Body Mind

Discover Your Body’s Acupressure Points for Anxiety

One-third of adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety. This isn’t surprising, considering it’s one of the most common mental illnesses in the country.

What’s surprising is how mental health experts view anxiety – not as a problem but something people have to live with. In short, instead of eliminating it ASAP, it’s better to accept anxiety as a normal part of life and manage it sensibly.

One way to do that is to learn about acupressure points for anxiety. That said, let’s talk more about pressure points and how stimulating them can help provide relief from anxiety symptoms.

First Things First: What Is Acupressure?

Not to be confused with acupuncture, acupressure is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapy that helps restore balance to the body. Fun fact: The Japanese form of acupressure is called shiatsu, meaning “finger pressure.”

According to TCM, there are acupressure points located all over the body. Practitioners of TCM believe that a life force called qi circulates throughout invisible channels, and illness happens when any of these get blocked.

By applying pressure to specific acupoints, qi can flow, resulting in reduced muscle tension and improved circulation. Acupressure can also stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural pain relievers.

Five Acupressure Points for Anxiety

Gently pressing the following anxiety pressure points can help boost blood flow and help your muscles relax. By doing this, you effectively lower your body’s stress response.

The more you manage your body’s “fight or flight response,” the better your physical and mental health will be.

1. Yin Tang

The Yin Tang point, or “third eye,” sits between the eyebrows. Gentle pressure at this point can help with pain relief, insomnia, and anxiety. Other names for this pressure point include Extra-1 and Hall of Impression.

Some say that activating this spot can help change one’s mood because the brain, which is the seat of one’s emotion, sits below the Yin Tang point. If you want to massage this acupressure point, use your index finger or thumb in a circular motion for five to 10 minutes.

It’s best to do this while sitting down comfortably. If you feel a slight pain extending towards your eyes, that’s normal. However, if the discomfort is too much, it’s advisable to stop.

2. Governor Vessel

Does your anxiety manifest as racing thoughts, headaches, dizziness, and a clenched jaw? You might benefit from activating DU20 or the Governor Vessel at the top of your head.

Again, don’t forget to be gentle when activating any pressure points. For this spot, apply soft pressure for a few seconds at a time to help release stress. You can do this while sitting or standing, as long as you mind your breathing.

Note that you can go for longer massages when you’re used to stimulating this point. Like any other massage therapy, areas can bruise if pressure is applied too much or too hard.

3. Heavenly Gate

Other names for this acupoint include Shen Men and Heart 7. However, depending on which guide you use, Shen Men could mean the spot at the top of your ear or the inner side of your wrist (nearest to your pinky).

For anxiety relief, though, you can use both points. If you choose the former, it can also help calm heart palpitations, while the latter is good for those with sleep issues and cardiovascular conditions related to stress.

Keep in mind that the best time to activate the Heavenly Gate Point is before going to sleep. However, you can still massage Shen Men at times of great stress.

4. Union Valley

The Union Valley point is also called LI4 or large intestine 4. It is found in the webbing between the thumb and the index finger.

Anxiety relief is one of the benefits of massaging this spot, but it also helps with neck pain and headaches. You pinch this area to activate it, unlike other acupressure points already mentioned. You can also do small circles clockwise for 10 seconds, then counterclockwise for another 10 seconds.

Of course, don’t forget to repeat the process on your opposite hand.

5. Shoulder Well

Last is the Shoulder Well point. As the name implies, it’s found right in the middle of the shoulder muscle.

Reaching this point, though, is a bit tricky. It’s better to lie on your stomach than on your back. Use your thumb and middle finger to apply pressure to this spot to ease muscle tension, relieve headaches, and reduce stress and anxiety.

Just remember, if you’re pregnant, it’s not safe to activate this acupressure point as it can induce labor.

More on Acupressure: Some Precautions to Think About

While acupressure is safe in general, it’s good to consult a doctor first if you have a chronic condition like cancer, heart disease, etc. Since the therapy involves muscles and joints, be careful with the amount of pressure you apply every time you stimulate the acupoints.

Now, if you prefer to go to a professional, inform them if the area you want to be treated can worsen after physical manipulation. Let them know if you have varicose veins or are pregnant.

Beyond Acupressure

It’s obvious how acupressure works for anxiety. Not only does it help stimulate the body’s circulatory, lymphatic, and hormonal systems, but it also regulates digestive issues and releases pent-up stress and tension from the body.

If you believe in holistic practices, however, you’ll understand that acupressure, while helpful, might not be enough to manage anxiety. That’s why you should be open to trying other remedies, such as CBD, aromatherapy, meditation and mindfulness practice, and so on.

Also, going with the flow is more helpful than fighting it actively. As anxiety experts put it, rather than letting it consume you, accept that life can be unpredictable. Let go, and always remember that you are not your thoughts.

Do You Need Help Managing Anxiety?

Did learning about acupressure points for anxiety help ease your symptoms even just a bit? Pat yourself on the back and consider this a step towards physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual empowerment.

Speaking of spiritual empowerment, intuitive life coach Michelle Beltran offers beginner-to-advanced courses for those who want to change their lives and the lives of others. Feel free to browse the site to learn about mediumship, psychic development, meditation and grounding, remote viewing, and more.

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