The Health Benefits Of Acupressure

Acupressure is a form of massage that is derived from traditional Chinese medicine. It is generally considered to be a safe and gentle way to address many common ailments, as it is non-medicinal and non-invasive. Many people confuse acupressure with acupuncture.  Acupuncture involves a practitioner inserting very thin needles through the skin at strategic points of the body. Meanwhile, acupressure involves touching very specific pressure points on the body and can be performed as needed without the assistance of a practitioner. Acupressure can help promote stress relief, induce sleep and provide other health benefits for people of all ages. Read on to learn more about this alternative therapy.

The Benefits of Acupressure

Acupressure is a holistic pain relief option that may help encourage relaxation and sleep. It is considered very low-risk, as it does not have side effects or cause drug interactions like some pharmacological treatments. For example, many people are plagued by insomnia, but feel groggy the next day if they take sleeping medications. Acupressure offers a non-medicinal way to “power down” at bedtime. In addition, because acupressure can be self-administered, it is considered to be a low-cost, convenient treatment option. Studies show that acupressure can be especially beneficial for seniors, many of whom struggle with issues such as chronic pain, anxiety and depression. Acupressure can offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Relieving stress.
  • Reducing anxiety and agitation.
  • Relieving headaches and vertigo.
  • Improving sleep.
  • Helping pelvic or urinary problems.
  • Lowering blood pressure.
  • Relieving nausea.
  • Improving hormonal balance.
  • Reducing fear or uncontrollable emotions.

Identifying and Activating Pressure Points

Acupressure points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system when pressed or massaged. This stimulation releases chemicals into the muscles and brain and may activate the body’s natural healing abilities. Acupressure correlates specific pressure points with certain ailments and conditions. Here are instructions to activate acupressure points for some common ailments:

  • Headache - The temples are considered to be a pressure point, and are referred to as “Taiyang” in acupressure. To relieve a headache, place the index and middle fingers on the temples and massage in a circular motion for 10 deep breaths. Repeat as needed.
  • Stress-related insomnia and anxiety - The point between the skin of the big and second toe is known as “Tai Chong” or “LV3” in acupressure. Apply deep and firm pressure for three minutes to help reduce fatigue and improve sleep quality.
  • Nausea or motion sickness - The area a few inches above the inner wrist on the forearm between the ropy tendons is referred to as “Pericardium 6”. Apply deep but not painful pressure with the thumb while massaging in a circular motion, breathing deeply. Aim for 10 breaths and then repeat on the other arm. In addition to easing motion sickness, activating the “Pericardium 6” point can also calm anxiety and promote deeper sleep.
  • Shortness of breath - The point located one hand’s width directly below the sternum is known as “Conception Vessel 17”. Using two fingers, massage the area in a circular motion for at least one minute to combat stress and restore breath.
  • Agitation and restlessness - The point above the nose and directly between the eyebrows is called “Yin Tang” in acupressure. Applying firm pressure for several minutes can help relief, restlessness, fear and agitation.

At Daylesford Crossing, we provide customized care for the individual needs of each resident. Our individualized care plans focus on overall wellness goals. The Daylesford Crossing Wellness Spa & Clinic connects residents with massage, podiatry, physical therapy, lab and imaging services, pain management and more. Learn more about our supportive care community by contacting us today.