Acupressure Therapy Applications:
Point Selections, Combinations, Formulas & Levels
Acupressure can be easy for anyone to learn. Even someone completely new to it – a beginner – can quickly start using the Points for reducing stress and pain, relieving common ailments, and for greater health. If you are a beginning Acupressure Practitioner or consider yourself an Acupressure beginner, it’s best to start simply and not get overwhelmed by too much detailed information.
So if you’re new to Acupressure, please first take a look at the Acupressure Points page for a comprehensive overview and then the Acupressure Methods & Techniques page for more detailed Acupressure instruction.
If, however, you already have experience using Acupressure Therapy, you know that it is an ancient, sophisticated, and subtle healing art. You realize that you can study advanced Acupressure for years and still keep learning more and more about what it is and how to use Acupressure Point formulas and assessment skills.
As you continue with your study of Traditional Chinese health practices, you move beyond being a beginner. You’re ready for more in-depth learning about Acupressure Therapy.
A skilled professional Acupressure Practitioner knows how to use many advanced Acupressure Point formulas as tools to apply both for self-care and for helping their clients.
Here is some advanced Acupressure material for those of you who already know the basics. You can learn even more by participating in the advanced classes, such as the Acupressure Training Circle online program, or the other Acupressure Online Trainings and Courses.
How to Select Acupressure Therapy Points
For choosing which Points to use, you can start with either the location of the Point or with the symptom you want to address.
Body Location: For example, if a Point is located in the lower back, when you release or stimulate that Point, that entire area of the body will be improved. Since the Bladder and Kidney Meridians govern the lower back, that local Point will also be good for water imbalances, the adrenals, chronic fatigue, and for balancing the sexual and reproductive system.
Stress Related Symptoms: In this case, look for which Meridian is associated with the symptom. For example, if you have a digestive problem with stomach aches that are stress related, then using a Point on the Stomach Meridian, such as St 36, will open the energy flow through the stomach and benefit that symptom.
Acupressure Therapy Points & the 12 Meridians
All Points are located along one of the 12 Meridians or the other extra Meridians. The body’s life force, the Qi or Chi, is the energy flowing along the Meridians.
When you use a Point to activate one of these energy pathways, you have the ability to affect all the other areas of the body that the Meridian goes through. Often this is a completely different part of your body.
For instance, if a professional Acupressure practitioner presses GB 41 on the top of the foot, it can benefit the client’s head. This is because the Gall Bladder Meridian starts with a zig-zag across the skull before it travels down the side of the body to the foot.
Special Acupressure Therapy Points: There are specific types of Acupressure Points which are known to have certain functions. For example, the function of the Source Points is to balance the energy flow on the Meridian they are related to. Another example is the Alarm Points. When pressed, they can signal the condition of the entire Meridian with which they are associated.
You can learn about these — and other — special Points in the Acupressure online Trainings and Courses.
Using Acupressure Point Combinations
When a Point is blocked, it will be either tight or sore. Pressing on the Point itself will help release the constriction or, going further, an Acupressure practitioner can stimulate two Points at the same time.
Combining Two Points: Each Acupressure Point is also related to several other Points that will be useful to press to release the blockage. When you hold two compatible Points together, you are using Acupressure Point Combinations.
Using a series of these combinations creates an Acupressure Point Formula, which we cover in more depth in the next section.
These pairs of Points, that release one another, can be selected in a number of ways, including from the Meridian the Point resides on and with the Front / Back relationship.
Meridian Therapy: The 12 Meridian pathways connect the Acupressure Points. Any and all of the Points on a specific Meridian facilitate the flow of energy through that pathway. For instance, holding any two of the points on the Bladder Meridian will help to release that entire energy pathway.
The Acupressure Training Circle is an ongoing online monthly program that covers the 12 Meridians in depth, along with other advanced aspects of Acupressure.
Front / Back Relationship: Points on the front and the back of the body are connected. This means that an Acupressure Point on your back can trigger a benefit to release the front of your body, and vice versa.
For example, there are back Points that can release Points in the front of your body, resulting in your breathing being more fully open. Or, if you have a knot between your shoulder blades from blocked Acupressure Points, holding many of the Points in the front, on the chest, will release those Points in the upper back.
In addition, when an Acupressure Practitioner works on a client, Points on the front and back can be held at the same time for greater ease and effectiveness.
As you study Acupressure and hold these front and back Acupressure Point combos, draw an imaginary line between them. Wherever the line extends, it benefits those internal areas as well.
Acupressure Point Formulas
One type of Advanced Acupressure routine is called an Acupressure Point Formula. This is a skillfully selected set of Points that are held in a sequence.
A formula has a series of steps to follow in a specific order. The steps can use either individual Points or Acupressure Point Combinations. A professional Acupressure Practitioner will use a formula with the intention of fully releasing the Points and balancing the energy in the 12 Acupressure Meridians.
For example, in the Acupressure Articles, see the one titled Headaches & Migraines. It gives you Acupressure Instructions for practicing an Acupressure formula, with specific Points to hold in sequence to relieve headaches.
Acupressure Point Pulsations
After repeated Acupressure sessions using different degrees of pressure, you will begin to feel a pulse at the Point. This pulsation is a good sign – it means that the circulation of blood and energy (Qi) has increased. Pay attention to the type of pulse you feel. If it’s very faint or throbbing, hold the Point longer until the pulse balances.
If you need to take a break, gradually reduce the pressure, let go, and breathe deeply. Then return to the Point until you feel a regular pulse. To finish, as always, slowly decrease the pressure and end with light touch.
Acupressure Point Levels
In Acupressure Therapy, each of the Points has three main levels: the first is a surface of the skin level; the second is a middle level of pressure; and the third is a deeper level. They are reached by using light, medium, and deep pressure. Holding a blocked Point on all three levels, applying finger pressure very gradually, enables an energy blockage to release effectively.
The surface level is associated with the physical aspect of the Point, the middle level with the emotional aspect, and the deep level with the spiritual aspect and for reaching the most complete release of healing energy.
Acupressure has such a broad range of applications. Yes, it is helpful for relieving everyday common ailments, and it also goes further. At it fullest, Acupressure can be used to boost the immune system and to promote Optimal Health & Longevity. Learn how to achieve these benefits with the eBooklet on “Wellness & Immune Boosting Acupressure Points.”
A beginning Acupressure Practitioner who hasn’t been trained may jam their fingers, thumbs, or elbow into an Acupressure Point, which can certainly hurt and even be traumatic. Of course, it doesn’t attend to the three levels for healing. You need to gradually apply your finger pressure, holding each Point for about a minute at each level. This will fully release the Point so that the healing energy can flow.
If you’re careful, you can use your body weight to slowly apply pressure to the Points. When you have located the Point and your fingers are comfortably positioned right on the spot, gradually lean your weight toward the Point to apply the pressure. If you’re pressing a Point on your foot, for instance, bend your leg and apply pressure by slowly leaning forward.
Using the weight of your upper body – and not just your hands – enables you to apply firm pressure without strain. Direct the pressure perpendicularly to the surface of the skin as you take several long, slow, deep breaths. Hold for a few minutes until you feel a regular pulse or until the soreness at the Point decreases. Then gradually release the pressure, finishing with a soothing, gentle touch.
Knowing these three levels of pressure makes Acupressure Therapy more effective. You’re not just releasing one level, but going deeper. When you release all three levels of the healing energy, then it can move through the body more fully and completely.
Ending an Acupressure Therapy Session
It’s important to finish by gradually releasing the pressure on the Point. After holding the Point at the three levels, consciously decrease the pressure slowly. When you get to the first level, always hold Acupressure Points gently to seal the energy at the Point.
Sealing the energy is essential to the process of healing. A beginning Acupressure Practitioner may simply let go of an Acupressure Point too quickly, because in their minds they are already thinking about what they’re going to do next.
Instead, if you hold the Point gently for about a minute, you’ll seal the Point and nurture the healing energy flow. This also prevents soreness, which can otherwise occur. Sealing the Point is essential for making this healing work more long-lasting.