Acupressure for Stress Relief
Yesterday, I gave a workshop to the lovely ladies at the Maroochydore Red Cross Blood Donor Service and it’s prompted me to share some of that information here. The topic of the workshop was a big one: Stress, Anxiety, and how acupressure can help.
What is acupressure?
Acupressure and acupuncture are similar in many ways, yet quite different. Acupressure is simply the technique of applying pressure to traditional acupuncture points. Generally speaking, the effects of acupressure are much milder than those of acupuncture, however it is a wonderful technique that you can do anytime, anywhere (once you know the points).
How to apply acupressure?
- Use your thumb, finger or other blunt tool (like a pen) feels to apply pressure to each point. Pressure can be applied directly, or each point can be massaged in a circular motion – do whatever feels right for you.
- Stimulate each point for as long as feels good for you – most people find 30 second to 2 minutes manageable for each point.
- Inhale deeply, and focus on the point while applying acupressure to yourself. You might like to imagine light or energy surrounding the point.
- For maximum effect, application of acupressure should be strong, but it should not be uncomfortable
Here are two of our favourite point combinations to combat stress and anxiety.
Stress Relief Combination 1: Buddha’s Triangle
This is a gorgeous three-point combination that we use in clinic a lot. Combined, these three points are classically indicated to help ease the breathing, reduce anxiety, improve insomnia and to help ground you.
1 – Peridcardium 6 (Inner Pass)
Location: On the inside of your forearm, between the two major tendons you can see when you make a fist. To find this point, use your other hand to measure three finger-widths from your wrist crease, and the point is here between the two tendons.
Classical indication: frees the chest, calms the spirit and reduces nausea.
2 – Heart 7 (Spirit Gate)
Location: On the inside of your wrist, just on the inside of your pisiform bone on the wrist crease. To find this point, feel along the main wrist crease from the middle toward your little finger. When you find the large tendon about level with that finger, stop – the point is just to the inside of that tendon.
Classical indications: calms the spirit, improves palpitations (heart flutters), calms feelings of fear and anxiety.
3 – Lung 9 (Supreme Abyss)
Location: Level with Heart 7, but on the other side of the wrist. This point is found just to the outside of your radial pulse.
Classical indications: promotes proper lung function, eases breathing, frees the chest.
Stress Relief Combination 2: The Four Gates
This point combination is a really powerful one that really helps to get the energy (Qi) moving around the body. These points are great for pain, headache and general feelings of tension, stress, irritability and overwhelm.
Large Intestine 4
Location: Between the forefinger and thumb, about halfway along the hand bone that connects to your pointer finger. Roll off the bone into the fleshy part between the forefinger and thumb, and dig around for a sore spot (you’ll find it!).
Classical indications: regulated the immune system, regulates the face to help headaches, jaw pain, toothache & sinus pain.
Location: on the top of the foot, in the hollow just below where your first and second toe metatarsals (foot bones) meet. Feel around for a sore spot (again, you’ll find one!)
Classical indications: soothes irritability and anger, improves headache, clears the head and eyes, helps to regulate menstruation.
So there you go! Two point combinations we use a lot in the clinic to help combat stress and anxiety. Enjoy using these points anytime you think or feel like you need them.
About the Author:
Dr. Grace Jones (BHSc.Acu) is the founder and primary practitioner at Acupuncture with Grace. She is a passionate and nationally qualified and registered acupuncturist, with special interests in women’s health, natural fertility, pregnancy, digestive health and emotional wellness. Learn more about Grace here.
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Acupuncture with Grace is an integrative Chinese medicine and acupuncture clinic committed to providing the best outcomes for our patients, and empowering them along their journey to optimal fertility and wellness. Centrally located in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, we have visitors from local suburbs and all over Queensland. Proudly servicing Buddina, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland, Buderim, Kawana, Minyama, Parrearra, Warana, Birtinya, Bokarina, Wurtulla, Little Mountain, Caloundra, Aroona, Bells Creek, Meridian Plains, Palmview, Sippy Downs, Mountain Creek, Kuluin, Kunda Park, Diddillibah, Twin Waters, Pacific Paradise, Mudjimba, Marcoola, Bli Bli, Coolum, Yaroomba, Yandina, Ninderry, Valdora, Peregian Springs, Peregian Beach, Doonan, Noosaville, Noosa, Noosaville, Tewantin, Doonan, and Nambour.