Almost one in five adult Americans suffers from some type of anxiety disorder according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).
That makes this the most common mental health issue
Additionally, only 36.9 percent of these individuals will
actually seek treatment for their anxious condition, leaving approximately 63.1
percent of people with this category of disorders left to struggle alone.
The ADAA states that it doesn’t have to be this way as there
are many effective remedies available for treating anxiety.
Among them are:
- Talk therapy via one-on-one counseling, group sessions, or therapy offered online
- Prescription medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepines, and tricyclic antidepressants
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, which involves placing an electromagnetic coil near the brain so it can deliver small electrical currents to the area believed to impact mood regulation
- Various forms of complementary and alternative medicine, some of which include practicing relaxation techniques or meditation, doing yoga, or engaging in acupuncture
There is also another treatment remedy that can potentially help
individuals ease feelings related to anxiety, worry, and unease. It involves using
What pressure points are and how they work
defines pressure points as specific points on the body that, when pressed,
either cause pain or create a therapeutic effect.
The first option of pressing on a specific point in an
effort to create pain is a tactic that
Police Magazine says can be utilized by law enforcement officials in an
effort to deal with suspects who are actively resisting or attacking the
Though if the final goal is to create a therapeutic effect
instead, the use of pressure points in a different manner becomes more
Pressure points that can relieve anxiety
In the case of anxiety, there are a few different pressure
points that, when pressed, can potentially start to ease feelings of
apprehension and nervousness.
shares that these include:
- Hall of impression point, which is
directly between the eyes, at the very top of the bridge of the nose
- Heavenly gate point, located near
where your thumb is when you grab the top of the ear
- Shoulder well point, found on both
sides of the upper back where the shoulders meet the neck
- Inner frontier gate point, which
lies below the inside of the wrist approximately three finger widths
- Union valley point, in the webbing
between the thumb and index finger
- Great surge point, on the top of
both feet approximately 1-2 inches back from where the big toe and second toe
What does science have to say about the effectiveness of
using these pressure points, a therapeutic process commonly referred to as
acupressure, is for treating anxiety?
Research on acupressure and anxiety
Many studies have found positive results. For instance, one 2012 study published in
the Journal of PeriAnesthesia
involved 70 subjects who were experiencing anxiety prior to undergoing
One half were assigned to the intervention group and received
acupressure at the hall of impression point, also known as the third eye, as
well as at the heavenly gate point, which Chinese medicine refers to as the
Shen Men. The other half served as the control and received acupressure at sham
Upon conclusion of the study, both groups reported a
reduction in pre-surgical anxiety levels, but the difference in vital sign
means were “statistically significant” for those in the intervention group. As
a result, the researchers noted that the use of pressure points was beneficial
on a clinical level.
study found similar results. This piece of research was published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies
and found that acupressure applied to the Yin Tang (another name for the hall
of impression) and the HE-7 (referring to the inner frontier gate point) for
five minutes was effective at relieving anxiety for expecting mothers about to
undergo a cesarean section.
Performing acupressure successfully
When performing acupressure to alleviate anxiety, the University
of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) states that achieving the desired result
requires that the patient relax in a comfortable position with his or her eyes
closed and taking deep breaths.
The UCLA adds that the pressure should be deep and firm and
can be applied as often as necessary, making this an option that can
effectively relieve feelings of anxiety experienced throughout the day.