Acupressure for Stress. What are Some Acupressure Pressure Points for Stress?


acupressure for stress


There are many ways you can reduce your overall levels of stress. Meditation, yoga, exercising, aromatherapy massage, essential oils, and other relaxation techniques or lifestyle changes may help change the way your body and mind deals with the rigors of life. However, these methods take time and extra energy on your part.

We're not saying that you shouldn’t try to actively reduce stress in your life, but if you're looking for a quick, cost effective way to help rid the body of extra tension and stress you should give acupressure a go. Sometimes, we all need a simple way to unwind from our week, and maybe this will be something you find works well for you.

Acupressure has been around for over 2000 years, and although not thought to be abundantly studied through today's science, the fact that this practice has made it this long, is most likely an indication it works at some level. The real goal here is to actively practice this method on a regular basis to sustain improvement, as well as decrease reoccurrence of specific symptoms you may have, whether that be pain, stress, etc. 

A review completed in 2014, looked at some current and older studies at the time on acupressure as a source of managing certain types of pain. Some of the types of studies reviewed, examined acupressure in menstrual pain, lower back pain, headache and other traumatic pain. According to the review acupressure has been shown to be effective for a variety of pains in different populations. 

It still seems as if more research is needed to duplicate or confirm certain claims on acupressure (at least that is our-take here at RN to Zen). 


acupressure points on the foot


It's never a good thing to allow stress to build up in your body. This can lead to emotional instability and a decline in health. So, in this post, we'll discuss some key pressure points for stress. Some of the pressure points can be activated by you, yourself, but it never hurts to read more about acupressure and learn the best way of using this technique.


Nowadays you can even find some really good video tutorials, like the one here, provided from The Cleveland Clinic!





What is Acupressure and How Can It Help With Stress?

Acupressure is an ancient Chinese art that utilizes pressure points in the body. By pressing into certain areas of the body, you will hopefully feel a reduction in levels of stress and bring on a sense of calm and peace within the body. Acupressure can seem like a very basic method of stress reduction, but it can be a fast/cost effective way of relieving symptoms of stress and anxiety.

You might wonder how pressing into certain "points" on the body for an allotted time will help rid the body of stress. A handful of studies have proven the effectiveness of acupressure. In particular, stress seems to reduce significantly with the help of regular sessions of acupressure.


common acupressure points


Doing acupressure on a consistent weekly or daily basis may help yield some nice results for overall stress relief. The basis behind the theory of acupressure revolves around channels within the body called "meridians". These are known as pathways of energy within the body, and pressing certain "points" within the body are said to help energy flow, in sometimes completely different areas of the body.

This is a theorized technique and some believe the basis behind the decrease stress levels have to do with certain chemicals (endorphins) that may be released when stimulating these point on the body. 


Other Use's for this Techniqu

1. Fatigue

2. Muscle Cramping

3. Headache

4. Motion Sickness


What's Involved?

1. It first starts with firm pressure. The idea here is to be able to activate or stimulate each pressure point you're targeting! Try your thumb, finger or even a knuckle to apply pressure.

2. Get into a position that you can sustain with little movement in your body, make sure you're comfortable!

3. Like with meditation, yoga and other relaxation techniques, try your best to relax, and focus on your breathing. 

4. When first starting out, it's helpful to just focus on finding the "right points" and learning your body. After the first few sessions, you may find yourself wanting to repeat the massage to specific points more then others. 

5. Try having someone  help you with your massage. Many of time an acupuncturist will aid in a session of acupressure with you lying or sitting on a massage table. 


A more in-depth look at contemporary acupressure therapy can be read about here




Top Acupressure Points For Stress:


1. Yin Tang Pressure Point

The first acupressure pressure point for stress we'll discuss is yin tang. This area, also known as your third eye, is one of the simplest ones. This is because the yin tang point is located right in the center of your forehead. Due to the location, this acupressure point is highly accessible and easy to perform.

Simply use your thumb or index finger and bring it right in between your eyebrows. Hold the pressure for at least thirty seconds. 

This particular pressure point is known to induce a sense of calm and tranquility. Anxiety and other turbulent emotions can also be tamed when you press into this area of your face.

This point in also said to help with conditions such as insomnia, or to open up the nasal passages. 


How to Perform:





2. Union Valley Pressure Point

Your union valley pressure point is another easy to reach pressure point for stress. This area is located in-between your thumb and index finger. You'll want to put your thumb or index finger from the opposite hand on this point and press down firmly. Going between the webbing of your hand will make it easier to press down.

Hold this point for thirty or more seconds, then breathe in deeply. The union valley point is said to be great for stress-induced headaches, neck pain, and other symptoms of stress. 

However, if you're pregnant, you may want to avoid this pressure point as it may have an effect on stimulating or inducing labor.


acupressure points on the hand


3. Chest Center

Your chest center point can also be another point used in acupressure for stress relief. The chest center, as you probably can guess, is right at the center of your chest. 

You'll want to put your fingers right in between your nipples. Press firmly into this area for thirty-sixty seconds, just like many of the other pressure points.

People with very high levels of stress may benefit from this pressure point. If you feel out of breath, chest discomfort, or chest tightness, pressing into the chest center is said to give you some relief. 


4. Shoulder Well Pressure Point

The shoulder well pressure point is located on your back, specifically in your shoulder muscle. You'll have to reach back a little to get to this area, so if you're on your own, most likely this is not the best point to choose. 

However this point is said to help with stress, muscle tension and headaches. This is another one of those areas that pregnant women should avoid. Like the union valley pressure point, this point is said to have the potential to induce labor. 

To correctly press into this point, use both your hands. There are two spots that you'll want to press at once. One finger should be on your left shoulder muscle, the other one the right shoulder muscle.

The shoulder well point is right near the base of the neck and at the highest point of your shoulder. Press or pinch the muscle here for a few seconds (using your thumb and middle finger), you can massage the area gently as well. 


shoulder well pressure point


5. Hundred Meeting Pressure Point

The final pressure point for stress that we'll be talking about today is the hundred meeting pressure point. Also known as the governing vessel. In particular, bringing energy into this pressure point can help clear the mind and bring profound mental clarity. Headaches, dizziness, and overthinking may also be reduced when you press into this part of your head.

Located on the midline of the head, in-line with apex of the ears (Learnreligious). 

The easiest way of explaining this point is that it's at the crown of your head/skull. If you place your finger right at the top of your head, and place it in a central area, your finger should align with the tops of your ears if you draw a horizontal line with your hands. Try pressing into this area for thirty second intervals for this maneuver. 


Final Tips and Thoughts on Acupressure

Acupressure is still largely unstudied in the field of science. However, the current research does suggest that regular acupressure can help improve your mental health and your stress levels. You might have some doubt about trying out this stress relief method, but there is certainly no harm in giving this ancient  technique a try. So visit a professional, educate and try it yourself, maybe even give an acupressure mat a try and you may just find this is what your life needs!


acupuncture mat


Acupressure may have the potential of having lasting and beneficial effects on your health if done regularly, like most things in life. There are many other stress management techniques that can be helpful for the mind and body, however, acupressure is one of those techniques that for many is a pain-free, cost effective and relatively easy technique to try.



Resources:

- https://balancecharleston.com/blog/2020/4/5/7-acupressure-points-for-stress-anxiety-relief

- https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/acupressure-stress-and-anxiety

- https://www.healthline.com/health/pressure-points-for-anxiety#shoulder-well

- https://www.healthline.com/health/hand-pressure-points#The-bottom-line

- https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-acupressure-88702#:~:text=Acupressure%20is%20often%20called%20acupuncture,specific%20points%20on%20the%20body.

- https://www.learnreligions.com/acupressure-treasures-bai-hui-hundred-convergences-3182275

- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23415783/

- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388088/

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