Acupuncture Points Mentioned in this Article
Depression is characterized by persistent, intense emotions and, at times, physical symptoms that significantly interfere with daily life and overall well-being.
Though it is common for individuals to experience emotional ebbs and flows, those contending with depression face extended periods during which these emotions are not only heightened and persistent but also notably disrupt daily life, interpersonal relationships, and general health and wellness.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective on Depression
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) links depression to an imbalance and disrupted flow of energy, particularly involving the liver and spleen. In TCM, depression is deeply intertwined with the balance and flow of energy within the body. In simpler terms, think of the body as a system where everything needs to flow smoothly to keep us feeling good. When we talk about depression in TCM, it's seen as a problem with the liver not doing its job of keeping things flowing smoothly. Imagine a river that’s stopped flowing and instead starts building up a damaging fire.
This "fire" can then consume the body's vital substances - imagine it using up the body's water and other essential elements, leading to a kind of drought (referred to as yin deficiency and excessive yang) which can result in physical symptoms like headaches, red eyes, or bad breath. The liver, which is linked with our emotions, can also negatively impact the spleen, which is associated with our digestive system, causing issues like bloating or a loss of appetite.
Pressure Points for Depression on Head
Hundred Meeting Point (Bai Hui 百會) GV20 Acupoint
The Hundred Meeting Point addresses mental imbalances. It often used to alleviate discomforts caused by high stress levels or irritable moods, such as headaches and dizziness, and is particularly effective in mitigating mental imbalances, making it useful for people who suffer from depression.
Where is Acupuncture Point GV20?
This point is located at the top of the head, following the imaginary upward line from both ears.
How to find Acupressure Point GV20?
- Imagine a line that goes up from the top of each of your ears.
- Where these lines meet at the top of your head is where GV20 is located.
Seal Hall (Yin Tang 印堂) Ex-HN3 Acupoint
Seal Hall relieves headaches and dizziness caused by chronic depression.
Where is Acupuncture Point Ex-HN3?
The Seal Hall is located in the center between your left and right eyebrows.
How to find Acupressure Point Ex-HN3?
- Locate the area between your eyebrows.
- The point is straight above the nose, right in the center.
Upper Star (Shang Xing 上星) GV23 Acupoint
Upper Star is useful mood lifter and addresses depression. It is a useful point in managing various nasal-related issues, from congestion to nosebleeds, alongside fever and certain eye problems. It's particularly beneficial for those dealing with depression as it offers respite from physical symptoms often associated with these conditions such as facial congestion, swelling on the scalp, and frontal neuralgia (pain in the forehead or in the forehead area).
Where is Acupuncture Point GV23?
The Upper Star Acupoint is located at the midpoint of the anterior hairline, just in front of another point called the Temporal Meeting.
How to find Acupressure Point GV23?
- Start by locating the midpoint of your hairline on your forehead.
- From there, move a little forward.
- The point is found in this spot.
Pressure Points for Depression on Body
Chest Center (Shan Zong 膻中) CV17 Acupoint
Chest Center helps relieve emotional tumoil, irritability, and hysteria associated with depression. It also is used to mitigate problems of the respiratory and circulatory systems, such as chest tightness, cough, asthma, and chronic bronchitis. It's known to calm the mind and remove distress, effectively alleviating depression symptoms.
Where is Acupuncture Point CV17?
The Chest Center can be found at the midpoint between the left and right nipples, directly in line with the sternum or midline of the chest.
How to find Acupressure Point CV17?
- Identify the midpoint between your left and right nipples.
- Directly above this midpoint, in line with the sternum, is the Chest Center.
- You should feel a slight pain or discomfort upon pressing this point.
Pressure Point for Depression in Hand and on Wrist
Inner Pass (Nei Guan 內關) PC6 Acupoint
Inner Pass is mainly used to mitigate mental unrest. It is helpful in alleviating discomforts related to the digestive system and blood pressure regulation. and it's known to stabilize the mind, hence relieving tension, insomnia, and hysteria intertwining with depression.
Where is Acupuncture Point PC6?
Inner Pass is located two inches from the middle of the wrist crease towards the elbow, between two tendons on the forearm.
How to find Acupressure Point PC6?
- Place your arm in a palm-up position.
- Start at the wrist crease in the middle.
- Move two inches towards the elbow, where you will find two tendons.
- The Inner Pass is located between these two tendons.
Spirit’s Gate (Shen Men 神門) HT7 Acupoint
Spirit's Gate is often used to bring a calming and stabilizing effect on the mind. This effect makes it perfect in dealing with challenges such as insomnia, making it a beneficial point in dealing with depression.
Where is Acupuncture Point HT7?
The Spirit's Gate can be found at the junction of the wrist and the line radiating down from the little finger, below the pisiform bone (the small rounded bone in your wrist), on the inside of the tendon.
How to find Acupressure Point HT7?
- Place your arm in a palm-facing-up position.
- Locate the area towards the outside of your wrist, just after the wrist crease where a small bone (the pisiform bone) sticks out.
- The point is on the inside of the tendon found in this area.
Reflexology Points for Depression on Feet and Legs
Three Yin Meeting (San Yin Jiao 三陰交) SP6 Acupoint
Three Yin Meeting manages depression related insomnia and headaches. It is a general wellness point with wide applications, from digestive and gynecological problems to urinary disorders. It's often used to alleviate fatigue and maintain overall hormonal balance.
Where is Acupuncture Point SP6?
The Three Yin Meeting is found about three inches (or four fingers wide) above the inner ankle, on the posterior side of the bone.
How to find Acupressure Point SP6?
- Start with your foot flat on the ground, and locate your inner ankle.
- From there, move upwards about three inches (approximately four fingers wide).
- The point is found on the back side, close to the bone.
Lifestyle Changes to Manage Depression from Traditional Chinese Medicine
For managing depression, Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends avoiding extreme cold and ensuring adequate sleep. When it comes to managing depression, it is essential to approach it from a comprehensive perspective. Alongside acupuncture, lifestyle modifications can play a vital role in promoting overall well-being and mental health. Here are a couple of tips to help support your treatment:
Avoid Extreme Cold: In Chinese Medicine, extreme cold can contribute to the stagnation of Qi and exacerbate depressive symptoms. Dress warmly, especially in colder weather, and try to stay away from icy temperatures.
Avoid Staying Up Late: Adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining emotional balance. Try to establish a consistent sleep routine and aim for at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night.
Is Acupressure Effective at Mitigating Depression?
Yes, studies indicate acupuncture’s potential in managing depression, though a comprehensive, professional approach is crucial. Recent studies have unveiled the potential of acupuncture in mitigating depression. While these findings are promising, it's imperative for prospective patients to engage with healthcare professionals, ensuring a tailored and safe approach.
Remember, finding the right combination of approaches for managing depression is unique to each individual. Acupuncture, when combined with lifestyle modifications and a comprehensive treatment plan, can be a valuable tool in supporting emotional well-being and promoting overall health.
How to Use Acupressure Points for Depression?
To manage depression using acupressure, apply gentle pressure to specific points like the Hundred Meeting Point and Spirit’s Gate, adjusting intensity as per comfort. Acupressure serves as a natural method to manage depression by stimulating particular points.
Here are some practical tips to get the most out of these acupressure techniques:
Create a serene environment: Choose a quiet space where distractions are minimal. This calm setting will enhance your focus and heighten the healing effects of acupressure.
Deep breathing: Initiate your session by inhaling and exhaling deeply. This not only calms your mind but also prepares your body for the acupressure session, making it more receptive to the process.
Clean hands: Hygiene is essential. Ensure that your hands are clean before you start. This will prevent any potential infections, especially when dealing with sensitive areas.
Consistency is key: Regular application of these acupressure techniques is more beneficial than sporadic sessions. Aim to integrate these into your daily or weekly routine for a sustained impact
The effectiveness of acupressure can differ from person to person. Should these acupressure methods not provide the relief you are seeking, it may be worth exploring further assistance and personalized advice from a licensed acupuncturist or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner.
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