kills fruit flies, is now available from Main St. Rag. Follow him at ferrypoetry.com.