7 Pressure Points for Depression

Everyone has felt depressed from time to time. Depression could be brought on by a chemical imbalance, a relationship breakup, job loss, financial problems, or something else. 

Depression is a serious mental illness that affects 5% of the global population. In fact, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

In this article, I'm going to share with you 7 pressure points for depression. These pressure points will help you find relief from depression and anxiety symptoms.

Acupressure is an ancient healing technique that has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It involves applying pressure to specific areas of your body in order to balance energy flow. 

The theory behind acupressure is that it can help to reduce symptoms of stress and improve overall symptoms from depression. 

Depressed Woman

Here Are the Key Pressure Points for Depression

There are 7 main pressure points to stimulate to relieve depression symptoms. When applying pressure and massaging the pressure points, follow these steps for best results: 

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit down. 
  2.  For the pressure points, use your thumb, index and middle fingers to apply pressure.
  3. Apply firm and steady pressure on a point for 5 seconds, with slow and steady breathing. 
  4. Gently massage the acupressure points with a circular motion for 2 minutes.
  5. You can repeat the cycle a few times throughout the day. 

1. Heart 7 (HT 7) - Shenmen or Spirit Gate

Heart 7 (HT 7) Pressure Point

The Heart 7 pressure point is found on the inner wrist crease if you follow the pinkie finger down to the crease. 

Stimulating this point helps to relieve anxiety and stress that are related to depression by calming the mind. 

2. Liver 3 (LV 3) - Taichong or Great Surge

Liver 3 (LV 3) Pressure Point

The Liver 3 acupressure point is found on top of your feet between the big toe and the second toe. From where the two toes meet, measure two finger widths down to find the point. 

This point will help with depression, headaches, nausea, insomnia, and abdominal distention. 

3. Pericardium 6 (PC 6 or P 6) - Neiguan or Inner Frontier Gate

Pericardium 6 (PC 6 or P 6) Pressure Point

The Pericardium 6 acupressure point is located in the middle of the inside of your forearm and wrist, measuring three finger widths down from the wrist crease.  

Stimulation to these pressure points on both arms will help to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms by calming the mind. It's also useful for relieving insomnia, nausea, and motion sickness. 

4. Governor Vessel 20 (GV 20) - Baihui or Crown of the Head

Governor Vessel 20 (GV 20) Pressure Point

The Governor Vessel 20 pressure point is found at the center of the top of your head. Finding where the center is by drawing an imaginary line from your forehead to the back of your head. Then draw another line from one ear to the other over the top of your head. The intersection of these two points is where the Baihui point is located. 

Applying pressure here will help relieve depression, anxiety, and insomnia. If you have ringing in your ears, it can also help relieve the tinnitus.

5. Large Intestine 4 (LI 4) - Hegu or Union Valley 

Large Intestine 4 (LI 4) Pressure Point

The Large Intestine 4 acupressure point is found on the back of your hand in the web between your thumb and index finger. 

Stimulating this pressure point will help relieve anxiety and headaches that can originate from depression. If you're having trouble sleeping at night, applying pressure on the LI 4 can help ease the mind and help you go to sleep. 

Be careful with the Hegu if you're pregnant, because this point can induce labor. 

6. Conception Vessel 17 (CV 17 or REN 17) - Chest Center

Conception Vessel 17 (CV 17 or REN 17) Pressure Point

The Conception Vessel 17 pressure point is found at the center of your sternum on the same level as your nipples.

Pressure at this point will help relieve stress, anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitations, and chest congestion. This is another good pressure point to stimulate to release the stress you've accumulated throughout the day before you go to bed. 

7. Governor Vessel 24.5 (GV 24.5)  - Yintang or The Third Eye 

Governor Vessel 24.5 (GV 24.5) Pressure Point

The Governor Vessel 24.5 acupressure point is located where a Third Eye would be, between your eyebrows. 

Stimulating this point will help give you a sense of calmness by reducing your anxiety and restlessness. It will also help with insomnia, eyestrain, and sinus pressure pain. 

Does Acupressure Really Work for Depression?

There have been scientific studies that show acupressure is effective at reducing depression and its symptoms. One study showed significant reductions in symptoms in mild-to-moderate depression. 

Another study had patients undergo four weeks of acupressure therapy three times per week. This resulted in a significant reduction in depression, stress, anxiety, and general psychological distress. Patients had an improved quality of life and overall psychological wellness. 

Acupressure is known to relieve anxiety and emotional stress, many of the symptoms associated with depression. However, there are no guarantees that stimulation of any of these points will cure depression. Some people may feel better after doing acupressure, but not all of them will get relief from their depression. That being said, it's still worth trying. 

When to See a Doctor for Depression

When to See a Doctor for Depression

If you're experiencing severe depression, you should see a mental health professional. Acupressure can help relieve some depressive symptoms, but it does not completely replace medical treatment for depression.

You should talk to and work with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional to find the right treatment plan for you.  

 

Sources:

  • Park Oriental Medicine Center: https://parkorientalmedicinecenter.com/acupressure-points-to-help-depression/
  • TCM Simple:L https://www.tcmsimple.com/acupressure_depression.php
  • Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20356013

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