Xena pinch

Xena puts the Pinch on Theodorus, in "Callisto"

Pressure Points is the term used to refer to the points in the body that are sensitive to pain. The most well known pressure point in the Xenaverse is known as "The Pinch" - a lethal "pinch" that Xena commonly uses on her foes to stun and scare them into giving up vital information. The deadly pressure point cuts off the flow of blood to the victim's brain, causing immediate and painful death within 30 seconds to 1 minute. After 10 or so seconds after being put under the Pinch, the victim's nose will start to bleed. Along with the Chakram and her "firebreathing" trick (spewing alchol into a lit torch), the Pinch was widely known as one of Xena's signature moves, though after her redemption, she generally reserved the Pinch for interrogation instead of killing.

The number of people in the known world with knowledge of pressure points was thankfully staggeringly low. Xena was taught the art of pressure points by one of her former mentors, M'lila[1]. The only character who showed the abilty to perform deadly pressure points, besides Xena, was Sinteres,[2] a highly skilled killer. She killed a man with the use of pressure points.[3]

Xena has only ever taught the pinch to two other people - Gabrielle[4] and Akemi[5].

Background InformationEdit


  • In "Acupuncture", it is possible to kill a person via pressurizing particular points, but the points are not located same as the ones Xena pressurized.


  • Xena's popular "I've cut off the flow of blood to your brain" line is likely for dramatic effect, as in reality, stopping blood flow to the brain would render a person unconscious almost immediately. Following the logic of pressure points, it's more plausible that she actually cuts off or slows the flow of blood from the brain, which would result in a sudden sense of intense pressure and pain in the head and could eventually lead to unconsciousness and death due to hemorrhaging. This is further supported by the nosebleeds caused when Xena leaves the "pinch" on someone, as capillaries in the nose would begin to burst from the increased pressure.
  • Manipulating pressure points is an acknowledged method of traditional chinese treatment technique, also known as "Acupuncture".
  • In the productions of ancient chinese flims, pressure points can be seen to:
    • pause a person's movement completely (mostly)
    • mute a person
    • make a person laugh indefinitely
  • While the human body does possess points sensitive to pressure (such as the ulnar nerve, commonly known as the 'funny bone'), there is no way to cut blood flow or nerve impulses by striking one without causing severe permanent damage and such changes could not simply be turned on and off as they are in the show. Most notably, while it is possible to temporarily deaden a nerve or even a limb with a properly-aimed strike, there is no way to "reverse" the effect other than simply waiting for the nerve trauma to pass and the limb to return to normal function, which would take several minutes.

Other usesEdit

Other characters have been seen using pressure points in the Xenaverse, besides Xena:

  • Sinteres used a certain pressure point to explode Prognese' brain by draining the blood from his heart and the rest of his body. That was also the pressure point Xena used to kill him.[6]
  • Sinteres also used a pressure point to Gabrielle to cause pain in her head.
  • Sinteres used one to cause pain to Xena's shoulder and leg.
  • Xena used one to cause pain to Sintere's neck.
  • M'Lila used one to break Xena's leg.[7]
  • On many occasions Xena has used pressure points to ease pain.[8]
  • In "Kindred Spirits" Xena used several pressure points on Joxer include: the "pinch", one which stopped moving, one which stopped breathing and one which stopped his heart beating
  • Xena showed Gabrielle a pressure point that eases sea-sickness.[9]
  • Lao Ma used pressure points to keep her husband in a coma.[10]


  1. XWP: "Destiny"
  2. XWP: "The Royal Couple of Thieves"
  3. XWP: "The Royal Couple of Thieves"
  4. "The Haunting of Amphipolis", "A Friend in Need Part I
  5. XWP: "A Friend in Need Part I"
  6. XWP: "The Royal Couple of Thieves"
  7. XWP: "Destiny"
  8. "Is There a Doctor in the House?", "Orphan of War", "Last of the Centaurs" etc.
  9. XWP: "The Lost Mariner"
  10. XWP: "The Debt II"