Acupressure for stress and anxiety
In this article I offer a practical guide for exploring acupressure to help alleviate stress and anxiety. Acupressure is very similar to acupuncture. Both use the acupuncture point which is located along a meridian and by activating these points a message is sent to the body. With acupressure, we are applying firm pressure to the acupuncture point, instead of using a needle. The difference is that we are not stimulating the point for 20mins, and acupressure has a milder effect on the body compared to acupuncture.
I like acupressure as it is simple, effective and easy to be perform. It is very easy to perform on yourself – all you need is your thumbs, fingers or a ball point pen. Once you know where the points are then you have your own portable healing system!
How to apply acupressure
- Use your thumb, finger or other blunt tool (like a pen) to apply pressure to each point. Pressure can be applied firmly and 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.
Acupressure combinations for stress and anxiety
Here are a few of my favourite acupressure point combinations to combat stress and anxiety. There is also a video link below to guide you through.
Combination 1 – Stress Relief
In the point combination I use head points – DU24, Yintang and Taiyang. To balance this out I use Kidney 1. This is the source point of the kidney. The kidney point grounds and balances our energy.
Where? DU24 is on the midline, at the junction of the forehead and the hairline. Directly between your eyebrows in the indentation where the bridge of the nose meets the centre of the forehead.
What? This point is used to calm the mind and is useful for anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia, vertigo, depression and frontal headaches.
Where? Yintang is located in the centre of your eyebrows.
What? This point is an excellent point to assist with calming the mind down from too much thinking. I use this point to assist with anxiety, stress, insomnia, frontal headaches, sinus pain/heaviness and nasal congestion.
Where? Taiyang is located by finding the end of the eyebrow and the end of our eye. This point is then located about a finger width away from the outer canthus of the eye and is found in the depression. It feels like a large dip.
What? This point is used to assist with headaches, dizziness, and insomnia. I find that it is also useful for temporal headaches.
Combination 2 – Buddha’s Triangle
The buddha’s triangle is composed of three acupuncture points. Together these points assist with anxiety, depression, sadness, repressed emotions, stress and insomnia. They assist to rebalance and ground our body and give our body a much needed hug. You can use these for your meditation practice too as they help to calm the mind.
Where? Heart 7 is located on the ulnar side (little finger) of the wrist, along the first crease on the inner wrist. 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.
What? This point is used to assist and aid with calming the spirit, improves palpitations (heart flutters) and calms feelings of fear and anxiety.
Where? Lung 9 is level with Heart 7, but on the other side of the wrist. This point is found just to the outside of your radial pulse.
What? This point is the source point of the lung. As a source point of the lung it ensures that the lung organs functions correctly. I use it to move blockages in the lung, clear phlegm, assist with breathing issues, aid with asthmatic conditions and work on the emotions of the lung organ. It is an excellent point to aid with depression, grief, sadness and feeling blue as well as heaviness within the chest.
Where? Pericardium 6 is located directly in the centre of the mid wrist and is located by placing 3 fingers on the 1st crease of the inner wrist. Once you have done this, you will feel your finger falls on 2 tendons. PC 6 is located between the 2 tendons.
What? PC 6 opens the chest, calms the spirit and protects the heart. I find that PC 6 is a great point to assist with anxiety, depression, stress and repressed emotions.
A video showing self-guided acupressure
I have put together this video so you can see how the acupressure is applied.