The 10 Most Effective Acupressure Points for Depression You Should Stimulate

Acupressure for depression

Everyone feels empty and unmotivated every once in a while. However, you may experience a sadness too intense and crippling that it affects daily functioning and quality of life. This condition is called depression.

This mental health problem is the leading cause of disability in the world. According to the World Health Organization, 300 million people worldwide are affected by it.1

Coping with this condition is not easy, but there are small steps you can take to help you get started in your journey to recovery. For example, stimulating the acupressure points for depression we list below can make you feel more in control of your well-being.

How Can Acupressure Help Ease Depression Symptoms?

Acupressure points for depression

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), depression is caused by blocked qi, a vital energy in the body. This problem is triggered by stress, lack of sleep and exercise, poor diet, and genetics.

Similar to acupuncture, acupressure can help ensure the smooth flow of qi along the meridians, which are the channels that connect the organs. It requires putting pressure on specific places on the body to promote blood circulation and release muscle tension.

This ancient practice is used by professionals to treat depression symptoms. For instance, licensed acupuncturist Jon E. Walker, L.Ac targets specific acupressure points to release mood- and emotion-regulating hormones. In addition, researchers revealed that acupressure could reduce depression and stress and increase psychological well-being.2

Best Acupressure Points for Depression

With consistency, acupressure can serve as a supplementary treatment for depression. Ease your symptoms by learning more about these acupressure points and following these steps.

1. Yintang (Hall of Impression)

Acupressure Point Yintang EX-HN3 (Hall of Impression)

Yintang (EX-HN3) stabilizes mental outlook, eases emotional restlessness, and promotes deep relaxation. A study shows that using this acupressure point helps relieve anxiety.3

How to target this acupressure point:

  • Place your finger on the center of your forehead, between your eyebrows
  • Apply pressure to the point
  • Gently massage the point

2. Heart 7 (Shenmen or Spirit Gate)

Acupressure Point Heart 7 HT 7 (Shenmen or Spirit Gate)

Heart 7 (HT 7) is best used for dealing with emotional issues, particularly worry and anxiety. It strengthens the heart to quiet the mind and alleviate chest tightness, heart palpitations, and emotional stress.

How to target this acupressure point:

  • Face your palm upward
  • Find the point on the crease of your inner wrist in line with your little finger
  • Apply pressure to the point with your thumb
  • Massage the point in circular motions
  • Repeat on your other wrist

3. Pericardium 6 (Neiguan or Inner Gate)

Acupressure Point Pericardium 6 PC 6 (Neiguan or Inner Gate)

Pericardium 6 (PC 6) relieves depression and anxiety. It also helps with insomnia, vomiting, and nausea.

How to target this acupressure point:

  • On the middle of your inner wrist, measure two finger-widths below your palm
  • Use your thumb or forefinger to massage the point
  • Repeat the steps on your other wrist

4. Liver 3 (Taichong or Great Surge)

Acupressure Point Liver 3 LIV 3 (Taichong or Great Surge)

Liver 3 (LIV 3) is helpful for those with depression associated with anger, frustration, and resentment. Activating this acupressure point also addresses belly and chest pain, insomnia due to fear, and digestive problems.

How to target this acupressure point:

  • Find the hollow between your first and second toes
  • Apply pressure to the point with your thumb
  • Massage the point in circular motions
  • Switch sides

5. Large Intestine 4 (Hegu or Joining Valley)

Acupressure Point Large Intestine 4 LI 4 (Hegu or Joining Valley)If you’re dealing with stress and headaches due to depression and anxiety, activate Large Intestine 4 (LI 4). You can also use this for pain and muscle tension.

How to target this acupressure point:

  • Find the highest point of your muscle between your thumb and forefinger
  • Press the point with your thumb
  • Repeat on your other hand

Read More: Best Acupressure Points for Anxiety

6. Ren 17 (Tanzhong or Chest Center)

Acupressure Point Ren 17 CV 17 (Tanzhong or Chest Center)

Ren 17 (CV 17), also known as the influential point of qi, relaxes the chest. Use this point to ease anxiety and fear.

How to target this acupressure point:

  • Find the point at the center of your chest, between your nipples
  • Apply pressure to the point
  • Massage the point in circular motions

7. Governor Vessel 20 (Baihui or Hundred Meetings)

Acupressure Point Governor Vessel 20 GV 20 (Baihui or Hundred Meetings)

Governor Vessel 20 (GV 20) is one of the most effective acupressure points for depression. Also called DU 20, it helps clear the mind, increase memory, and relieve depression. Activate this point if you struggle with overthinking, insomnia, or anxiety.

How to target this acupressure point:

  • Find the point at the top and midline of your head
  • Press the point gently for about one minute
  • Repeat the process as needed

8. Urinary Bladder 65 (Shugu or Restraining Bone)

Acupressure Point Urinary Bladder 65 UB 65 (Shugu or Restraining Bone)

Urinary Bladder 65 (UB 65) helps manage symptoms of manic psychosis, a symptom that may occur during depression. It also reduces neck rigidity, leg pain, and headaches.

How to target this acupressure point:

  • On the outer side of your foot, find the bony prominence halfway along your little toe
  • Press and massage the point
  • Switch sides

9. Gallbladder 40 (Qiuxu or Hill Ruins)

Acupressure Point Gallbladder 40 GB 40 (Qiuxu or Hill Ruins)

Gallbladder 40 (GB 40) is ideal for those who suffer from poor sleep, vomiting, and acid reflux due to stress. It helps manage anger or irritability associated with depression.

How to target this acupressure point:

  • Measure one finger-width downwards from the midpoint between your knee crease and your outer ankle bone
  • Press and massage the acupressure point
  • Repeat the technique on your other leg

10. Kidney 13 (Qixue or Qi Hole)

Acupressure Point Kidney 13 KI 13 (Qixue or Qi Hole)

Kidney 13 (KI 13) helps access your “inner child” and heal from fear and trauma from early childhood experiences. This can also be used for irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea, and diarrhea.

How to target this acupressure point:

  • Measure three finger-widths below your belly button
  • Press the acupressure point
  • Massage in circular motions

Other Home Remedies to Manage Depression Symptoms

Another way to manage depression symptoms is to implement positive changes to your lifestyle. Start incorporating these habits into your routine to help shift your behavior and mindset:

  • Add plants to your home
  • Aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night
  • Avoid alcohol and other drugs
  • Consider yoga and meditation
  • Cut back on caffeine
  • Do mindfulness exercises
  • Do stress management exercises
  • Eat healthily
  • Establish a routine
  • Exercise regularly
  • Find ways to relax
  • Get more vitamin D
  • Join a support group
  • Reach out to friends and family
  • Revisit old hobbies
  • Set goals
  • Spend time with your pet
  • Try dietary supplements, such as St. John’s Wort, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e), and 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
  • Try gardening
  • Try guided imagery and music therapy
  • Try journaling
  • Try psychotherapy

In Short

I hope you enjoy this article about the 10 best acupressure points for depression!

Recovering from depression may not be easy. The good news is that you have more control over your life than you think, no matter how empty and exhausted you feel right now.

Targeting certain acupressure points is a good start to help manage your symptoms and make you feel better. To speed up your recovery, consider seeing a mental health professional.


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.