6 Acupressure Points To Know For Sleep, Stress & Digestion (2023)

6 Acupressure Points To Know For Sleep, Stress & Digestion (1)

6 Acupressure Points To Know For Sleep, Stress & Digestion (2)

With roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupressure can help with everything from digestion to mood to energy – and it’s simple enough to do yourself. Here, we asked Emilia Herting, practitioner and co-founder of Escapada, how to get it right.

By Tor West /



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It Encourages Self-Healing

“Acupressure is an ancient form of massage – it’s been used in TCM for over 2,000 years. In a nutshell, it’s a method of sending a signal to the body through pressure (typically through your fingers) to turn on its own self-healing mechanisms. In TCM, qi – also known as your ‘life energy’ – circulates through 14 natural pathways in the body called meridians, but this qi can often be blocked due to an imbalance in the body, which manifests as illness or pain. Acupressure helps correct these imbalances and restores flow to bring you back to a state of wellbeing. Instead of a quick-fix, acupressure offers an individualised, self-healing toolbox to help relieve anxiety and stress, encourage restful sleep, and even help balance hormones.”

It's Similar To Acupuncture

“Acupressure is very closely related to acupuncture, whereby needles are inserted into acupuncture points. However, because acupressure is performed without any needles or other equipment, and can be performed anywhere, it is incredibly well suited for self-treatment by people of all ages and all states of health. With the help of acupressure, you can alleviate pain and other complaints like stress, anxiety, insomnia and more by supporting your body with its self-healing powers.”

(Video) Acupressure Points for Digestion

It Can Provide Relief In A Matter Of Minutes

“Once you’ve found the right spot, there can be an instant effect. And, with a little trial and error and some practice, you will start finding the correct acupressure point faster and more accurately. If you have found the correct point, press it with your thumb or index finger (or sometimes even your fingernail) and maintain the pressure for 30 seconds to three minutes. The best option is to find the duration that’s comfortable and effective for you, and if using your finger to press the acupressure point is uncomfortable, you can use a small, rounded object instead.”

Here, Emilia shares her top tips for performing your own acupressure at home…

  • Find A Quiet Space: “It may not always be possible, but try to find a quiet and calming space when doing acupressure, away from distraction and electronics. If possible, find somewhere comfortable to sit, too.”
  • Try Not To Apply Too Much Pressure: “The pressure should be light and never painful. The intensity of the stimulation of the acupressure point can impact the effect of the acupressure on your entire body. A calming effect can be achieved using firm pressure, while a stimulating effect can be achieved with gentle pressure, but it should never hurt.”
  • Don’t Panic If It Doesn’t Work: “You won’t always feel the results instantly – it can take 15 to 20 minutes to allow your body to unwind and heal. However, it could also mean you haven’t quite found the correct spot, and there’s never any harm in trying again.”
  • Enhance It With Breathwork: “Using the power of your breath is a great ritual to use with acupressure. Taking deep inhalations and exhales when pressing on a point can enhance results and allow you to let go.”
  • Be Careful If You’re Pregnant: “Although acupressure is not age restrictive, people with high blood pressure and pregnant women should refrain unless they have spoken to a TCM practitioner first. Acupressure should never on or to help treat open wounds, scar tissue, varicose veins, or areas of inflammation or swelling.”
6 Acupressure Points To Know For Sleep, Stress & Digestion (3)


For Deep Sleep:


This is a fantastic pressure point if you are suffering from insomnia or sleep problems, especially if they’re related to stress. It’s located between the back of the ear and the base of the skull, where there’s a slight depression next to a bone called the mastoid.

  1. Locate the depression at the back of the ear and place your finger on the pressure point.
  2. Gently apply pressure in a circular motion, massaging it whilst your body and mind start to relax. If you can, add some essential oils such as lavender, which will help relax you and intensify the treatment.
  3. Massage for 15 seconds and repeat as needed.

For Headaches:


(Video) Self-Acupressure for Sleep and Relaxation | Dana-Farber Zakim Center Remote Programming

This is considered one of the most important pressure points in the entire body. ‘Hegu’ in TCM means ‘joining valley’ – it refers to the point on the hand located between the index finger and thumb. It controls the face, nose, jaw and mouth, and can help release tension, reduce stress and calm headaches. However, do not use this acupressure point when pregnant.

  1. Locate the Hegu point on your hand and place your thumb on the pressure point.
  2. Use a deep firm pressure to massage and stimulate for two to three minutes.
  3. Make sure you’re breathing deeply as you massage the area as this will help you relax and let go.
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For Stress:

Yin Tang

Yin Tang, also known as your ‘evil eye’, lies between your eyebrows at the centre of your face. Applying pressure to this point can help with both anxiety, uneasiness and stress, whilst calming the mind and improving sleep.

  1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes, removing yourself from distraction and electronics.
  2. Find the spot between your eyebrows with your index finger or thumb.
  3. Gently circle your finger on the point 100 times; you should feel more relaxed.

For A Racing Mind:

Bai Hui

This is a fantastic point to lift energy, ease anxiety and calm an overthinking mind. To find this point, rest your tips of your thumbs at the uppermost point of your ears, and reach your middle fingers up to touch one another at the crown of your head – this the point. Gently tapping this point allows your body to open and release feelings of anxiety and stress while grounding you.

  1. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and remove yourself from distraction and electronics.
  2. Find your Bai Hui point and gently rest or tap your middle fingers lightly for up to 60 seconds on the point.
  3. Repeat one to two times a day until you feel the lift in energy as you activate the point.
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(Video) TCM Tip #2: Best Acupressure for Anxiety, Heat & Stomach Problems | TCM Time with Kathy Yang
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If you struggle with digestive issues, this is the acupressure point for you. It's located on midline of the upper abdomen half way between the belly button and the junction where the ribs come together, or about one hand’s width above the belly button. When activated, this powerful acupoint can help with constipation, bloating, tummy aches and more.

  1. For this acupressure point, we would recommend applying pressure directly to the skin, although it can be done sitting over a top or jumper.
  2. Once you've found the spot, apply firm pressure and slowly increase the pressure as you rub the spot. Don’t use too much force.
  3. Keep massaging the area for three to five minutes. When you are done, release the pressure and let the spot rest. If this point is very sore, it could mean you have problems with your digestive system.
(Video) Press Here for 30 Seconds, And See What Will Happen to Your Body

For Balanced Hormones:


As this point crosses the spleen, kidney and liver meridians, it can treat many conditions associated with all three organs, including balancing hormones. It can also help with any digestive, gynaecological and emotional condition. You can find it around the distance of four finger widths above the inner ankle bone. If you’re pregnant, skip this acupressure point.

  1. Sit upright with your ankle crossed over your opposite leg and find Sanyinjaio by measuring out four finger widths above the inner ankle bone (on your lower calf).
  2. Holding onto your leg with your hand, apply firm pressure with your thumb or index finger for two to five minutes.
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For more information visit EscapadaHealth.com & follow @EscapadaHealth and @Emilia.Escapada_Hamburg.

DISCLAIMER:Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

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