4 ways to use acupressure at home to reduce stress and pain

With a large part of the world still staying mostly indoors, and anxiety (and sleeplessness) running high, consider adding acupressure to your daily routine. The 2000-year old science is thought to reduce pain and lower the inflammation levels of the body. Think of yourself as a network of different nerves and muscles, headquartered in the brain. “When the energy or qi flows freely through the meridians, things are great. But when these meridians are congested, they can cause pain or discomfort,” says Komal Pange, head trainer and salon manager, Mary Cohr. Acupressure is the ancient form of massage that serves as a major treatment method used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The goal is to encourage the movement of the qi in a balanced manner by applying pressure on the right parts of the body to loosen any tightness and blockages.

“While most conventional therapies address the cognitive and emotional aspects of trauma (i.e. psychotherapy), they do not deal with the physiological source. This is where acupressure comes in. This type of physical therapy is literally hands-on and works directly with your body to help relieve physical ailments, muscular tension, and any emotional imbalances associated with them,” says Dr Sudha Nair, naturopathy manager, Dharana at Shillim. While it is an in-depth science, we reached out to experts at some of the leading wellness centres to share effective hacks that can be incorporated into the daily routine to maintain peace of mind.

1. When you need to boost your mood

“Yong Quan, Gushing Spring or Kidney 1, is located on the sole of the foot. It is the lowest acupuncture point on the body and the entry point of Qi or vital energy into the Kidney meridian,” says Dr Prathana Kumboonchu, traditional Chinese medicine specialist, at Chiva-Som International Health Resort. To activate this point, follow her simple instructions. “Sit in a chair and cross your leg so that the pinky toe side of your foot is resting on the top of your thigh. The spot to look for is just behind the ball of the foot, on the line between the second and third toes and the centre of the heel. Press down with your thumb to activate the most grounding point on the body. This acupressure spot calms the heart and mind, and soothes anger and frustration,” she adds.

2. When you need to get a full night’s sleep…

“Neiguan, or P-6, is located on your inner arm near your wrist. Stimulating this pressure point can help you fall asleep when are unable to unwind naturally,” explains Dr Kumboonchu. To activate this point, hold your hand up so that your palm is facing you. “To find the right spot, place the first three fingers of your other hand across your wrist at the base of your palm. Place your thumb just below your three fingers. Gently press your thumb so you feel two large tendons. The P6 pressure point is located there, at the centre of your lower wrist. Apply gentle pressure to this spot. Repeat on your other wrist.”

3. When you need to relieve tension in your muscles…

Dr Nair suggests stimulating the shoulder well point. “Also referred to GB-21 or Jian Jing in acupressure, it is the back shoulder muscle (ridge between neck and shoulder). On this point run your index or middle finger along with your thumb. Pinch your muscles a bit to generate energy and start applying gentle pressure for three-five minutes. It helps in not only relieving anxiety and body stress but also headache and tension in the shoulder muscles,” adds Dr Nair.

4. To calm a racing mind…

“GV 24.5 or the Governing Vessel 24.5 is the area between your brows, which sits exactly between your eyebrows, on the curve where the bridge of your nose meets your forehead. Use your finger or thumb and gently put pressure on the area for 45 seconds. Begin applying more pressure here while pushing upward to the midpoint of your forehead and repeat for one minute. Control your breathing by taking deep breaths as you feel your body relax,” explains Dr Nair. Repeat till you visibly feel relaxed.

The article was first published in Vogue


  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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