Acupressure Self-Care

I’m sure almost all of you have heard about acupuncture, where a practitioner sticks tiny needles at certain points of your body for healing. I wanted to share with you all about acupressure, which is a similar practice without the needles that you can use on yourself for pain relief or incorporate into your daily routine as a preventative. 

To understand how these modalities work it is important to understand subtle human energy. This is energy that affects our health and wellbeing; it cannot be seen or measured but can at times be felt. Meridians are essentially rivers of energy flowing through our bodies; there are 12 main ones, 11 of which cross a major organ and are named after such, and the 12th is called the triple warmer which is kind of like a master meridian. Six of the meridians are partnered with yin energy, which is feminine energy, the other six are partnered with yang energy, which is masculine. When there are imbalances, blockages, or slowing of this energy, things like pain and disease can arise. Acupuncture and acupressure stimulate certain points along the meridians to restore balance and keep energy flowing. 

To practice acupressure, apply pressure in a gentle but firm way between 40 seconds to 3 minutes. Make sure you are centered and breathing deeply. There might be slight discomfort but you shouldn’t feel pain!

Here are 5 acupressure techniques to try.

He Gu- Fleshy part between thumb and pointer finger. Apply pressure with thumb and pointer finger like a gentle pinch. Helps with headaches, neck pain, painful periods, stomach pain, toothaches, stress. Warning: can induce labor in pregnant women.

Tai Chong- Soft fleshy area between the bones of the big toe and 2nd toe. Apply pressure with middle finger. Good for stress relief, low back pain, menstrual cramps, depression, anxiety, insomnia. Liver meridian.

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Nei Guan- About 2 inches down from the wrist crease between 2 large tendons. Apply pressure with middle finger. Helps nausea, chest tension due to stress or anxiety and hiccups.

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Yin Tang- This point is located just between the eyebrows at your third eye. Apply pressure with your middle finger. It’s a great point for stress, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and sinus congestion.

Dan Zhong- Near your heart center just below the middle of the sternum. Press with your middle finger. Helps restore a sense of calm and relieves anxiety, nervousness, depression, hysteria and other emotional imbalances. It also helps boost the immune system.
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