Acupressure, like acupuncture, uses pressure point locations to manipulate Qi (energy) that flows through the energy pathways inside of your body. In traditional Chinese medicine, these pathways are known as meridians.

When pressure is applied to the pressure points it triggers a variety of effects on your body and mind. This form of alternative medicine is believed to be an effective way to decrease stress, reduce pain and tension, boost circulation and improve the immune system.

How Does Stress Affect Your Body?

Stress is a natural physical response to out of control or overwhelming situations. At a normal level, stress can help you increase productivity and improve focus, but when stress levels are high, it takes a toll on your quality of life.

When your body is exposed to frequent and intense stress levels, it may lead to health problems, such as headaches, insomnia, and low energy, all of which prevent you from normal daily activities. Acupressure is an effective form of holistic health that helps to reduce stress and improve your overall general health.

Finding Relief in Acupressure

Although receiving acupuncture treatments from a professional acupuncturist is the optimum way to relieve stress, DIY acupressure will provide some relief until you are able to schedule your professional treatment. The following pressure points are the best suited for stress relief:

Three Mile Point – This pressure point is located approximately two-finger widths below your knee, and four-finger widths towards the outside area of your leg. Using your index finger, apply pressure for one minute to regulate energy flow, increase concentration and relieve fatigue.

Great Rushing – Apply pressure to the webbing between your big toe and second toe to help unblock choked meridians and maintain a smooth flow of energy.

Grandfather/Grandson – This pressure point is located three finger widths behind the base of your big toe, on the inside side of your foot. Applying pressure to this point will help balance energy circulation and relieve your mind of anxiety and worry.

When your body is exposed to frequent and intense stress levels, it may lead to health problems, such as headaches, insomnia and low energy, all of which prevent you from normal daily activities.

Union Valley – This pressure point is located in the webbing between your thumb and index finger. Use your thumb and index finger of the opposite hand to apply pressure for three minutes and take deep breaths while applying pressure. Accessing this pressure point will help to relieve stress and tension in your body.

Central Treasury – You can find this acupressure point two-finger widths under the area where your arm meets your chest. Using the tip of your index finger, apply moderate pressure on either one side or both sides together to increase blood circulation and help balance unstable emotions.

How To Enhance Your Acupressure Experience?

To fully benefit from acupressure, it’s essential to prepare your body and mind. Incorporating simple stretching and breathing exercises before each acupresure session will enhance the effectiveness of the treatment. Additionally, combining acupressure with professional acupuncture sessions can provide a more comprehensive approach to stress relief and overall health improvement.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to enhance your acupressure experience:

Stretching Exercises

Stretching before an acupressure session helps prepare your muscles and joints, making them more receptive to the pressure applied during the treatment. This preparation can enhance the flow of energy (Qi) through the meridians and improve the overall effectiveness of acupressure.

Recommended Stretches

Neck and Shoulder Stretch – Gently tilt your head to one side, bringing your ear toward your shoulder. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side. This stretch helps release tension in the neck and shoulders, common areas where stress accumulates.

Spinal Twist – Sit on the floor with your legs extended. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the outside of your left thigh. Twist your torso to the right, placing your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side. This stretch helps improve spinal flexibility and relieve lower back tension.

Hamstring Stretch – Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend forward at the hips, keeping your legs straight, and reach for your toes. Hold for 20-30 seconds. This stretch helps release tension in the lower back and hamstrings.

Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises are essential for relaxing your body and mind, creating a more conducive environment for healing. Proper breathing techniques can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure when you apply treatments to your points.

Recommended Breathing Techniques

Diaphragmatic Breathing – Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise while keeping your chest still. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat for 5-10 minutes. This technique helps engage the diaphragm, promoting relaxation and reducing stress.

4-7-8 Breathing – Inhale quietly through your nose for a count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 7. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whooshing sound, for a count of 8. Repeat this cycle 4 times. This technique helps calm the nervous system and is particularly effective for managing anxiety and stress.

Alternate Nostril Breathing: Sit comfortably with your spine straight. Close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale deeply through your left nostril. Close your left nostril with your right ring finger and exhale through your right nostril. Inhale through your right nostril, then close it and exhale through your left nostril. Repeat for 5-10 minutes. This technique helps balance the body’s energy and promote a sense of calm.

Professional Acupuncture Sessions

While DIY acupressure can provide significant relief, professional acupuncture sessions offer a more comprehensive approach to managing stress and improving overall health. Licensed acupuncturists have extensive knowledge of the body’s meridians and can target specific points more precisely.

Combining Acupressure with Acupuncture

Synergistic Effects – Combining acupressure and acupuncture sessions can enhance the benefits of both treatments. Acupuncture can address deeper imbalances in the body’s energy flow, while acupressure can provide ongoing support and maintenance between sessions.

Customized Treatment Plans – Acupuncturists can create personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs and health goals. They can identify which acupressure points are most effective for you and provide guidance on how to use them at home.

Enhanced Relaxation and Stress Relief – Professional acupuncture sessions can induce a deeper state of relaxation, helping to release chronic tension and stress. The combination of acupuncture and acupressure can lead to more profound and lasting improvements in your overall well-being.


Acupressure is a valuable tool for managing stress and improving overall well-being. By incorporating stretching and breathing exercises, you can enhance the effectiveness of your acupressure sessions. Additionally, combining acupressure with professional acupuncture treatments can provide a more comprehensive approach to health improvement. Embrace these practices to achieve optimal results and enjoy a more balanced, stress-free life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between acupuncture and acupressure?

Acupuncture uses fine needles to stimulate specific points on the body, while acupressure involves applying manual pressure to these points. Both techniques aim to balance the body’s energy and promote healing.

Can I perform acupressure on myself?

Yes, many acupressure points are easily accessible, and you can perform acupressure on yourself. However, professional guidance is recommended for the best results.

How often should I practice acupressure?

For stress relief, practicing acupressure daily or several times a week can be beneficial. Consistency is key to achieving and maintaining positive results.

Are there any side effects of acupressure?

Acupressure is generally safe when performed correctly. However, some individuals may experience mild soreness or bruising at the pressure points. If you have any concerns, consult with a healthcare professional.

Can acupressure help with other health issues?

Yes, acupressure can be beneficial for various health issues, including pain relief, digestive problems, and improving sleep quality. It’s a versatile practice that supports overall well-being.

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