Reduce Anxiety Naturally: A Guide to Key Acupressure Points for Stress Relief

In today’s fast-paced world, anxiety has become an increasingly common issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s a natural response to stress, but when it becomes overwhelming, it can significantly impact one’s quality of life. While there are many ways to manage anxiety, natural methods are often preferred for their minimal side effects and holistic benefits. One such method is acupressure, an ancient healing practice that can provide significant relief from anxiety and stress. In this guide, we will explore key acupressure points and how to use them effectively to reduce anxiety naturally.

What is Acupressure?

Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to promote healing and relaxation. It is based on the same principles as acupuncture, but instead of using needles, acupressure uses the fingers, thumbs, or specialized tools to stimulate these points. This practice has been used for thousands of years to treat various ailments, including anxiety and stress. Research has shown that acupressure can be an effective complementary therapy for reducing anxiety symptoms by promoting the flow of energy, or “Qi,” throughout the body (NCCIH).

Understanding Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and stress are natural responses to challenging situations, but chronic anxiety can lead to a range of physical and mental health issues. Symptoms of anxiety can include feelings of restlessness, rapid heartbeat, sweating, and difficulty concentrating. Chronic stress and anxiety can negatively impact the body’s immune system, digestive health, and overall well-being. Managing anxiety through natural methods like acupressure can help mitigate these symptoms without the side effects associated with some medications (APA).

Key Acupressure Points for Anxiety Relief

1. Yintang (Third Eye Point)

Yin Tang

The Yintang point, also known as the Third Eye Point, is located between the eyebrows. This point is often used to calm the mind and alleviate stress. To apply pressure, gently press the point with your index finger or thumb for 1-2 minutes while breathing deeply. Studies have found that stimulating the Yintang point can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality (Complementary Therapies in Medicine).

2. Neiguan (Pericardium 6)

Nei guan (Pericardium 6)Nei guan (Pericardium 6)

Neiguan, or Pericardium 6, is located three finger widths below the wrist on the inner forearm. This point is well-known for its ability to calm the heart and alleviate anxiety. To activate this point, use your thumb to apply firm pressure in a circular motion for 2-3 minutes. Research indicates that Pericardium 6 can reduce anxiety, especially in individuals undergoing stressful medical procedures (Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice).

3. Shen Men (Heavenly Gate)

Shen Men

Shen Men, or the Heavenly Gate point, is situated in the upper part of the ear at the apex of the triangular fossa. Applying pressure to this point can help reduce stress, improve mental focus, and promote relaxation. You can stimulate this point by gently massaging it with your thumb and forefinger for 1-2 minutes. Clinical trials have shown that auricular acupressure at Shen Men can significantly lower anxiety levels (Anesthesia & Analgesia).

4. Hegu (Large Intestine 4)


Hegu, or Large Intestine 4, is located between the thumb and index finger. This point is commonly used to relieve headaches, tension, and anxiety. Apply pressure by squeezing the point with your thumb and index finger for about 1-2 minutes. Be sure to perform this technique on both hands. Evidence suggests that stimulating Hegu can help reduce stress and anxiety, making it a popular point for overall well-being (Journal of Clinical Nursing).

5. An Mian (Peaceful Sleep)

An Mian

An Mian, or Peaceful Sleep, is found behind the ear, near the base of the skull. This point is particularly effective for promoting restful sleep and reducing anxiety. To apply pressure, use your thumb to gently massage the area in a circular motion for 2-3 minutes. Research highlights that acupressure on An Mian can improve sleep quality and reduce symptoms of anxiety and insomnia (The International Journal of Neuroscience).

How to Use Acupressure for Anxiety Relief

To maximize the benefits of acupressure for anxiety relief, follow these step-by-step instructions:

Find a Quiet Place

Choose a calm and comfortable environment where you can relax without distractions.

Breathe Deeply

Before starting, take a few deep breaths to center yourself and focus on your intention to relieve anxiety.

Apply Pressure

Use your fingers or thumbs to apply steady, gentle pressure to each acupressure point. Hold the pressure for 1-2 minutes while maintaining deep, even breaths.

Be Consistent

For best results, practice acupressure regularly, ideally once or twice a day.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to how your body responds and adjust the pressure accordingly. It should be firm but not painful (International Journal of Nursing Studies).

Additional Tips for Reducing Anxiety Naturally

In addition to acupressure, consider incorporating these natural techniques to further reduce anxiety:

Mindfulness and Meditation

Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety. Studies have shown that regular meditation can lower cortisol levels, the body’s primary stress hormone (Annual Review of Psychology).

Regular Exercise

Engaging in physical activity can release endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and improve mental health (Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports).

Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants supports overall health and can help manage anxiety. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and walnuts, have been linked to reduced anxiety levels (International Review of Psychiatry).

Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing, can activate the body’s relaxation response and reduce anxiety symptoms (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine).

Create a Calming Routine

Establishing a daily routine that includes relaxing activities, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing yoga, can help manage stress and anxiety effectively (Medical Science Monitor).

Acupressure offers a natural, effective way to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. By stimulating key acupressure points like Yintang, Neiguan, Shen Men, Hegu, and An Mian, you can alleviate stress and improve your overall well-being. Coupled with other natural anxiety-reducing techniques, acupressure can be a powerful tool in managing anxiety without the need for medication. Embrace these holistic practices and take control of your anxiety for a healthier, more balanced life.

Student Clinic at CCATCM

If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of acupressure firsthand, we invite you to book a session at the student clinic at the Canadian College of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Our student clinic offers a unique opportunity to receive high-quality acupressure treatments administered by our skilled and knowledgeable students under the supervision of experienced professionals. Whether you’re seeking relief from stress, pain management, or overall wellness, our student practitioners are dedicated to providing personalized care to meet your needs. Don’t miss this chance to explore the healing power of acupressure in a supportive and educational environment. Book your session with CCATCM today here.