Acupressure is the process of manipulating the body by the use of pressure points to relieve symptoms such as pain, headaches, stomach problems, etc. These conditions are common problems and acupressure can be an alternative to traditional medicine. In Chinese medicine acupressure is commonly used like acupuncture, it is known to stimulate key points on your body to release tension, promote healing, and give life force energy known as “Chi”.
Unlike acupuncture, acupressure doesn’t use needles and relies on pressure of fingers, palms, thumbs and sometimes feet. This procedure to some extent can be self administered.
Some of the common conditions that acupressure is used to treat are stress and anxiety. You don’t necessarily have to use all the points listed below but stimulating one or two may provide relief from stress.
1. Three Miles is located on the outside of your leg approximately four fingers below the kneecap. Press directly into the belly of the muscle running along the shinbone. This is said to revitalize the whole body and release fatigue.
2. Heavenly Rejuvenation is done while sitting upright. Measure 3 fingers width from the base of the neck, hook your fingers halfway down to the top of the shoulder blade and firmly press with your fingers. Right hand on the right shoulder, left hand on the left shoulder. If this is uncomfortable, cross your arms in front of you and hold opposite shoulders. This relieves tension in the neck and relieves nervousness. May also increase resistance to colds and flu.
3. Inner Gate : this point is located from the wrist crease just three finger width up the inner arm. Apply pressure to the soft space between the two tendons. This point relieves anxiety, palpitations, nausea, insomnia and emotional imbalances.
4. Spirit Door lies on the pinky finger side of the inner arm at the crease of the wrist. Find the divot right underneath the bony nodule. This point relieves anxiety, insomnia, hysteria, forgetfulness and emotional imbalances.
5. Sea of Tranquility is done by holding your palms together in a prayer position. Use the back of your thumbs and gently press against the center of your breastbone. This is said to nourish the heart, relieve chest congestion, nervousness, depression and emotional imbalances.
6. Third Eye is also done holding your palms together in prayer position. While keeping your hands in this position, lift them to your forehead and using your middle and index fingers gently touch your “third eye” located between the eyebrows. This point calms the body and relieves nervousness.
7. One Hundred Meeting Point is done by finding the crown of your head between the cranial bones. Press lightly on the slight hollow at the top of your head for approximately 30 seconds. The benefits are said to be a boost in morale, strengthens the mind and soothes headaches.
For stimulation you should only have to apply pressure to pressure points for four or five seconds and then repeat. To promote a sense of calm, hold pressure points at least for a full minute. You may begin to feel a pulse at the point and that is good as it indicates increase in circulation. Slowly release pressure points.
All these techniques are pretty basic are meant to provide you with an instant (little) relief and help you generally throughout the day. Do not forget that acupressure, as much as it can be efficient, is still an alternative medicine. This means that results can be observed and obvious but no scientific correlation between acupressure and healing has been done. Acupressure can help with stress and anxiety, but they are serious conditions and if you feel the symptoms are chronic and don’t ease up, seek professional/medical advice. It can be self administered, done by a professional, or you can get yourself some “smart tools” to help you with that. Obviously you won’t find a tool that will be able to do all of the above techniques, however, quite a few pressure points lie in the legs/feet and owning a full body massage chair can help you getting regular pressure applied throughout your body. Usually they state “shiatsu therapy” but it’s indeed very close to acupressure and having a modern massage chair at home can help you with stress and anxiety relief.