Anxiety is a common mental health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It can manifest in various ways, including racing thoughts, restlessness, and physical symptoms such as heart palpitations and sweating. While various treatment options are available, including medication and therapy, some people prefer natural remedies such as acupressure. Acupressure is an ancient Chinese therapy that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to relieve stress and tension. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most effective anxiety massage points that you can use to ease your symptoms.
What are Anxiety Massage Points?
Acupressure involves stimulating certain points on the body to help balance the body’s energy, or “qi.” There are many anxiety acupuncture points that you can try, but we’ll focus on some of the most effective ones:
Shou San Li:
Shou San Li, also known as LI4, is an acupressure point located on the hand. It is believed to help regulate the body’s energy flow and promote relaxation. To locate this point, look for the highest point on the muscle when the thumb and index finger are brought together. Apply pressure to this point for several minutes while taking deep breaths.
This point is located on the top of the head, in the center of the scalp. It calms the mind, relieves stress, and promotes restful sleep.
This point is located on the inner side of the wrist, about two finger widths from the crease. Applying pressure to this point can help to alleviate anxiety, nausea, and palpitations.
Acupressure for Anxiety
Acupressure can be a highly effective natural treatment for anxiety. It stimulates the body’s natural healing processes and helps balance its energy. Here are some acupressure techniques that you can try to alleviate anxiety:
Self-Massage for Anxiety:
Self-massage is a simple and effective way to relieve anxiety symptoms. It involves applying pressure to certain body parts, such as the neck, shoulders, and back, to release muscle tension and promote relaxation. According to the Mayo Clinic, this section will discuss some of the most effective self-massage techniques for anxiety relief.
One of the simplest self-massage techniques is to rub the back of the neck with the fingertips. This area tends to accumulate tension, and massaging it can help release it. Another effective technique is to use a tennis ball or foam roller to roll out tense muscles in the back, shoulders, and legs. This can help release muscle knots and improve circulation, reducing anxiety symptoms.
Other self-massage techniques include tapping or gently slapping the chest, back, and shoulders and using circular motions to massage the temples and forehead. These techniques can all be done at home and require no special equipment.
In addition to relieving anxiety symptoms, self-massage has other benefits, such as reducing muscle soreness and improving sleep quality. It can also be a form of self-care and a way to connect with your body and reduce stress.
Tapping Acupressure Points for Anxiety:
Another acupressure technique that is gaining popularity for anxiety relief is tapping. Tapping, also known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), involves tapping on specific acupressure points while focusing on the emotional or physical issue at hand. Many people find that tapping helps them to release negative emotions and feel more relaxed.
To tap for anxiety relief, start by focusing on your anxiety and the physical sensations it causes. Then, using two fingers, tap on the following acupressure points:
- Inner eyebrow: This point is located at the beginning of the eyebrow, closest to the bridge of the nose.
- Side of the eye: This point is located on the bone at the outer corner of the eye.
- Under the eye: This point is located on the bone just beneath the eye.
- Under the nose: This point is located between the nose and the upper lip.
- Chin point: This point is located in the lower lip and the chin crease.
- Collarbone: This point is located at the base of the throat, just above the collarbone.
- Underarm: This point is located about 4 inches below the armpit, on the side of the body.
While tapping on each point, repeat a phrase that acknowledges your anxiety and focuses on self-acceptance and positive change. For example, you could say, “Even though I feel anxious, I accept myself and my feelings,” or “I choose to release this anxiety and feel calm and relaxed.” Additionally, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional or a mental health expert, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist from APA, when seeking treatments for anxiety.
Wrist Pressure Point for Anxiety:
As we mentioned earlier, the Nei Guan point on the inner side of the wrist is an effective anxiety massage point. You can use your fingers to apply pressure to this point, or you can use a wristband that applies pressure to the point throughout the day.
Another effective pressure point for anxiety relief is located on the wrist. This point is called Pericardium-6 (PC-6) and is commonly used in acupuncture to treat anxiety and nausea.
To locate the PC-6 point, place three fingers at the base of your wrist, just below the palm of your hand. The point is located between the tendons in the middle of your wrist.
To stimulate this point, use your opposite hand to apply pressure to the PC-6 point for about one minute. You can also wear a wristband that applies pressure to this point throughout the day for ongoing anxiety relief.
Anxiety Pressure Points for Anxiety Relief:
In addition to the anxiety massage points we’ve discussed, many other pressure points can effectively relieve anxiety. Here are a few more pressure points that you can try:
- Yintang: This point is located between the eyebrows, in the center of the forehead. It is believed to relieve stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
- CV17: This point is located in the center of the chest, about three finger widths above the base of the breastbone. Applying pressure to this point can help to alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation.
- GV24.5: This point is located between the eyebrows, at the base of the nose. It is believed to relieve anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
- Governing Vessel 20: This point is located on the top of the head, in the center of the scalp. Applying pressure to this point can help to calm the mind and relieve anxiety.
- Conception Vessel 17: This point is located in the center of the chest, about three finger widths above the base of the breastbone. Applying pressure to this point can help to alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation.
- Large Intestine 4: This point is located on the hand, between the thumb and the index finger. Applying pressure to this point can help alleviate anxiety, promote relaxation, and relieve headaches and neck pain.
Acupressure Points for Depression and Anxiety:
Acupressure can be effective in treating both depression and anxiety. Here are some acupressure points that you can try for both conditions:
- Kidney 1: This point is located on the sole, in the depression when the foot is curled. Applying pressure to this point can help to alleviate anxiety and depression, as well as fatigue and insomnia.
- Liver 3: This point is located on the top of the foot, between the big and second toes. Applying pressure to this point can help to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as improve circulation and digestion.
- Pericardium 6: This point is located on the inner side of the wrist, about two finger widths from the crease. It is believed to relieve anxiety, depression, and insomnia and alleviate nausea and motion sickness.
- Acupressure to treat anxiety and depression can be an effective and natural alternative to medication and therapy. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before trying new treatments, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.
Pressure Points for Anxiety Attacks
One of the most distressing symptoms of anxiety is an anxiety attack. Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, are characterized by sudden and intense feelings of fear or dread. During an anxiety attack, a person may experience various physical and emotional symptoms, including rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling, and a sense of impending doom.
Acupressure can be an effective way to manage anxiety attacks and their symptoms. Several pressure points can be stimulated to alleviate an anxiety attack’s physical and emotional symptoms.
- Pericardium 6 (P6) Point The P6 point, also known as the Inner Gate point, is located on the inner forearm, three finger-widths from the wrist crease. This point is often used to alleviate nausea and vomiting but can also effectively reduce anxiety symptoms. Place your index and middle fingers on the P6 point to stimulate this point and apply firm pressure. Hold the pressure for 30 seconds to a minute while taking deep breaths.
- Governing Vessel 20 (GV20) Point The GV20 point, also known as the Hundred Convergences point, is located on the top of the head, in the center of the line connecting the ears. This point is believed to help balance the body’s energy and promote relaxation. To stimulate this point, use your index and middle fingers to apply firm pressure to the GV20 point and massage in a circular motion for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Large Intestine 4 (LI4) Point The LI4 point, also known as the Joining Valley point, is located on the webbing between the thumb and index finger. This point is believed to help regulate the body’s energy and reduce pain and tension. To stimulate this point, use your thumb and index finger to apply firm pressure to the LI4 point and massage in a circular motion for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Stomach 36 (ST36) Point The ST36 point, also known as the Leg Three Miles point, is located on the lower leg, four finger-widths below the kneecap, on the outside of the leg. This point is believed to help strengthen the body’s energy and promote overall well-being. To stimulate this point, use your index and middle fingers to apply firm pressure to the ST36 point and massage in a circular motion for 30 seconds to a minute.
It is important to note that while acupressure can effectively manage anxiety attacks, it should not be used as a substitute for professional medical treatment. If you experience frequent anxiety attacks, it is important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and develop a comprehensive treatment plan that includes both self-care strategies and medical intervention.
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