Five Acupressure Points For Treating Insomnia

Eli Ben-Yehuda

Written by Eli Ben-Yehuda

On July 7, 2020

Insomnia can be caused by psychiatric and medical conditions, unhealthy sleep habits, specific substances, and/or certain biological factors. Recently, researchers have begun to think about insomnia as a problem of your brain being unable to stop being awake (your brain has a sleep cycle and awake cycle—when one is turned on the other is turned off—insomnia can be a problem with either part of this cycle: too much wake drive or too little sleep drive). It’s important to first understand what could be causing your sleep difficulties.

Chronic stress, anxiety, and tension are the leading causes of insomnia and sleeplessness among adults. Acupressure and reflexology can prove to be a healthier alternative to popping pills and can positively affect the quality of sleep, as stated by a study in Milan, Italy at the San Gerardo Hospital.

The fundamental belief behind acupressure for insomnia is that energy flows through the body through the various energy meridians. Due to the effects of stress, this movement of energy becomes obstructed. Acupressure therapy helps distribute the energy throughout the body and relax the body.

There are four such acupressure points for quick sleep that you can stimulate to be out like a light.

Neiguan

Neiguan, or Inner Gate, is one of the best points to press for sleep and relaxation. This point is also called P6 or Pericardium 6. To find the Neiguan point, place 3 fingers at the base of the wrist and feel for a natural depression. There is a depression between the tendons in the hand that can be an effective insomnia cure. Press this point, applying steady pressure until you feel the stress start to melt away and you get more relaxed. If you would like to sleep like a baby into the night, try to keep continuous pressure on the point by taping a kidney bean onto it.

Shimien

If you are practicing self-acupressure for insomnia, Shimien is your best buddy located at the base of your foot. Locate this acupressure point for insomnia by drawing a line from the ankle bone to the sole of your foot. This point is located right in front of the heel. You can actually take a pen and draw first to pinpoint the exact point where these lines meet. It should be a very soft spot but pressing it should NOT hurt you if you are doing it correctly.

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Shenmen

Shenmen is one of the points to press for sleep, which is also known as the Spirit Gate, H7 or Heart 7. It is said to control the pathways to the heart. In her book The Complete Guide to Natural Sleep, Holistic Expert Dian Dincin states that the Shenmen is located directly below the base of the smallest finger, near the crease of the wrist. Use the thumb of your other hand to apply constant pressure for about 20 seconds. This will your energy levels wind down slowly and soothe you into a restful slumber.

Anmien

Anmien, the serene sleep pressure point, is situated on the head. Find this pressure point for sleep at the base of the skull just behind the ear, along with the soft place where your neck muscles connect to your jawline. Make sure to maximize this pressure point by applying steady but gentle pressure with your index and middle fingers into the hollow. Within 15 to 20 minutes you should start to feel calm and heavy-eyed.

Three Yin Intersection

The three yin intersection point is located on your inner leg, just above your ankle. To treat insomnia:

  • Locate the highest point on your ankle.
  • Count four finger widths up your leg, above your ankle.
  • Apply deep pressure slightly behind your biggest lower-leg bone (tibia), massaging with circular or up-and-down motions for four to five seconds.

In addition to helping with insomnia, simulating this pressure point can also help with pelvic disorders and menstrual cramps.

Don’t use this pressure point if you’re pregnant, as it’s also associated with inducing labor.

There are a few more acupressure points to use if you are suffering from insomnia. I just listed the top four. Insomnia can be a serious condition if left untreated. If you have question or concerns, consult your healthcare practitioner.

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