Updated: Oct 2, 2020
Acupressure is acupuncture without needles
What is Acupressure?
The role of acupressure in promoting health and wellbeing has been practiced in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for more than 2000 years.
Acupressure is essentially a method of sending a signal to the body to 'turn on' its own self-healing or regulatory mechanisms. Normally, Qi (vital energy) circulates through the body's meridian pathways. Blockage of this flow or an imbalance can cause illness and pain.
Acupressure helps to correct functional imbalances and restore the flow thus returning the body to a more natural state of well-being. Acupressure works by targeting specific points around the body on the meridian lines with light to medium pressure, usually applied by fingers or hand.
Using Acupressure to relieve stress and tension in the body
A simple acupressure routine may help to manage and relieve shoulder and neck tension
Acupressure is especially effective for managing common health problems that tend to become worse as stress and tension accumulates in the body. Chronic shoulder and neck tension often cause problems including headaches, migraines, fatigue and blurred vision.
Below are three awesome Acupressure points, that are great to know and have in your personal stress relieving tool-kit to help relieve shoulder tension and neck pain whenever and wherever daily stress strikes.
GB 21 is on the top of the shoulders, two finger widths out from the outside base of your neck. This Acupressure point is where you probably have the most tension in your shoulder (trapezius) muscles.
Firmly hold the point with your opposite hand. Take your right hand with your fingers curved to hook onto your left shoulder. Or use your left hand with your fingers curved to press the top of your right shoulder.
Feel for tension on the top of your shoulders by firmly rubbing to find the tightest spot. Then curve your fingers to hook the weight of your arm into GB21 as you breathe deeply for a couple of minutes. Then switch sides.
If you have more tension on one side, which is common, then hold that side a couple minutes longer, as you take deep breaths.
BL10 is located in the hollows in the middle of the neck underneath the base of the skull. Stimulating this point has been shown to reduce neck tension and stiffness and can be useful in easing the tension and associated pain from headaches and migraines. This point is also good for hormonal balance and benefits the thyroid gland.
Use firm, prolonged pressure on B10 as you breathe deeply for 2 to 3 minutes. To massage the points, you can lean your head back onto your thumbs and gently rock your head from side to side.
GB20 is a common point used particularly for migraine pain. It can also help with the eye blurriness or fatigue associated with migraines. GB20 is just below your ear in the two hollows that are found on either side of your neck, near the base of your skull.
Use firm, prolonged pressure on GB20 as you breathe deeply for 2 to 3 minutes. Again, you can massage these points by leaning your head back onto your thumbs and gently rocking your head from side to side.
Bonus tip: Acupressure points for stress and tension are complemented well with lavender, lime, german chamomile, vetiver, basil and petitgrain essential oils.