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Acupressure is useful in alleviating many of the physical symptoms as well as the sluggishness of mild depression. Acupressure is performed by applying steady, firm pressure on specific points along the body. If you prefer, you can rub on the acupressure point briskly to stimulate them rather than just applying pressure. When stimulated, these spots, which are identical to acupuncture points, correspond to and affect other parts of the body.
According Chinese medicine, depression can occur when you repress certain emotions, such as anger or guilt. Using anti-depression acupressure points can help to release this blocked energy. Once it is free to rise to the surface, you can examine these feelings and try to gain a greater understanding of them.
The following are important acupressure points for relieving depression. You do not have to use all of the points listed below. Using just one or two of them whenever you have a free hand can be effective in controlling your depression.
Consists of 3 points:
1. The Posterior Summit (GV 19)
2. One Hundred Meeting Point (GV 20)
3. Anterior Summit (GV 21)
These points are all located on the top of the head. Pressing them can relieve depression with accompanying headache and memory lapses.
Begin with the middle point, GV 20. Place your left thumb on the top of your left ear and your right thumb on the top of your right ear. Move your fingertips toward the top of your head and feel for a hollow near the top center of your head.
GV 19, also situated in a hollow, lies approximately one inch behind GV 20.
GV 21 lies one inch in front of GV 20.
As you apply steady, firm pressure to these points, relax your body and let your tension and depression slip away.
GB 20: Wind Pond
These two points are found in the hollows between the two large neck muscles, just below the base of the skull. Pressing them will help relieve depression, neck tension, headache, and irritability.
B10: Heavenly Pillar
Located about a half-inch from the base of the skull on the muscles bordering the spine, these points can relieve the fatigue and emotional distress of depression.
B 43: Vital Region
These two points are located between the shoulder blades and spine three inches from the spine at the level of the fourth thoracic vertebrae. They are effective in helping to soothe and balance your emotions. If you don't have someone to press these points for you, you can lie on your back, placing two tennis balls in the appropriate spots beneath your upper back between your shoulder blades. The pressure of lying on the balls will massage the points nicely.
B 23: Kidney Shu, B 52: Will Chamber
Point B 23 is located in the lower back at waist level, approximately one to two inches from the spine. B 52 is at the same level and one to two inches out from B 23. Pressing these points can relieve depression, fatigue, and emotional upset.
Third Eye Point (Yintang)
This point is located between the eyebrows in the groove where the bridge of your nose meets your forehead. Pressing this point soothes your emotions and relieves depression.
K 27: Elegant Mansion
Located in the groove between the bottom of your collarbone and your first rib where they meet your breast- bone, these points relieve depression, anxiety, and breathing difficulty.
Lu 1: Central Treasury
These points are located on the outside of your upper chest, at the level of the first intercostal space (that is, below the first rib) six inches from the midline of the body. Pressing these will relieve depression, blocked emotions, breathing difficulty, and grief.
CV 17: Chest Center
This point is found in the middle of your breastbone, at the level of the fourth intercostal space ( that is, below the fourth rib). It helps relieve grief, depression, anxiety, and general emotional instability.
St 36: Three Mile Point
These points are located four finger-widths below your kneecap and one inch outside of your shinbone. They are helpful for overall muscle tone and emotional balance, as well as relieving fatigue and depression.
The following exercise is very effective in managing your depression:
Letting Go of Depression with acupressure and Deep Breathing
1. Lie down on your back or sit comfortably, with your spine straight, and feet flat on the floor.
2. Reach up toward the sky with both hands; take a deep breath, and as you hold your breath, make tight fists and squeeze, tightening all the muscles in your arms.
3. Slowly exhale, tensing your arms, bringing your fists down, to your chest
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 several times.
5. Now cross your arms in front of your chest, with your fingers touching the upper outside area of the chest, (acupressure point Lu 1 also known as Letting Go); your wrists cross at the center of your upper chest.
6. Lower your chin toward your chest.
7. Inhale four short breaths in a row (without exhaling) through your nose, filling your lungs completely on the fourth breath. Hold the breath for a few seconds with the chest full and expanded.
8. Exhale slowly through your mouth.
9. Repeat this exercise for two or three minutes, concentrating on the depth and rhythm of the breath.
Source: Michael Reed Gach: Acupressure's Potent Points