Pressure points are points on the body that can be used to manipulate bodily functions. Not very many people know how to use them in general and even less on how to use them offensively in battle. They presumably need the right amount of strength and precision to work effectively.
List of Pressure Points Shown[edit | edit source]
- The Pinch- The Pinch is Xena's most famous and most used pressure point. By rapidly jabbing two spots on the neck (most likely the carotid bodies or the jugular), Xena can cut off the flow of blood to the brain and immobilize a person. The person then dies in about 30 seconds unless she takes it off. Near the end of the 30 seconds, the person is usually seen bleeding from the nose. Xena mainly uses this technique for interrogation.
- It should be noted that putting on The Pinch and taking it off are revealed to be two different techniques (although when Xena uses The Pinch, they seem identical in most cases possibly due to her precision and expertise in using it). In the season 6 episode The Haunting of Amphipolis, Xena taught Gabrielle how to take off The Pinch. However in a later episode (You Are There), she tells her that she is only able to take it off but not put it on. In A Friend In Need, Xena finally teaches Gabrielle how to put it on the same way M'Lila taught her: on herself.
- Numbing- Several pressure points at various points on the body can be used to numb parts of the body to keep someone from feeling pain or to slow them down in a fight.
- Stop Breathing- Xena used a pressure point on Joxer once to keep him from breathing.
- Immobilization- Xena used a pressure point on Gurkhan that kept him from moving or talking. It was shown to be on one side of the neck. This technique could be a generalized variation of the Numbing technique, affecting the entire body instead of a selected body area or limb.
- Stop Heart- There are a few points that can stop a person's heart. One of them was right next to The Pinch point. Another one is shown to be on the chest, which oddly looked more like a purple nurple the one time it was used on Joxer.
- Pain- Pressure points can also be used to simply make a person feel pain. They are seen used in this manner mainly by the villain Sinteres in A Royal Couple of Thieves. One example is to cause severe headaches by applying pressure to the temples.
- Medical- Similar to the way she uses pressure points offensively in battle, Xena also uses the same pressure points medically to clot blood, numb pain, and so on.
- To Cure Seasickness- When Xena and Gabrielle were trapped on the cursed ship of Cecrops the lost mariner, Xena showed Gabrielle a pressure point in her wrist that helps control seasickness. While it seemed to be very effective for curing seasickness, it had the side effect of also numbing the person's taste buds.
- Internal Organ Damage/Instant Death- Pressure points can be used to cause major damage to a person's organs such as their brain or heart. Sinteres was able to kill a man by sending pressure to his arteries, stopping his blood lack and one to his brain through his eyes (possibly via the optic nerve since it is directly in contact with the cranial meninges). Likewise, Xena killed Sinteres by putting pressure to the center of his chest and damaging his heart (possibly by breaking the xiphoid process and allowing it to stab the heart or by simply applying enough pressure to the sternum to crush the heart).
- Stop Pain- Xena used several pressure paints to stop pain. She stopped pain to a man shot by Ilainus in Amphipolis Under Siege by sending pressure to his wound. She also used a pressure point in The Last of the Centaurs to stop Nika's pain during childbirth.
- Control- Some pressure points can be used control a person's movements whether the person is dead or alive. Xena uses this when she did not have a weapon in hand, and controlled an armed man's arms to attack other people. Lao Ma uses this to make public appearances with her near-dead husband and rule in his place.
Users of Pressure Points[edit | edit source]
- Xena: At the start of the series, Xena is a master of pressure points. She was taught to use The Pinch by M'Lila. M'Lila might have taught her other pressure points than just the pinch during the time she was with Xena. It can be assumed that Xena also learned some of her techniques from Lao Ma. During a scene where Lao Ma explains her use of pressure points on her husband, she mentions that Xena too is familiar with pressure points. This alludes to Xena's learning of the pinch and possibly other pressure point techniques from M'Lila just prior to meeting traveling east and meeting Lao Ma. Whether Xena knows more techniques than just The Pinch at this point is unknown. It should be noted that when Lao Ma demonstrates her techniques on her husband (including control of breathing, consciousness, numbing, and even moving of limbs), Xena is clearly amazed by Lao Ma's superior knowledge of pressure points. However, Xena herself is seen using pressure points to cause numbness, control consciousness, etc. in the series. Therefore, she may have learned to use these techniques from Lao Ma. Thus it is unclear whether M'Lila or Lao Ma was the bigger contributor to Xena's knowledge of pressure points.
- Lao Ma: Lao Ma was also shown to be quite skilled with pressure points to the degree that she was able to keep her ailing husband in a comatose state in order to keep up appearances.
- M'Lila: M'Lila is a Gaelic slave girl from Egypt who introduced Xena to pressure points and taught much of her fighting style. M'Lila knew a healer named Nicklio who might have been the one who taught her pressure points.
- Sinteres: Sinteres was a warrior-philosopher who specialized in pressure points. He was said to be able to kill a man with a toothpick and was just as much of a pressure point master as Xena. He demonstrated abilities to paralyze/cause pain to limbs, induce severe headache via pressure to the temples and kill someone by sending pressure to the brain from the eyes via the optic nerves. However, in a duel using only pressure points, Xena was able to best him at his own speciality.
- Gabrielle: Xena taught Gabrielle how to undo The Pinch in The Haunting of Amphipolis in order to bring her back to life after confronting Mesphistopheles in Hell. In You Are There, it was revealed that the lesson was not complete in that Xena only taught her how to "take if off" and not to put it on. However, in A Friend in Need, Xena finally teaches Gabrielle how to put The Pinch on someone.
- Akemi: After evil Xena left Chin, she went east to Japan and met Akemi. She then taught her The Pinch at Akemi's request who uses the technique to kill her father, setting the background story for A Friend In Need.