The way acupressure points work is explained by The Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapist’s -“ The acupuncture needle will stimulate the flow of QI [pronounced ‘chee’], which circulates in channels or meridians within the body. The QI circulates within the deeper organs of the body but connects to the superficial skin. In the state of a normal healthy body, a balance exists between these systems. Both the superficial energy and deeper energy can be influenced by the stimulation of specific acupuncture points. If injury, disease, emotional trauma or infection occurs, the natural flow of QI within the meridians and organs may well be affected and the result is an altered flow, either a slowing or stagnation of QI causing pain and inflammation or a deficit of QI, which may cause weakness, exhaustion and longer debilitating disease. The stimulation of relevant acupuncture points may free stagnation, reduce excess or indeed, increase QI to the specific area or organ and thus help to restore normal QI flow and balance.”
Understanding this will help you to use acupressure in the right spots to help you sleep.
Healthline writes that the best five acupressure points to help you sleep are –
1.The spirit gate point is located at the crease on your outer wrist, below your pinkie finger…
- Feel for the small, hollow space in this area and apply gentle pressure in a circular or up-and-down movement.
- Continue for two to three minutes.
- Hold the left side of the point with gentle pressure for a few seconds, and then hold the right side.
- Repeat on the same area of your other wrist.
2.Stimulating this pressure point is associated with quieting your mind, which can help you fall asleep.
The three yin intersection point is located on your inner leg, just above your ankle…
- Locate the highest point on your ankle.
- Count four finger widths up your leg, above your ankle.
- Apply deep pressure slightly behind your biggest lower-leg bone (tibia), massaging with circular or up-and-down motions for four to five seconds.
In addition to helping with insomnia, simulating this pressure point can also help with pelvic disorders and menstrual cramps.
Don’t use this pressure point if you’re pregnant, as it’s also associated with inducing labour.
3.The bubbling spring point is located on the sole of your foot. It’s the small depression that appears just above the middle of your foot when your curl your toes inward.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent so you can reach your feet with your hands.
- Take one foot in your hand and curl your toes.
- Feel for the depression on the sole of your foot.
- Apply firm pressure and massage this point for a few minutes using circular or up-and-down motion.
Stimulating this pressure point is believed to ground your energy and induce sleep.
4.The inner frontier gate point is found on your inner forearm between two tendons…
- Turn your hands over so that your palms are facing up.
- Take one hand and count three finger widths down from your wrist crease.
- Apply a steady downward pressure between the two tendons in this location.
- Use a circular or up-and-down motion to massage the area for four to five seconds.
In addition to helping you sleep, the inner frontier gate point is associated with soothing nausea, stomach pain, and headaches.
5.The wind pool point is located on the back of your neck. You can find it by feeling for the mastoid bone behind your ears and following the groove around to where your neck muscles attach to the skull…
- Clasp your hands together and gently open your palms with your fingers interlocked to create a cup shape with your hands.
- Use your thumbs to apply a deep and firm pressure toward your skull, using circular or up-and-down movements to massage this area for four to five seconds.
- Breathe deeply as you massage the area.
Stimulating this pressure point may help to reduce respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, which often interrupt sleep. It’s also associated with reducing stress and calming the mind.