Whenever you hurt your knee, stump your toes or thump your elbow, your first impulse is to touch the spot that pains you. This instinct, the need to ease the twinge with touches, is the quintessence of acupressure.
Acupressure might sound unreal, especially since most of us look for healing in pills and procedures, but acupressure is not a New Age formula. It’s been around since time immemorial and is based on ancient knowledge of the bodyas both a physical and energetic entity.
Acupressure is based on the concept that life energy flows through “meridians” in the body. Clearing blockages in these meridians with physical pressure can heal a person.
In response to the pressure, the brain releases endorphins, chemicals that muffle pain signals and invite pleasurable feelings. In the absence of pain, muscles relax and blood flows more freely. As tension recedes, the body finds balance.
For Immediate Immunity
An immunity-boosting point that is also good for combating fatigue, depression and general feelings of sluggishness is found on the inside of the ankle above the foot between the Achilles tendon and the ankle bone. Press and release several times for 10-20 seconds.
For Appetite Control
The Ear Point is also called Appetite Control Point. It works on controlling any overeating due to the craving for food (i.e. too much hunger). To find the Ear Point, move your hand towards the Jaw and bring it up and down. Find the Point which is most active, i.e. movement. As you find the active point near your ear jaw, press the point for 1 minute and maximum 3 minutes.
For Extra Energy
Stimulating your stomach point can give you extra energy when you’re flagging or tired. It is located just below the knee, on the outside of the shinbone. Press for at least 30 seconds with the pad of your finger or thumb. Do not practice this on a full stomach.
For Emotional, Mental and Physical Balance (The Third Eye)
The Third Eye acupressure point is good for calming your mind, improving memory, relieving stress, chronic fatigue, headaches, eye strain and insomnia. It also helps relieve sinus pain and congestion. This point is considered beneficial for spiritual and emotional imbalances as well.
Close your eyes and locate the Third Eye pressure point on the crooked spot on the bridge of your nose between your eyebrows. Using your middle finger, gently press it for a few seconds to 1 minute and then release.
For Arthritis and Sciatica
This knee back acupressure point (B 54) is beneficial for reducing knee and back pain; stiffness in the back; arthritis in the knee, back and hips; and sciatica pain. This acupressure point is situated at the center of the backside of the kneecap. Gently press it for about 1 minute and then repeat on the other leg. Do this daily, as needed.
For Menstrual Cramps
Sacral acupressure points are great for relaxing the uterus and relieving menstrual cramps. It also helps reduce sciatica and lower back pain. The bunch of sacral points is located on the sacrum, that is, the base of the spine directly above the tailbone.
Simply lie down on your back with your hands under the base of your spine. Place one hand on top of the other so as to apply steady and firm pressure on the sacral points for a couple of minutes.
For Anxious Thoughts
A stress-relieving point for reducing anxiety and tension is found at the top center of the forearm (with the palm facing down) in the large section of muscle just underneath the crease of the elbow. Press for several seconds and release several times.
For Enhanced Metabolism
A metabolism-boosting point is found on top of the foot, roughly in line with the middle two toes and directly over die arch. Use two fingers to apply broader pressure here because of the bones and ligaments.
For Neck Tension
A tension-relief point, good for reducing pain caused by tension headaches and relieving tired eyes, is found in the occipital hollow, where the bottom of the skull meets the neck on either side of the spine. Use a thumb on either side to compress this area but be very careful not to press too hard.
For Emotional Healing
This acupressure point helps restore a sense of calm and relieves anxiety, nervousness, depression, hysteria and other emotional imbalances. It also helps boost the immune system.
It can be easily located on the center of the breastbone, about four finger-widths up from the base of the bone. You can press this point when you are in the prayer position with your palms joined, fingers pointing upward, and the knuckles of the thumb pressing into the breastbone. Make sure your spine is straight.
B 10 is a pair of acupressure points that are excellent for reducing stress, anxiety, exhaustion, burnout, headache or heaviness in the head, neck pain and insomnia. They are also good for relieving eye strain and a stiff neck.
These points are located at one finger-width below the base of the skull on each side, on the prominent neck muscles located 1/2 inch out from the spine. Just press these acupressure points for a couple of minutes daily for several weeks.
For Improving Concentration
LV 3 acupressure point is good for improving memory and concentration. It encourages clarity of thought and focus. Also, it helps relieve headaches, soothe tired eyes, fight fatigue, reduce hangovers, boost the immune system and prevent allergies as it keeps the body’s energy flowing smoothly.
You can easily locate this point on the top of the foot, where the bones of the big toe and second toe meet.
Remember that it’s not a good idea to become your own doctor. There are certified acupressure specialists who are eligible to guide you and treat you with the help of acupoints. Going to a specialist is always the right thing to do.
Also, if you are pregnant, consult a medical expert before using acupressure, since some acupoints may cause the uterus to contract.