Posted on April 21st, 2015 by Seth Nickinson
At Project ACT, we are big believers in taking care of your body during the workday. We recently talked about stress-relieving massages you can do on yourself. That’s on top of stretching at your workstation, desk yoga, and moving meetings.
Here, we go into a bit more detail about a specific technique that can really help combat tension: acupressure. Acupuncture (with needles) has been shown to have significant effects on stress relief and anxiety, and its counterpart, acupressure, has shown clinical results for menstrual pain and even chemo-induced nausea. What if you could provide yourself some of the benefits of treatment in just a few minutes? Read on…
Acupressure is a system that uses Traditional Chinese Medicine meridians and points, just without the needles or electrical stimulation. Just your thumbs and fingers to press on key points.
You can use your index finger to locate the points talked. Instructions often point to a bodily landmark. At many points you’ll find a slight indentation in the tissue, about the size of your fingertip. Once you find the point, however, hold it with three fingers. You want to relax the tension around a point, and three fingers is a more comforting touch than one finger. Plus, when you use three fingers one of them will almost certainly be directly on the point. (guidance care of BalanceFlow.com)
Here’s a first video so you can dive right in. Gotta love the stickies to help you out!
There are, indeed a whole suite of useful stress-relieving acupressure points. BalanceFlow.com provides a lot of resources including this guide, “Acupressure Self-Help for Neck Tension, Pain, and Stiffness, and for Headaches.” (PDF)
For lots of other possible points, check out this very thorough article, “Acupuncturists Pick: Best DIY Acupuncture Points for Lowering Stress.” It includes, for instance:
“When we’re stressed, we often hold our breath. I recommend using three fingers to rub this point, located in the center of the chest. Or you can tap it while taking deep breaths whenever you experience acute stress or anxiety. You may notice tenderness when you find the exact point.”
The whole article from AcuTake runs through 21 points you can use.
Want to watch more about how it’s done?Michael Reed Gach has a great series of video-guided acupressure lessons for stress relief. Check out these, for example: