The 10 Best Acupressure Points for Anxiety & Stress You Need To Know

Best Acupressure Points For Anxiety

Anyone who has faced a challenging or unfamiliar situation likely experienced anxiety. This feeling of worry or fear is the body’s natural response to stress or potential danger. It usually presents itself in the form of restlessness, increased heart rate, and trouble concentrating.

While it often leads to uncomfortable emotions and physical sensations, not all anxiety is bad. In particular, good stress, also known as eustress, can promote growth, motivation, and excitement for new experiences.1

Unfortunately, there’s persistent dread about everyday situations that can impact daily life. This anxiety is typically treated with medication or therapy. Complementary treatments like acupressure for anxiety can also help.

How Can Acupressure Treat Anxiety?

Acupressure for anxiety

Acupressure, a form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), requires stimulating pressure points in the body for temporary anxiety relief.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), emotions and mental functions are affected by the body’s vital energy called qi. Applying pressure to acupressure points corrects qi’s movement and restores overall balance to wellness.

Stimulating acupressure points were also found to effectively relieve anxiety symptoms, according to data. In a medical review, several studies found that acupressure helped ease anxiety before medical procedures. Another research also concludes that women receiving fertility treatments experienced reduced stress and anxiety symptoms, thanks to acupressure.2,3

Commonly Used Acupressure Points for Anxiety

Anxiety-related energy generally settles into the head, chest, and shoulders. To correct this energy and bring back balance to your qi, try stimulating these acupressure points for anxiety relief:

1. Liver 3 (Taichong or Great Surge)

Acupressure Point Liver 3 LR3 (Taichong or Great Surge)

Liver 3 (LR3) is the go-to point for reducing anxiety and stress symptoms. It also helps detoxify the body, cleanse the liver, and ease menstrual cramps.

Steps to use this acupressure point:

  • Measure 2-3 finger-widths below the space between your big toe and second toe
  • Apply firm pressure to the point
  • Gently massage the point in a circular motion

2. Ren 17 (Tanzhong or Chest Center )

Acupressure Point Ren 17 CV17 (Tanzhong or Chest Center)

If you experience palpitations, tightness in the chest, or shortness of breath, relax and open your chest by stimulating Ren 17 (CV17). It is known as the “influential point of qi” or “sea of tranquility” since it promotes emotional balance and addresses emotional distress.

Steps to use this acupressure point:

  • Measure four finger-widths up from the base of your sternum
  • Locate the dip
  • Focus on your breathing as you rub this point with pressure

3. Extra 1 (Yintang or Hall of Impression)

Acupressure Point Extra 1 (Yintang or Hall of Impression)

Research shows that Extra 1 reduces stress. Try stimulating this acupressure point if you are experiencing headaches or vertigo caused by anxiety.4

Steps to use this acupressure point:

  • Place your thumb or finger at the midpoint between your eyebrows
  • Focus on your breathing
  • Apply pressure to the point in a circular motion

Read More: Best Acupressure Points For Eyes

4. Gall Bladder 21 (Jianjing or Shoulder Well)

Acupressure Point Gall Bladder 21 GB21 (Jianjing or Shoulder Well)

When you feel you carry too much burden on your shoulders, find the relief you need by massaging Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21). It helps manage stress, headaches, and muscle tension. Just make sure you don’t use it if you’re pregnant, as it can induce labor.

Steps to use this acupressure point:

  • Find your shoulder muscle
  • Apply firm pressure to the point with your thumb and middle finger
  • Massage the point
  • Repeat the steps on the other side

5. Governing Vessel 20 (Baihui or Hundred Meetings)

Governing Vessel 20 DU20 (Baihui or Hundred Meetings)

Pressing on the Governing Vessel 20 (DU 20) regulates the movement of yang energy in the body. Use this point if you need increased focus and relief from overthinking.

Steps to use this acupressure point:

  • Place the tips of both your thumbs at the top of your ears
  • From the uppermost point of your ears, trace an imaginary line to the center of the crown of your head
  • Find the point where your two fingers meet
  • Press firmly on the point
  • Massage the point in a circular motion

This point can also promote hair growth. For more info, check out the 10 most effective acupressure points against hair loss.

6. DU 9 (Zhiyang or Reaching Yang)

DU 9 (Zhiyang or Reaching Yang)

DU 9 is best used for chest pain or tightness caused by anxiety. It also helps relieve cough, back pain, and gastric pain.

Steps to use this acupressure point:

  • Find the point in the middle of your upper back and in between your shoulder blades
  • If you have trouble reaching the point with your hands, look for a partner or try using a massage tool
  • Apply pressure to the point
  • Massage in a circular motion with your middle finger and forefinger

Read More: Best Acupressure Points For Cough

7. Kidney 1 (Yongquan or Gushing Spring)

Acupressure Point Kidney 1 KID1 (Yongquan or Gushing Spring)

Kidney 1 (KID1) helps manage anxiety, overthinking, and palpitations by draining the excess energy from the head. Use this point to find physical comfort and emotional tranquility.

Steps to use this acupressure point:

  • Curl your toes
  • Find the dip in the middle of your sole
  • Apply pressure to the point with your thumb
  • Rub the point using a circular motion
  • Repeat the technique on your other foot

8. Spleen 6 (Sanyinjiao or Three Yin Intersection)

Acupressure Point Spleen 6 SP6 (Sanyinjiao or Three Yin Intersection)

Spleen 6 (SP6) restores yin energy in the spleen, kidney, and liver meridians. It calms the mind and addresses fatigue, indigestion, and insomnia caused by stress.

Steps to use this acupressure point:

  • Look for the highest part of your inner ankle
  • Measure four finger-widths up your leg towards your knee
  • Apply pressure to the point with your three fingers
  • Switch sides

9. Pericardium 6 (Neiguan or Inner Gate)

Acupressure Point Pericardium 6 PC6 (Neiguan or Inner Gate)

Sometimes, anxiety can result in sleep issues. To help manage insomnia, stimulate Pericardium 6 (PC6). This calms the Shen, which translates to “mind,” “spirit,” or “energy.”

Steps to use this acupressure point:

  • Face your palm upwards
  • Measure two thumb-widths from the middle of your wrist crease towards your elbow
  • Gently press on the point with your thumb
  • Repeat the steps on the other side

10. Heart 7 (Shenmen or Spirit Gate)

Acupressure Point Heart 7 HT7 (Shenmen or Spirit Gate)

The qi of the heart gathers at Heart 7 (HT7). By stimulating this point, you strengthen your heart energy, which can help ease emotional distress and reduce heart palpitations.

Steps to use this acupressure point:

  • Locate the crease on the inside of your wrist
  • Press the point with firm pressure
  • Massage the point in a circular motion
  • Repeat on your other hand

Other Home Remedies for Anxiety

Anxiety is part of life, but it can sometimes feel overwhelming and interfere with your daily life. Thankfully, there are ways to manage it. Besides acupressure, here are some remedies you can try at home to calm your emotions:

  • Stay physically active
  • Eat healthily
  • Quit bad habits, including smoking, drinking, and taking recreational drugs
  • Prioritize sleep
  • Try meditation, yoga, and mindfulness exercises
  • Start a worry journal

In Short

Applying pressure to these acupressure points for anxiety brings qi in certain channels of the body. That said, having an acupressure routine may trigger the release of feel-good chemicals and help manage some of the effects of anxiety.

Although studies show that acupressure has the potential to relieve anxiety symptoms, keep in mind that this practice can provide temporary relief. In other words, it can serve only as additional treatment and not a primary one, especially if you have extreme anxiety. To get the help you need to ease severe symptoms, consult a doctor.

For more info about this topic, you can also read our blog posts about the most effective acupressure points for depression, the health benefits of acupressure slippers and the best acupressure points for constipation.



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