Pressure Points for Anxiety – A Natural Approach to Calm

Acupressure is a natural and accessible technique that can help alleviate anxiety symptoms. By stimulating specific pressure points on the body, you can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and restore a sense of calm. While scientific evidence on the effectiveness of acupressure for anxiety is still emerging, many individuals have reported positive results. 

How Acupressure Works for Anxiety Relief?

Acupressure is grounded in the ideas of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), wherein the human body is perceived as an intricate network of interlinked energy lines referred to as meridians. According to TCM, anxiety is caused by an imbalance or blockage of energy along these meridians.

By applying pressure to specific points on the body, acupressure aims to restore the flow of energy and promote relaxation. These pressure spots are said to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and promote relaxation and well-being.

The Top 10 Pressure Points for Anxiety Relief

Now that we have a basic understanding of how acupressure works let’s explore the top 10 pressure points for anxiety relief. You may find and stimulate these sites with your fingers or acupressure implements with little effort.

Apply firm pressure to each point and hold for a few seconds while taking slow, deep breaths. Let’s look at the characteristics of each pressure point:

1. Hall of Impression Point

Located between the eyebrows, the Hall of Impression point is believed to help alleviate both anxiety and stress. Sit comfortably and touch the spot between your eyebrows with your index finger or thumb to stimulate this point. Take calm, deep breaths and gently press in a circle for 5–10 minutes. This simple technique can provide temporary relief from anxiety symptoms.

2. Heavenly Gate Point

The acupoint known as Heavenly Gate is located within the superior auricle, precisely at the apex of the triangular-shaped depression. It has been suggested that the stimulation of this particular spot can alleviate symptoms of worry, stress, and insomnia.

Utilize a reflective surface, such as a mirror, to identify the specific location within your ear. Proceed to exert consistent and delicate force in a circular manner for a duration of two minutes. This practice has the potential to induce a state of mental tranquility and facilitate the experience of relaxation.

3. Shoulder WellPoint

The anatomical location of the Shoulder Well point is situated inside the musculature of the shoulder region. To locate your shoulder muscle, utilize the middle finger and thumb to apply pressure and trace the area. This specific anatomical location is recognized for its efficacy in alleviating symptoms associated with stress, muscular tension, and cephalalgia.

Administer a delicate yet firm amount of pressure using your index finger, afterwards proceeding to massage the designated point for a duration of around four to five seconds. Gradually release the pressure while maintaining the massage technique to potentially alleviate symptoms associated with anxiety.

4. Union Valley Point

Between your thumb and index finger, in the web, is where you’ll find Union Valley. It is believed that by stimulating this spot, stress, headaches, and neck pain might be alleviated. Massage the webbing between your thumb and index finger firmly for four or five seconds with your other hand. To further the calming effects, try breathing slowly and deeply as you do so.

5. Great Surge Point

The Great Surge point can be found on the foot, two or three finger widths below the intersection of the big toe and second toe. This point is known for its ability to reduce anxiety, stress, pain, and even menstrual cramps.

Locate the point by moving your finger straight down from between your first two toes and applying firm, deep pressure. Massage the point for four to five seconds while taking slow, deep breaths to promote a sense of calm.

6. Inner Frontier Gate Point

Located about three finger widths below your wrist on the inner arm, the Inner Frontier Gate point is known for reducing anxiety, nausea, and pain. Turn one hand so your palm faces up and measure three fingers below your wrist. Apply pressure to the point and massage it for four to five seconds. This can help alleviate anxiety symptoms and promote relaxation.

7. Governor Vessel 20 (GV 20) – Hundred Meetings

The GV 20 acupoint, commonly referred to as Hundred Meetings, is situated at the cranial apex. The act of stimulating this particular spot has the potential to alleviate anxiety and its corresponding symptoms. Please trace a line extending from the frontal region of your cranium to the posterior region, and another line connecting the lateral aspects of your ears.

The point of intersection between these two lines corresponds to the GV 20 acupoint. To feel the anxiety-relieving advantages, it is recommended to apply firm pressure to the designated point for a brief duration, while concurrently engaging in slow and deep breathing techniques.

8. Governor Vessel 24.5 (GV 24.5) – The Third Eye

The GV 24.5 point, also known as the Third Eye, is found in the middle of your eyebrows. Stimulating this point can help alleviate anxiety, stress, insomnia, eyestrain, and sinus pressure pain. Apply firm pressure to this point for a few seconds while taking slow, deep breaths. This can help calm your mind and promote a sense of relaxation.

9. Large Intestine 4 (LI 4) – Hegu

The LI 4 point is located in the groove between your thumb and index finger. This widely used acupressure point can help relieve anxiety, headaches, and neck pain. Apply firm pressure to this point for a few seconds while taking slow, deep breaths. This can help reduce anxiety-related tension and promote a sense of calm.

10. Large Intestine 10 (LI 10) – Shou San Li

The LI 10 point is situated on the outside of your forearm, three finger widths from the elbow crease. Stimulating this point can help alleviate general anxiety, shoulder pain, and neck stiffness. Measure three finger widths from your elbow crease and apply firm pressure to this point for a few seconds while taking slow, deep breaths. This can help relieve anxiety-related symptoms and promote relaxation.

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The Research Behind Acupressure for Anxiety

While there is limited scientific research on the use of acupressure for anxiety, the existing studies show promising results. A 2015 review of several studies found that acupressure helped relieve anxiety before medical procedures such as surgery. In another study from the same year, acupressure was found to reduce anxiety in cancer patients during treatment.

A 2016 study focused on severe menstrual pain and found that acupressure applied at the Great Surge point decreased anxiety in study participants. Furthermore, a study conducted in 2018 demonstrated that the application of acupressure yielded positive outcomes in alleviating stress and anxiety symptoms among women undergoing reproductive treatments.

 These studies suggest that acupressure can provide temporary relief from anxiety symptoms. It’s important to note that larger studies are needed to understand the effectiveness of acupressure for anxiety fully. However, the existing research does not indicate any negative effects of acupressure on anxiety symptoms. If you decide to try acupressure for anxiety relief, continuing with any other stress management techniques or treatments prescribed by your healthcare provider is recommended.

pressure points for anxiety reliefPin
Pressure points for anxiety relief

When to Seek Professional Help for Anxiety?

While acupressure can temporarily relieve anxiety symptoms, it is not a substitute for professional help. If your anxiety symptoms are severe, persistent, or interfering with your life, visit a doctor or mental health expert. They offer thorough evaluations and propose therapy or medicine.

 Additionally, if you experience symptoms of depression, thoughts of suicide, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, headaches, or digestive problems, it is crucial to reach out for professional support.

Related Article: Anxiety Therapists in NYC

Finding Calm Through Pressure Points

Consult a healthcare professional before trying acupressure or any alternative therapy. By combining acupressure with other anxiety management techniques, you can develop a holistic approach to finding peace and tranquility in your life. Take the first step towards anxiety relief and explore the power of pressure points today.

Related Article: Acupressure Massage

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