5 Acupressure Massages to Take the Stress and Pain Away

Essential Takeaways

  • As part of TCM's holistic approach, acupressure involves massaging specific points on the body to help the energy — or qi — flow smoothly through internal pathways.
  • Incorporating acupressure into your daily rhythms can bolster your health and ease any stress that comes your way.
  • Best of all, no equipment is needed. Just use your hands, close your eyes, and voilà — relief awaits.

PC: @mandymadd

Who doesn’t want a free massage? Acupressure is easy to do, wonderfully convenient, and tremendously beneficial. It focuses on various points on the body that connect to different organs and tissues. Massaging these trigger spots (known as acupoints) fosters better balance in the body’s qi.

Whether you sit for hours at a computer, struggle with constant nausea during pregnancy, or can’t sleep because of stress — acupressure is your friend. It’s even been shown to help treat certain diseases. For example, a recent study found that acupressure relieves symptoms of breast cancer chemotherapy, so this practice can also serve as a powerful ally for healing inflammation.

Read more: Understanding — and Breaking — the Cycle of Chronic Inflammation.

Thanks to one of our Elix medical advisors, Dr. Liem Quang Le (a licensed acupuncturist and TCM doctor), here are some simple acupressure massages you can do at home — or anywhere, really. Using your hands, massage clockwise in the direction of the energy’s flow, do each move for at least 30-60 seconds, and attend to both sides of the body. Dr. Le recommends doing an acupressure regime before bedtime, but feel free to do these massages anytime during the day.

1. Third Eye (Yin Tang)
  • Take your finger and find the little depression between your eyebrows. 

  • Massage this to release tension from stress, frustration, concentration, and anxiety.

  • For a demonstration: See 5:25 in our IG Live with Dr. Le
 2. Ren 17 (Tan Zhong)
  • Starting from the top of your sternum, count four rib spaces down and find the midpoint of your bust.

  • Also known as the solar plexus or the heart chakra point, this spot protects the heart. Because women often hold tight to their emotions here, it can be especially tender for many of them. Work on this area to help with anxiety.

  • Honing in on this spot also strengthens your body and boosts its immunity.

  • For a demonstration: See 7:23 in our IG Live with Dr. Le
 3. Large Intestine 4 (He Gu)
  • This is the muscle between your thumb and index, and it’s a critical point because its connection to multiple organs can relieve a wider array of afflictions.

  • The treatment list is impressive: congested nose, tired or twitching eyes, toothaches, jaw pain, and headaches. Multiple studies have also demonstrated that acupressure here leads to immense improvement in painful period cramps (dysmenorrhea). 

  • For a demonstration: See 9:33 in our IG Live with Dr. Le
4. Pericardium 6 (Nei Guan) 
  • Using one index finger and thumb, measure from the tip of your other index finger to the middle joint of that finger. Then take that distance to the wrist crease on your forearm. Press on the space in between the tendons there.

  • Its connection to the pericardium (the organ that protects the heart) makes it an excellent acupressure spot for easing anxiety. 

  • It’s also helpful for alleviating various kinds of nausea, from morning sickness to seasickness.

  • For a demonstration: See 12:27 in our IG Live with Dr. Le

5. The Ear (Er Duo)
  • According to Dr. Le, the ear doesn’t have just one pressure point, but a plethora of them. In fact, acupressure on the ear alone can treat the entire body.

  • Take deep breaths, close your eyes, and massage every hollow and crevice in both of your ears. You can tug on the earlobes and even fold the entire ear forward to release tension in the head and neck.

  • For a demonstration: See 14:05 in our IG Live with Dr. Le
Explore More Ways for Balanced Healing

At Elix, we believe in a world where everyone feels empowered to be their own best healers, whether it’s with acupressure or herbal healing. Our Cycle Balance formula contains potent, organic herbs that minimize inflammation and hormonal imbalances causing menstrual pain (including stress!) in the body. 

Take our online health assessment today to discover what herbs can support your menstrual care and help you feel your best.

This article was reviewed by Zoey Gong

Zoey Gong is a Traditional Chinese Medicine nutritionist, food therapist, and chef. Her recipes have been featured in various publications, including the cover of Food & Wine magazine in the February 2023 issue. She’s the author of The Five Elements Cookbook: A Guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine with Recipes for Everyday Healing, where she guides readers in the basics of TCM through encyclopedic entries on common ingredients and 50 nourishing recipes.

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