Looking for the best acupressure points for stress? We’ve got you covered below.
Feeling stressed? You’re not alone. According to a CDC survey, anywhere from 27 to 38 percent of adults reported symptoms of chronic stress, with numbers rising over time. And I probably don’t have to tell you that stress is capital B-A-D. If it goes unmanaged, stress can lead to weight gain, fatigue, skin problems, and a host of other issues.
As someone who struggles with anxiety, I am always looking for ways to help calm my body’s fight or flight response—which is seemingly on all the time. I roll on essential oils, supplement with calming adaptogens (thanks, Big Chill!), and prioritize getting enough sleep. However, the latest anti-stress tool I’ve added is acupressure.
Keep reading to discover the best pressure points to relieve stress.
What is Acupressure?
Acupressure is a practice rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Studies suggest that it can help manage and treat various issues, including but not limited to:
The idea is that by applying pressure to specific points on the body, you can target pain points and improve your overall flow of energy (aka qi).
3 Healing Acupressure Points for Stress
Locate and massage these popular pressure points to relieve stress.
1. He Gu (LI4)
You can locate the He Gu (LI4) pressure point between the web of your thumb and index finger, at the highest point of the muscle.
The He Gu acupressure point has been thoroughly studied in clinical settings. Research shows that it’s not only a terrific pressure point to relieve stress, but also helps to:
- reduce constipation
- lighten headaches + tension
- relax the jaw + reduce associated pain
- ease overall pain
How to: Apply pressure and massage the area for five seconds. Repeat as necessary.
2. Zu San Li (ST36)
Further down on your body, you can find the Zan San Li (ST26) pressure point by placing four fingers beneath your kneecap. From there, move horizontally to the outside of your shin. (To ensure this is the right spot, wiggle your foot up and down. You should feel a muscle moving.)
In addition to relieving stress, Zan San Li can also help:
- alleviate GI distress
- relieve nausea
- improve fatigue
Further, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, stimulating this popular stress point can help promote longevity and overall wellness.
How to: Use your thumb to apply pressure and massage the point for five seconds. Repeat as necessary.
3. Tai Chong (LV3)
To find the Tai Chong (LV3) pressure point, locate the space between your big toe and your second toe. From the place where the skin meets, move up about two finger widths.
Similar to the acupressure points for stress above, Tai Chong puts in extra work by coming to the rescue for other wellness concerns. Stimulate this point to:
- alleviate lower back pain
- reduce the severity of cramps
- fall asleep more easily
- move liver qi
Ancient TCM texts also prescribe this acupressure point to help with digestion and reduce irritability.
How to: Apply deep pressure to this point and massage for five seconds. Repeat as necessary.
Feeling calmer thanks to acupressure for stress? We hope so!
And now that you’re committed to a natural stress-fighting regimen, why not add some adaptogens and other herbal remedies to your routine?