Working from home has become the new normal and many find it difficult to switch off from work when your office is also your living room. Plus, we’re all feeling a little anxious about braving public places after becoming bona fide hermits in 2020. Stress has always been part of everyday life, but it has also been exacerbated by the world we now live in.
Learn to relieve that stress in 10-20 minutes with our at-home acupressure techniques. New to acupressure? It applies the same theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as acupuncture, wherein you apply pressure to different targeted points throughout your body. TCM practitioners have been using acupressure (or Tui na) for thousands of years to remedy pain and illness all over the body. Gabriel Sher, director of acupuncture at ORA, sums it up perfectly, saying that acupressure is a “self-healing alternative that individuals can do at home to help circulate Qi, increase blood flow, and decrease stagnation in the body.”
Acupressure can be practised multiple times throughout the day and can be practised anywhere, but it’s best to create a calm environment for each session. We recommend closing the bedroom door to block out noise and distractions, and create a calming atmosphere by lighting a candle or burning oil of your choice in a diffuser. Get comfortable on your bed, chair, or yoga mat.
Use your thumb to gradually apply pressure until on acupressure points until you feel a little resistance on that spot with no discomfort or pain. Take deep breaths as you massage the acupressure point and then release. Ready to begin? Read on for our go-to stress relieving acupressure points.
1. Ren 17
Press to treat: Anxiety
Where to find it: The center of the breastbone, between your nipples
Ren 17 opens the chest, and is good for both heart palpitations and panic attacks. This point can be quite sensitive to push. You may be a little too high or low if the point isn’t tender to touch. Softly press the point or make small circles for 3-5 minutes. Lay your palm over the point and rest for as long as it feels comfortable.
2. Liver 2
Press to treat: Headaches (especially behind the eyes), tired eyes, and insomnia
Where to find it: Junction between your big and little toe
In TCM, there is a connection between the liver, headaches, and frustration. Pressing Liver 2 moves liver energy and with it, releases frustration and anger. Massage your Liver 2 points firmly for 30 seconds on each foot. Repeat until you feel better.
Press to treat: Headaches (especially migraine & tension), and neck pain
Where to find it: Highest point of the muscle between thumb and index finger
LI4 has been extensively studied and is known to help relieve migraine and tension headaches. Use a deep, firm pressure to massage the point for 4-5 minutes on each hand. Repeat until you feel your pain improving.
Pro tip: Avoid LI4 during pregnancy as it may induce labor.
4. Kidney 3
Press to treat: Insomnia
Where to find it: The dip on the inner side of your ankle bone, next to the Achilles tendon
In TCM, Kidney 3 is known to treat insomnia by bolstering kidney yin and calming the mind. Massage the point with firm pressure for a minute or two on each ankle.
“Acupressure Points - Ren 17” Acupuncture.com http://www.acupuncture.com/education/points/ren/ren17.htm
“Acupressure Points - Liver 2” Acupuncture.com http://www.acupuncture.com/education/points/liver/liv2.htm
“Acupuncture Point Spotlight: Liver 2” Bloom Chinese Medicine https://www.sunshinecoastacupunctureclinic.com.au/acupuncture-point-spotlight-liver-2/
Reilly, Chris “Ren 17: Powerful Point for Heart Health” Stram Center for Integrative Medicine https://stramcenter.com/blog/blog-detail/ren-17-powerful-point-for-heart-health/
“Acupressure Point LI4: Large Intestine 6 or He Gu” Emplore IM Integrative Medicine https://exploreim.ucla.edu/self-care/acupressure-point-li4/
“Insomnia & Acupuncture - Part 3: Useful Points to Know” Force Medic https://www.forcemedic.com/en/insomnia-acupuncture-part-3-useful-points-to-know-forcephysio/