What is acupressure and why should you do it?
What is acupressure?
Acupressure is the application of firm pressure to specific points of the body to relieve tight muscles, increase circulation, and boost endorphins. It stems from traditional Chinese medicine and is based on the belief that the body is interconnected by different channels of energy, called Qi, and if one or more of these channels get blocked, illness and pain develops. Acupressure is the practice of breaking up these energy blockages, thereby allowing for energy to flow freely again. Some of the most common ailments treated with acupressure include pain, stress, insomnia, fatigue, and digestive conditions.
How to perform acupressure
The great thing about acupressure is that you can do it yourself! Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take deep breaths. Using the pads of one or more fingers, apply firm pressure in a rotating motion to the specific acupressure points (see below) for 4-5 seconds.
Common acupressure points
Feng chi (aka: GB20 or Gallbladder 20)
Location: On the side of the head below the ear bone, where the head meets the neck
May help with: Headache, low energy
Tai Chong (aka: LV3 or Liver 3)
Location: On top of the foot, between the big toe and second toe, about two fingerbreadths down
May help with: Stress, low back pain
Nei Guan (aka: P6 or Pericardium 6)
Location: Inner forearm, about 3-4 fingerbreadths down from the wrist, centrally located between two tendons
May help with: Upset stomach, headache
Zhong Zhu (aka: TE3 or Triple Energizer 3)
Location: Top side of the hand, space between the 4th and 5th knuckles
May help with: Headache, upper back pain, neck pain
He Gu (aka: LI4 or Large Intestine 6)
Location: Between the base of the index finger and the thumb
May help with: Facial pain, neck pain, stress, headache
One of the great things about acupressure is that you can do it from anywhere – including from the comfort of your own home! If you suffer from one or more of the ailments above, give acupressure a try!
References and further reading
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.