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You may have heard of pressure points. They claim to be places on your face, hands, and body where pressure relieves specific issues. Although it may sound arcane, there is evidence that pressure points are a totally real and helpful way to improve your wellbeing. Real or not, they are very mystic. How can pushing down on your skin possibly cure headaches, nausea, and anxiety? In this article we will explore the ins and outs of pressure points, and how they relate to overall well being.

What is a pressure point?

Let’s start at the very beginning. Pressure points come from acupressure, a derivative of acupuncture. The practice involves applying pressure to specific points in the body to clear out any blocked energy. These can not be just anywhere on your body. Pressure points fall along 14 lines of energy, what are known as meridians. In addition to just pressing down on them when you notice symptoms of discomfort, EFT tapping is a popular practice in groups of people who specialize in wellness and non-traditional medicine.

What can acupressure be used to help with?

Acupressure has been used to treat conditions like headaches, insomnia, anxiety, cramps, fatigue, and more. Anything that involves an energy stoppage in the natural flow of things. When used correctly, acupressure seems like sort of a one stop shop for energy wellness. However, there is not much scientific research supporting the blind use of acupressure. Only a few studies have shown that it can be used to reduce pain or nausea, but not a conclusive amount, and not extraordinarily well. Some experts suggest the simultaneous use of CBD oils or balms, which stand alone as relieving supplements. When their application is used in tandem with acupressure treatment, patients experience maximum relief and symptoms alleviate.

Where can I find my pressure points?

As mentioned, the pressure points fall along different meridians. Some experts in Chinese medicine claim that there are 12, some 14. Essentially, the meridians are long vertical lines of energy that run throughout the body. They are associated with different organs, including spleen, kidneys, lung, liver, heart, and even large and small intestine. The majority of the primary pressure points are found in the hands. This article from Healthline does a great job explaining each of the unique hand pressure points. They are all over, and each has an individual purpose. The points along your thumb are thought to be related to your lungs, and right below your thumb is related to your emotions. If you are having trouble with any area of life, try a quick search to see if there is a pressure point solution for it. If not, no pressure!

How do pressure points work?

Pressure points are thought to be a cluster of nerves or sensitive areas in tissue. Martial artists use pressure points to disable their opponents. If you have ever seen someone deliver a blow in karate that knocked the other person out with little effort, it was probably a pressure point attack. Acupressure is also related to different methods of self care. Relieving anxiety, practicing mindfulness, and prioritizing rest are all related to the practice of relieving tension and improving energy flow.

What to be aware of?

Use these points with caution! It is advised to avoid using pressure point therapy at home if you are pregnant or wounded. Some, specifically hand acupoints can make pregnant people go into labor unexpectedly. Another time to avoid them is if you are cut or injured at all in the surrounding area. When you have a wound, it is best to avoid applying pressure that could interfere with the healing process.