Acupressure

Acupressure for Carers for Emotional Support

Acupressure is so useful to help relieve anxious feelings and more. Carers can use acupressure to take charge of their emotional state. I love this modality!

Like some other modalities discussed on this site, the fact that you can use acupressure anywhere, anytime, and it’s free, really empowers the person to take charge of their emotional state, rather than having to rely on someone or something to help.

I’m not an acupuncturist.  I have compiled this list from people who know this stuff because they are either acupuncture or acupressure practitioners.

It’s all about finding and building a bank of “go to” techniques that you remember to use, when stressed.  Some points will be more effective for you than others.  Experiment.


So, what is Acupressure?

Acupressure is based on the ancient Chinese Medicine theory of meridians which are energy pathways, much like you would think of the veins in the body being the blood pathways.

The human body consists of 14 main energy pathways (meridians) that carry energy into, through and out of your body, feeding energy to the organs and affecting every physiological system (nervous, immune, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, skeletal, muscular, and endocrine).

Where the energy from the meridians come close to the skin surface, it is known as an acupoint or acupressure point, and physical stimulation of these points (via needles or finger pressure) allows us to gain access to the energy of the meridian to effect change to the body.

Thankfully you don’t need to know which meridian you are using, or even why you stimulate an acupoint on the body.  You will still get relief regardless of your knowledge of the body, the meridians, or the acupoints.

Acupressure is helpful for carers and caregivers to support their emotional health

Acupressure Articles for Carers

Sara Calabro, Founding Editor of AcuTake has written excellent articles on using acupuncture points for lowering stress.  Don’t be intimidated by the word acupuncture; you don’t have to use needles (leave that to the professionals); you can use your fingers to get relief using these points.  With her kind permission I have listed the articles here.

Here are some of her articles:

Acupuncturists Pick: Best DIY Acupuncture Points for Lowering Stress, Part 1

Acupuncturists Pick: Best DIY Acupuncture Points for Lowering Stress, Part II

Sara also does a fascinating series called “Why Are You Doing That Point?”  Written in layman’s English, they are great reading and worth learning for general health.  Some of the points written about are also useful for stress and anxiety and I have listed them below:

Yintang

“Acupuncture’s Chill Pill.”

Useful for calming the mind, anxiety and insomnia due to over thinking.

Governing Vessel 20

Useful for feeling out of it, depression, raising emotional energy.

Kidney 1

Ground your energy – a “mechanism for dispersing all the stuff that most of us have swimming around in our heads, preventing us from the emotional calm and physical comfort we crave”, and insomnia.

Kidney 6

Calms the mind, “restoring balance with the Heart and alleviating emotional systems”, and insomnia.

Pericardium 6

The Nausea and chest area discomfort point.

Nausea due to anxiety.

Spleen 4

For “people who tend to stew on or over think things…”  “It can help with processing and moving through emotional stressors.”

Spleen 6

“…is included in almost all acupuncture treatments for general-wellness, balancing, and stress-reduction”.

Contraindicated in pregnancy.

Stomach 36

Fatigue, depression and many other issues.


Acupressure on YouTube

Another great resource is YouTube for watching demonstrations of acupressure points being worked.

I really enjoy the work of Michael Reed Gach, and his book Acupressure’s Potent Points is very useful, so much so that I have purchased it in both Kindle and paperback versions.  It has been opened many times!

Be aware that you do not have to do all the points.

When pressing the points, use long slow deep breaths – in through the nose and out through the mouth.

The more you use acupressure, the more you will be able to use it for prevention.

Calming Stress Relief Acupressure Points – Michael Gach

Calming stress relief acupressure points with Michael Reed Gach

Pericardium 6 (PC 6)

Located: 2-3 fingers below the wrist crease, between the tendons.

Opens the chest, insomnia, nausea, motion sickness, anxiety, palpitations, and wrist pain.

Conception Vessel 17 (CV 17)

Located: on the centre of the breastbone, three thumb widths up from the base of the bone.  For men, it would be located centrally between the nipples.   Rub against breast bone (sternum) with all your fingers, in between the bumps.

Relieves nervousness, anxiety (panic attacks), chest tension, anguish, depression, hysteria, stress, tension and other emotional imbalances

Opens the breath.  When you are depressed, your breathing is depressed.

Worry, Doubt Self-Care Acupressure Recovery Point (GV 26) – Michael Gach

Worry, Doubt Self-Care Acupressure Recovery Point (GV 26) with Michael Reed Gach

Governing Vessel 26 (GV 26)

Located: midway between the bottom of the nose and the top of the top lip, in the depression.

Relieves worry, doubt, centering (groundedness), and dizziness.

Press slowly and steadily into your gum.  Hold for 2 – 3 minutes while breathing deeply, in through the nose, out through the mouth.  Press several times during the day to ground yourself – helps to move you more into your body (as opposed to being in your head, thinking, thinking…..)

Anxiety & Stress Relief – CV17

This is my favourite point!

Anxiety & stress relief acupressure points with Michael Reed Gach

Stress Relief, Headaches, Racing Thoughts & Acupressure for Mental Health

Stress relief, headaches, racing thoughts & acupressure for mental health with Michael Reed Gach

Governing Vessel 24.5 (GV 24.5)

Located: using your middle finger, lightly touch between the eyebrows.  Focus on where your finger is touching.

Bring hands together in prayer position, placing middle fingers at GV 24.5.  Breathe in deeply and tilt head back slightly, exhale as you let your head drop down.  Do this breathing approximately 10 times (inhaling up, exhaling down).  Practice 2 to 3 times daily.

Grief, Depression & Feeling Stuck

Grief, depression & feeling stuck with Michael Reed Gach

Lung 1 (LU 1)

Located: on the outer part of the chest, three finger widths below the collarbone.  Often a sore spot.  Rub to feel where the soreness is.

For depression, opens the lungs.

Hold and do long slow deep breathing (in through nose, out through mouth).  Hold for between ½ minute to 2-3 minutes.  The more you do it, the better it will work.

Depression, Anxiety & Hormonal Balance Acupressure Points

Depression, anxiety & hormonal balance acupressure points with Michael Reed Gach

Governing Vessel 20 (GV 20)

Located: on the crown of the head, between the cranial points.  Follow the line from the back of the ears to the top of the head.

 Relieves sinus congestion, poor concentration and memory and headaches.

Take slow deep breaths (3 – 4, in through the nose, out through mouth) before moving your hand from the 3rd eye point to the CV 17 point (see above) and continue long deep breaths.

Acupressure for Insomnia – Eric Kerr

Acupressure for Insomnia with Eric Kerr

Acupressure for Insomnia – Michael Gach

Sleep better insomnia acupressure points with Michael Reed Gach

Acupressure for Anxiety – Eric Kerr

Acupressure for anxiety with Eric Kerr

2 points are demonstrated:

Pericardium 6 (PC 6)

Located: 2-3 fingers below the wrist crease, between the tendons.

Opens the chest, insomnia, nausea, motion sickness, anxiety, palpitations, and wrist pain.

Heart 7 (H7)

Located: on the little finger side of the forearm, at the wrist crease.

Relieves emotional balances, fear, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia and forgetfulness.


Recommended Reading

Acupressure Potent Points is a valuable resource for carers
Acupressure’s Potent Points by Michael Reed Gach