Acupressure for Insomnia – Getting to the point

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Studies have shown that acupressure is a practical solution for relieving insomnia in people of all ages, including infants who may have trouble sleeping.

This ancient Chinese Therapy is based on the practice of applying pressure to different points on the body called acupoints.  Pressing acupoints along nervous system pathways aids in stimulating energy flow throughout the body, which helps to treat many ailments.

The word acupressure is a lot like the word acupuncture. Indeed, the two different techniques share the same points, but acupressure doesn’t use needles like acupuncture does. Because of this, many individuals choose acupressure.

Acupressure can be implemented by a trained professional, a partner or you can do it on yourself. An acupressure specialist will know about the various acupressure points related to your problem, how much pressure to apply, and for how long to apply the pressure.

Since some type of discord in the body often causes insomnia, acupressure therapy performed by a trained specialist will provide the most effective results. Nevertheless, if you find yourself awake late at night, you can press on the relevant acupoints yourself to find some relief and get back to sleep.

Tips for Practicing Acupressure for Insomnia

  • Wait until one to two hours after a meal before performing acupressure. Do not practice acupressure immediately after eating.
  • Establish a comfortable atmosphere in your room before bedtime. Make sure to relax before proceeding with acupressure if you choose to do it yourself.
  • Press down on the acupoints with your thumb or fingers. Keep applying the pressure for approximately 30 to 60 seconds.
  • If you feel any discomfort in the pressure point, that means there is blocked energy. The tenderness will eventually disappear as you continue practicing acupressure.

WARNING: Although targeting certain acupoints can help with issues related to pregnancy, such as morning sickness and indigestion, pregnant women should talk to their doctor before doing acupressure. Acupressure on the abdominal area and specific points on the leg should be avoided when pregnant.

Here are two acupressure points that can be stimulated to relieve insomnia and help relax the body and mind if you wake up during the night:

Acupressure for Insomnia

Spirit Gate

  • Place your thumb on the inner wrist crease in line with the little finger (see diagram). Stimulating Spirit Gate is said to increase melatonin production, the hormone that helps control sleep cycles.
  • Press down on the acupoint with your thumb, gradually increasing the pressure for 60 seconds. Adjust your thumb until you feel an area of tension, if necessary. Do this on both right and left arms.

Inner Gate

  • This acupressure point is located at the inner wrist “hollow” (see diagram), three finger widths down from the wrist, lining up with the little finger.
  • Apply medium pressure with your thumb for about a minute. You can also gently massage the area if desired. Now, switch arms and repeat.

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Here’s a good video showing additional acupoints to use for insomnia as well as some helpful information.

Other insomnia related articles:
Types of Insomnia
Top Causes of Insomnia
How to go to Sleep – 48 Tips to Help Cure your Insomnia
Diet and Insomnia – Foods That Cause Insomnia
Diet and Insomnia – Foods to Help You Sleep
Alcohol and Insomnia
Meditation to Help Cure Insomnia
Should you use Antihistamines for Insomnia?
Aromatherapy for Insomnia – It makes Scents
Allergies and Insomnia
Menopause and Insomnia
Pregnancy Insomnia
Children and Insomnia
Twelve Tips to Prevent the Effects of Jet Lag
Altitude Insomnia

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