Apply Pressure

acupressure

Some of the benefits we experience from balancing our life force energy, or qi (chi), through pressure points are less inflammation, regulated digestion, and improvements in our quality of sleep – just to name a few. Balancing your energy is a wonderful alternative to harsh treatments for aiding symptoms of mild to severe ailments, but it is equally beneficial for those in optimal health. From sports medicine using pressure points on athletes to aid in recovery to women in China using it for centuries to improve the condition of their skin and relax facial muscles to prevent wrinkles.

Ultimately, bringing harmony to mind, body & spirit through qi is an act of self-care. And in this fast-paced era of overstimulation, we could use all the help we can get. In case this is all new to you, here is a break down of some of the phrases.

Meridians: 12 main energy pathways in the body which qi is carried. These channels run from the hands and feet to the body and head all connecting to specific internal organs.

Points: Spaces on the skin that run along meridians connecting to internal organs.

Acupuncture: Inserts fine needles into the body at points and meridians.

Acupressure: Uses finger pressure on points and meridians.

Alright, now let’s talk about this last one. Acupressure uses the same pressure points as its more popular counterpart acupuncture and is just as potent. The best part? Applying pressure to points can be done anywhere, and you won’t need assistance. I use pressure points when I want to concentrate better, when I’m anxious, or for the rare moments when I feel a headache coming on.

How does it work?

Stimulating these points moves stagnant energy along the meridians improving the flow of chi and promoting general health and healing. By helping our subtle energy flow freely, we give our body the opportunity to heal itself before any illnesses in our physical body form.

How do you do it?

Press on the point with gradual yet powerful pressure for about three minutes.

Slow pressure is most important when enabling the layers of tissue to respond. In other words, don’t be aggressive. Take full, relaxed, abdomen inhales & exhales. It can be reflexive to hold our breath when pressing uncomfortable points, but breathing life into our cells is imperative when moving energy. *If you are pregnant, I recommend seeing a professional practitioner. Although it can be done safely, certain pressure points are completely off limits since they can induce early labor.

A quick search online will show you hundreds of pressure points to choose from that align with your needs. Until then, I have included 6 of my own favorites below:

Stress/Headaches

Relaxes neck allowing greater circulation into the brain.

Location: [Heavenly Pillar (B 10)] One-half inch below the base of the skull on the ropy muscles, one-half inch outward from the spine.

Low Back Pain

Relieves back pain and knee pain.

Location: [Commanding Middle (B 54)] In the center of the back of the knee crease.

Concentration

Improves concentration + memory; clears the mind + uplifts the spirit.

Location: [Third Eye Point (GV 24.5)] Directly between eyebrows in the indentation where the bridge of the most meets the center of the forehead.

Insomnia

Relieves insomnia and ankle pain.

Location: [Joyful Sleep (K 6)] Directly below the inside of the ankle bone in the slight indent.

Anxiety/Fear

Relieves emotional imbalances, regulates the heart.

Location: [Spirit Gate (H 7)] On the little finger side of the forearm at the crease of the wrist.

Skin Complexion

Relieves facial blemishes + improves facial circulation.

Location: [Facial Beauty (St 3)] At the bottom of the cheekbone, directly below the pupil.

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