If you’re feeling stressed out, worried or overwhelmed, here’s a simple antidote: massage these five points to calm your body, mind, heart, and spirit. These Chinese Reflexology and acupressure points powerfully relieve stress and anxiety so that you can clear your mind and feel more relaxed and peaceful. In a calm state of mind, you’ll be more open to receiving new ideas and inspiration that can transform your life and your community.
I originally posted this article on natural stress relief a few weeks ago. However, recent events have prompted me to revisit the article and add a few words. With so much chaos in the world lately (racism, prejudice, shootings, bombings, Brexit, divisive U.S. presidential campaign, etc.), it would appear that we are on a negative trajectory. Fear, darkness, hate, and anger abound. It seems that the “bad guys” are winning and it’s “us against them.” All of this can leave us feeling powerless—causing even the most cheerful people to feel anxious, afraid and overwhelmed.
But are we truly powerless?
Within this backdrop of chaos and calamity, one of the best gifts we can give ourselves (and the world) is a sense of peace and calm. While these feelings won’t solve our problems right away, neither does worry, hate, fear, anger, despondency, or pessimism.
World peace can’t arise when its residents are anxious and stressed out. It’s totally okay and normal to feel negative emotions, but when we let go of them, then we can move forward into a space of calm so that we can find solutions and bring people together.
The best ideas and solutions come about when we are open to receiving them. The only way to diffuse fear, anger and hate is through peace, calm, love and compassion.
So how do you find calm within the chaos? As a Chinese Reflexologist (as in a practitioner of Chinese foot reflexology as opposed to a reflexologist who’s Chinese, although I’m that too), I have some amazing reflexology and acupressure points to recommend—they powerfully reduce stress levels in your body and create a feeling of calm and relaxation. These points give you instant stress relief!
Simply follow the instructions in this article and by the time you’re done, you’ll feel calmer and more at ease. Your qi (life force energy) will be flowing more abundantly and effortlessly, and so will the ideas and inspiration.
So let’s get started with these powerful Chinese Reflexology and acupressure points to help relieve stress, worry, and anxiety.
1. Chinese Reflexology Point for the Brain
We’ll begin with the brain point because when you’re stressed out and worrying too much, your body’s qi (life force energy) gets concentrated in your head. If too much qi gets “stuck up” in your head, this can lead to headaches, insomnia, and irritability.
How to Locate and Massage the Brain Reflexology Point
The reflexology point for the brain is located on the big toes of both of your feet. The brain point covers the entire toe pad.
To massage this Chinese Reflexology point, use your thumb to press and rub your toe pad in an up and down motion, where up is towards the tip of your toe and down is towards the base of the toe pad. As you massage your toe, move across the toe pad from one side to the other. Massage each of your big toe pads for 30 seconds.
Yup, go ahead and try it right now!
2. Chinese Reflexology Point for the Temporal Area
The temporal area reflexology point corresponds to the sides of your head, in and around your temples. If you worry a lot or think too much, you may be holding a great deal of stress and tension in your head, jaw, neck, and shoulders.
Over time, tension in these areas will constrict the smooth flow of qi to and from your head, and especially along the sides of the head. If the energy disruption continues for a long period of time, it can result in physical issues such as chronic migraines, tinnitus, dizziness, and even vision problems.
Massaging the Chinese Reflexology temporal area point improves the flow of qi and blood to and from the head, which can then help clear energy constrictions caused by worrying and thinking too much.
How to Locate and Massage the Temporal Area Reflexology Point
This point is also located on your big toe along the inside edge of the toe. It starts beside the toenail and extends down to the bottom of the toe pad.
To massage your temporal area point, reach your thumb across the top of your big toe and press on the inside of the toe. Start beside the toenail and work your way down the toe, rubbing side to side (from top surface of toe to bottom surface of toe). When you get to the base of the toe, lift up your thumb, place it back at the top of the toe and repeat the massage. Practice this for 30 seconds on each of your big toes.
3. Chinese Reflexology Point for the Spleen
The Spleen reflexology point is good to massage because in Chinese Medicine, the “emotions” associated with the Spleen are worry, pensiveness, and over-thinking. Healthy Spleen qi plays a critical role in helping your body to properly digest food. When people are stressed, worried, and anxious, they often experience “sensitive stomachs” because the chronic stress weakens the Spleen’s energy.
How to Locate and Massage Your Spleen Point
The Spleen reflexology point is a little tricky to locate because the best way to find it is by first locating the Heart and Kidney points. The Heart and Kidney reflexology points are right beside the Spleen, so if you don’t get your Spleen point right, you may accidentally massage one of these two points instead.
WARNING: If you are pregnant or have a heart condition, you should NOT try massaging your Spleen point.
Massaging the Heart point can increase the flow of qi and blood to the heart, so if you have a heart condition, you should check with your doctor first to see if it is okay for you to practice reflexology—just as you would if you were starting a new exercise routine.
If you are pregnant, do not try to massage your Spleen point because if you don’t locate it correctly, you could accidentally massage the acupressure point Kidney 1 which is sometimes used in acupuncture to induce labour.
For everyone else, the Spleen point is a really good point to massage because it helps counteract the effects of stress and worry.
This reflexology point is located on the sole of your left foot only. Imagine two lines, both vertical and horizontal, dividing your foot into quadrants. When dividing your foot in half horizontally, be sure to measure from the tip of your big toe to the base of your heel. Sometimes people only measure the sole and forget their toes.
The Spleen point is a “blob” located in the top right quadrant just above the horizontal halfway line. Feel above the horizontal halfway line and the Spleen point is usually the area that feels most sensitive when you press on it.
To massage the Spleen point, use your thumb to rub in an up and down motion, where up is towards your toes and down is towards your heel. Massage this point for 30 seconds.
Helpful Tip for Finding Your Spleen Point
If you’d like to learn how to locate your Spleen point more precisely, I would highly recommend reading my new book, Sole Guidance. You’ll find detailed instructions and diagrams to help you locate and massage your Kidney, Heart, and Spleen points—as well as other powerful Chinese Reflexology points for health and vitality. Sole Guidance will be released on July 26, 2016 and is available on Amazon in the U.S. and internationally. It’s a fun way to learn Chinese Reflexology at home.
4. Acupressure Point: Liver 3 (Tai Chong)
WARNING: Do not massage Liver 3 if you are pregnant. This point is used in acupuncture to induce labour.
Stress, especially when related to anger and frustration, negatively affects the Liver and its ability to keep qi flowing smoothly through your body. As a result, qi can stagnate, congest, and even flow in the wrong direction.
A disharmony in the Liver meridian often results in too much qi being driven upwards to the head. When this happens, it can cause you to feel irritable, angry, depressed and/or anxious—which can then make you feel even more stressed out.
Liver 3 is an acupuncture/acupressure point along the Liver meridian. It’s good for stress relief because it helps to harmonize the Liver meridian and clear energy imbalances that exacerbate feelings of stress, irritability, and frustration.
How to Locate and Massage Liver 3
This acupressure point is located on the top of your foot in the webbing between the big and second toes. Use your thumb to feel for the bones of these toes, and follow them down your foot until you feel where they intersect and form a “v”.
Then slide your thumb about a thumb-width above the bottom point of the “v” and press into the webbing between the bones. Press and hold for 60 seconds per foot.
5) Acupressure Point: Heart 7 (Shenmen)
Heart 7 is an acupuncture/acupressure point along the Heart meridian. The Chinese name for this point, Shenmen, means Spirit Gate. This is a very powerful point for calming the heart, mind, and spirit, which is why it’s an amazing point for stress relief and anxiety. In fact, Heart 7 is commonly used in acupuncture to treat insomnia due to emotional issues or anxiety.
How to Locate and Massage Heart 7
The acupressure point Heart 7 is located along your wrist crease. If you hold your hand up with the palm facing towards you, you’ll notice a prominent crease between your hand and wrist.
If you feel along the crease below the ring and pinky finger, you’ll feel a slight depression next to the tendon of your forearm. The depression is where Heart 7 is located. For relieving stress, press and hold this acupressure point for about 60 seconds on each wrist.
Pressing this point helps to balance your Heart meridian, which helps to calm your mind. In Chinese Medicine, the Heart acts like an anchor to counterbalance an overactive mind. When you stimulate this acupressure point, you strengthen the Heart’s ability to anchor the mind.
More Reflexology and Acupressure Points for Stress Relief (and to Help You Sleep)
After massaging these five Chinese Reflexology and acupressure points, you should be feeling calmer and more relaxed. If you’re interested in learning more tips to relieve stress and anxiety, check out my article on Ancient Chinese Wisdom to Help You Sleep: Reflexology and Acupressure Points for Insomnia. You may notice some of the same acupressure and reflexology points appearing in this article. That’s because stress and worry often keep people up at night—so reflexology points that help you sleep are also good for stress relief.