Not everyone always has a good night’s sleep. In fact, some people even resort to taking sleeping pills just to get some shut-eye. While this works immediately when taken, it doesn’t really provide any benefits that can improve your sleep quality in the long run.
There are different methods on how you can get better sleep, and this article will explore one of the natural ways on how you can enhance your sleep every night: acupressure.
What is acupressure?
Similar to acupuncture, acupressure is an ancient natural method from China that aims to address illnesses and conditions without the use of medicine, as well as improving one’s well-being. As its name implies, acupressure makes use of the body’s pressure points to relieve pain and can induce great sleep quality.
Acupressure makes use of the “meridians”, or the body’s pathways where a vital energy called Qi circulates. Practitioners believe that if a meridian is blocked, this could prevent the Qi from flowing freely throughout the body, which could lead to conditions such as insomnia and body pain.
Certain points in the body have been identified by acupressure practitioners to allow Qi to circulate without any hindrance. Instead of using needles to target these spots, pressure is applied to these parts, hence the term pressure points.
There are 7 pressure points that you can try and stimulate on your own: An Mian, HT7, SP6, LV3, KD3, Yin Tang, and Shimien.
Anmian is found behind each earlobe on any side of the neck. Both acupressure and acupuncture use this spot to treat insomnia, but other practitioners use these specifically to address anxiety, headaches, and vertigo for its close proximity to the mind. You can try using your finger to apply light pressure to this point.
Also known as Shen Men or Heart 7, HT7 is the point where your wrist aligns with your pinky finger. This pressure point is often targeted to relieve anxiety and worry, which greatly affects a person’s sleep. A study was even conducted on the effectiveness of this pressure point, and the result was that the stimulation of these pressure points can lessen the insomnia that a person experiences.
SP6, or Spleen 6, is called San Yin Jiao by practitioners. This pressure point is said to relieve menstrual cramps, pelvic problems, urinary problems, and even sleep disorders like insomnia. This pressure point is found on the higher part of the ankle, which can be stimulated by applying deep pressure on the area.
LV3, also called Tai Chong, is apparently a great pressure point to improve sleep. Applying pressure to this specific spot for 3 minutes a day calms a person’s mind from any issues on anger, anxiety, and even irritation, which often leads to an uncomfortable sleep.
KD3 or Kidney 3 is referred to as Taixi by practitioners. This pressure point is another helpful spot to relieve insomnia. A study made on middle-aged and elderly patients suffering from hypertension proved that an acupressure treatment, particularly on KD3, had better sleep and helped lower their blood pressure.
Yin Tang is a pressure point found in the middle of the eyebrows. Both acupuncture and acupressure utilize this spot to help address insomnia, and is said to be an effective way to get rid of strange feelings of agitation, fear, and restlessness. Compared to other pressure points in this list, no scientific studies have been conducted on this particular spot to test its effectiveness.
Shimien is found at the center of the heel. According to practitioners, this pressure point responds well to heat and pressure. That’s why dipping your feet in warm water before you sleep is a more relaxing method compared to simply applying pressure to this spot.
Does acupressure work?
As mentioned in the list, several studies have been conducted to test the effectiveness of acupressure.
In 2017, a study involving 112 participants who suffer from lack of sleep were asked to compare the effects of sleeping pills and acupuncture in the span of one month. While both methods drastically improved their sleep quality, acupuncture was considered as more effective in the results of the study.
This may be used as a basis for those who are planning to try acupressure for a comfortable sleep at night, but it is still better to consult your doctor if you think you may be suffering from chronic insomnia or other sleeping disorders.