I have only recently discovered what acupressure, or shiatsu, is. And quite frankly, it seems luxuriating just by the sound of the amount of distress and relief you feel afterward. According to Healthline writer, Crystal Raypole, acupressure is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that may provide temporary relief from anxiety symptoms and stress. It involves stimulating pressure points in your body, either on your own or with the help of a professional. To give you a better idea of how acupressure might help you relieve some stress, here is a list of the benefits I recently discovered from it.
1. Relaxes Muscles and Joints
Acupressure is a manual therapy that helps induce the body’s muscles and joints to relax. Whether the body has suffered from an injury, strain, or stress, acupressure is the practice of inducing the body to decompress. According to Physio.co.uk, acupressure is a practice performed by using fingers to gradually press onto your pressure points around the body. This pressure is what stimulates the body to experience relief and fall into deep relaxation.
2. Relieves Stress, Anxiety, and Tension
Since acupressure is the practice that helps induce the body to fall into a deeply relaxing state, it is reasonable to say that it alleviates and relieves a great amount of stress, anxiety, and tension — if not all of it. This makes me wish I had gone to a professional for acupressure during my college years.
3. Improves Your Sleep
Seeing that acupressure stimulates the body to fall into a deeply relaxing state, causing stress and anxiety relief, it only makes sense that acupressure allows the body to fall asleep much easier and faster than before using or seeing someone for the treatment.
4. It Is Self-Stimulating
Okay. Now, I understand that not all of us can afford to see a professional who practices acupressure. But guess what — you do not have to. You can gain just as much of the benefits of seeing a professional on your own. Acupressure can be self-stimulating, meaning you can give yourself an acupressure massage to stimulate relief. Thankfully, Healthline has listed 6 pressure points you can try for yourself.
The first acupressure point Healthline mentions is the hall of impression point. According to Crystal from Healthline, the hall of impression point is located in the gap between your eyebrows. If you apply pressure at the center of this point, it should stimulate the release of anxiety and stress, if you have any. To better stimulate this point, sit comfortably before closing your eyes. Next, place your thumb or index finger in the center of this point. Be sure to take deep and slow breaths before and during applying pressure. Keep the pressure held here for 5 to 10 minutes. Move your thumb or index finger in a circular motion as well, for a better effect.
The second acupressure point that Healthline states you can try stimulating on your own is the heavenly gate point. The heavenly gate point is located in the upper shell portion of your ears — specifically, above and at the end of your triangle-shaped hollow. To better stimulate this point, be sure to use a mirror to locate it, as you do not want to put pressure on the wrong point or at the wrong location. Next, apply pressure onto the point and move it in a circular motion for approximately 2 minutes.
The third acupressure point is the shoulder well point. The shoulder well point is located in the back of your shoulder muscle. To best locate it, pinch the middle of your shoulder muscle with your middle finger and thumb. This specific pressure point not only stimulates stress relief, but it also can induce labor. So, if you are a soon-to-be mother, you might want to be careful with this one. After you have found the point, pinch the point with your index finger and thumb. Apply the pressure with your index finger, and be sure to massage the point for a couple of seconds — four or five to be exact.
Another acupressure point that can be self-stimulating is the union valley point. The union valley point is located within the webbing between your thumb and index finger — on the back of your hand, where the curved gap is. However, like the shoulder well point, this too can induce labor. Again, stay away from this one, soon-to-be-moms. To stimulate this point, you will have to use your other hand. Now, apply pressure onto the webbing point with your index finger and thumb. While you apply pressure, take slow and deep breaths. As you do this, massage the point for approximately five seconds.
The fifth acupressure point is the great surge point. The great surge point is located on the top of your foot — specifically, two or three-finger diameters below the intersection of your big toe and second toe. To better locate this point, move your index finger straight down in a line, between your big toe and second toe. The point can be found just above the end of that curve. Once you have found the point, apply pressure and massage it for five seconds.
The last acupressure point you can attempt to stimulate at home is my favorite: the inner frontier gate. I know, the name is weird. Anyway, the inner frontier gate is located on your arms — specifically, below your inner wrist. To better locate the frontier point, turn your hand so your palm is facing up. Now, take your other hand and locate the hollow indentation that is located on the right side (most upwards) of your inner wrist. Place your index finger there. Once you have done that, drag your index finger across to the center of just below your wrist. There, you should feel a slight hollow space between your tendons. After you have located the point, apply pressure and massage the spot for five seconds.