Using acupressure for anxiety relief

Almost everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their life. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and there are a variety of treatments that can help from traditional methods such as therapy and medication, to alternative methods such as acupressure.

Acupressure has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to help treat many health issues from nausea to headaches and has also been shown to provide temporary relief from some anxiety symptoms.

Try using these pressure points to provide some anxiety relief.

  1. Union valley point

This pressure point is in the webbing between your thumb and index finger.  To use this point, apply firm pressure to the webbing with your thumb and index finger of your opposite hand – massage the point for four or five seconds. Stimulating this pressure point is cannot only reduce stress, but also headaches and neck pain. It should be noted though that this may induce labour, so it should be avoided in pregnancy.

  1. Inner frontier gate point

The inner frontier gate point is about three finger widths below the wrist. To use this point turn one hand so your palm is facing up, then with your other hand measure three finger widths below your wrist. Apply pressure to this point and massage for five seconds. Another common use for this point is to relieve nausea.

  1. Hall of impression point

In between your eyebrows you will find the hall of impression point. To use this point, close your eyes and touch the point with your index finger or thumb and apply gentle but firm pressure in a circular motion for 5-10 minutes.

The science behind acupressure

There is some research into the effectiveness of acupressure, particularly for those experiencing anxiety before a stressful situation – rather than general anxiety. A review of several small studies found that acupressure appeared to help relieve anxiety before a medical procedure and a more recent study has shown acupressure to help with stress and anxiety symptoms in women receiving fertility treatments.

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