7 Pressure Points To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
Acupressure is an ancient Chinese therapy to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and improve mood. It could be considered as a home remedy and can be incorporated in daily routine to maintain peace of mind. Some people confuse acupressure with acupuncture but to clear the doubt, Dr. Stefani Liberio who is a famous acupuncturist from New York explains,
“Acupressure is acupuncture without needles. There are certain stops along ‘highways’ where the energy accumulates and can be more easily accessed. These are acupressure or acupuncture points.”
She has also made the point that acupuncture could be practiced once or twice a day but it needs to be done softly. Since we are not talking about deep tissue massage here, you need to be gentle with yourself when pressing pressure points to relieve stress and anxiety. However, there is no prescribed limit on how many times you can stimulate these points but experts say that using it every day can reduce the chances of complex treatment in the future.
Relation Between Acupressure And Anxiety
Studies published in ‘Journal of PeriAnesthesia’ and ‘Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies’ reported that pressure points between the eyebrows along with others proved to help people before they went for abdominal surgeries and cesarean sections. Deep and firm pressure can be applied as much as necessary to relieve stress that one experiences within a day and a considerable change could be noticed in a matter of a few days.
What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety Which Reduces With Acupressure Points?
Before we find out the best acupressure points for stress and anxiety, it is imperative to aware yourself with the symptoms of anxiety. These include:
- Panic and constant worry
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Fatigue and irritability
- Headaches, nausea, and digestive problems
- Muscle tension
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping
However, acupressure is considered as a home alternative to fight stress and anxiety, one should always ask for professional help if the symptoms are elevated or can’t be controlled by pressing acupressure points alone.
Pressure Points For Reducing Stress & Anxiety
1. Hall Of Impression Point (Yintang)
Located: Between the eyebrows or midline of the face
Relax yourself and sit in a comfortable position anywhere you like. Realize the pressure point by touching the finger in between your eyebrows with index finger or thumb. Now take deep breaths and count 1 to 5 while pressing the point and gently move it in circular motion. Release your breath on the count of 5. Repeat the process for 5 to 10 minutes and you will feel relaxed.
2. Heavenly Gate Point (Shen Men)
Located: The hollow at upper shell of ear
This acupressure point helps in relieving stress and comfortable sleep. Locate the point by running your index finger or using a mirror. Apply the pressure gently and press it for 2-3 minutes.
3. Shoulder WellPoint (GB-21 or Jian Jing)
CAUTION: NOT TO BE TRIED DURING PREGNANCY
Located: Back shoulder muscle (Ridge between neck and shoulder)
Find the acupressure point to relieve stress by running your index or middle finger along with your thumb. Pinch your muscles a bit to generate energy and start applying gentle pressure for 3-5 minutes. It helps in not only relieving anxiety and body stress but also headache and tension in shoulder muscles.
4. Sun/Supreme Yang (Tai Yang)
Located: At the temple (Midpoint of extremes of eyebrows and outer canthus of eye)
The pressure point is connected to the brains with great respect and hence helps with headaches, stress and even vision problems. It is a vital spot and must be pressurized gently. Sit or lie down and let your body come in a relaxed position. Now locate the point with your index finger and keep circling it for 1-2 minutes. While doing so, keep your breath calm and you will feel the stress going away.
5. Union Valley Point (Joining Valley)
CAUTION: NOT TO BE TRIED DURING PREGNANCY
Located: Web between index finger and thumb
This acupressure point on hand for stress is also good to relieve neck pain and headache. Relax your hands and start applying pressure with the thumb and index finger of the other hand. Take slow and deep breaths and keep applying the pressure for 2-4 minutes. Notice the change taking place slowly.
6. Great Surge Point (LV 3 Tai Chong)
Located: A little lower than point connecting big toe and second small toe finger
The pressure point on feet lies in the hollow of the intersection and can be massaged for a few seconds with deep and firm pressure. It also helps in dealing with menstrual cramps and sleeplessness.
7. Kidney 1 (Midline In The Sole Of Foot)
Located: Arch of the foot
This is the only acupressure point for stress relief in the sole of the foot. For this, sit on a chair, cross over your foot over the opposite knee, press the acupressure point with your thumb and take deep breaths while doing so. Once done, apply the process on the next foot.
Acupressure & Precautions
Acupressure is a safe method to release anxiety, stress and tension, generally speaking. However one must consult a doctor if facing arthritis, cancer or cardiovascular diseases and expecting a baby. If you wish to take the acupressure from a massage therapist, make sure that they are certified and aware of the medical conditions.
Some Relavant Faqs About Acupressure Technique?
1. What is The Science Behind Acupressure?
The roots of acupressure are connected to Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) which describes special points in the body to target the energy flow. It is believed that these points help in keeping the body at a balance. Research explains that particular pressure points are extensively researched and they provide instant relief in case of anxiety, stress, nausea, and other illnesses.
2. Do Acupressure Points Really Work?
In short, YES. If they are applied at the right points regularly, it lessens the chances of severity in the future. However, it is not the replacement of other medical techniques that provide instant relief, acupressure benefits to unlock the energy stuck in the body.
3. Which is The Best Book on Acupressure?
‘Acupressure Ponts Guide‘ is one of the best books on acupressure to promote natural healing for 175 illnesses and injuries to different parts of the body. This book by Curtis Johnson is available online as well as can be purchased.
4. Is Acupressure or Acupuncture The Better Choice?
Acupuncture is a level higher than acupressure. If you are working on pressure points by yourself, it is safe to go with acupressure points. However, if you are getting treated for chronic illnesses, acupuncture is a better choice.
The best and safest acupressure point to release stress is Hall of Impression point and is safe to perform anyway. We are sure you will try these pressure points and keep yourself calm in stressed situations. If you feel like sharing other pressure points that you have used and experienced relief, don’t forget to mention them in the comments section below.
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