Acupressure 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

by Kris Gonzalez, LAc |

Acupressure 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

Vital energy, life force, also known as Qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine, flows throughout your body and travels along meridians or paths. You can think of them as rivers. Qi longs to be free flowing. There’s a classic Chinese saying:

If there is free flow, there is no pain; If there is no free flow, there is pain.” 

In Chinese Medicine, there are points along these meridians where the energy of that channel concentrates. We can apply touch, massage, pressure, light therapy, warmth and even needles (acupuncture by an acupuncturist) to influence the energy of that point or channel.

What is Acupressure & Getting Started

Acupressure is the practice of applying varying levels of pressure through touch or massage to stimulate "acupoints" along the body’s meridians. We can do this to help move or build energy.

You can start by asking your Acupuncturist or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner which points they would recommend for you as well as their locations. Always remember to be gentle to your body and apply a slow and careful touch.

  1. Get in a comfortable position, close your eyes if you’d like and breathe deeply while you come into your body.
  2. Bring energy to your hands by rubbing them together to warm them.
  3. Hold your hand over the general area of the point and let it rest while you take a deep breath. Do you feel any sensations? Maybe some warmth...maybe some buzzing…
  4. Approach the acupoint until you feel a slight dip or dimple that can identify the point. Sometimes these points can feel tender to the touch.
  5. When you’re ready, use deep, firm pressure to massage and stimulate each point. You can use your fingers, thumbs, palms, your toes or your heels. Most often people use their fingers and thumbs.
  6. You can use a circular rubbing motion or you can simply hold the pressure until you feel the tissues relax. You can typically apply around 3 pounds of pressure without harm for a few minutes.

Pay attention to what’s happening below your fingertips. Often the point will become warm and slightly tender. Stay with the point until you feel a shift. Sometimes bruising can occur. Also be aware of your breathing. Slowed breath tells you that you are starting to relax.

Acupressure can be repeated daily to once per week until you notice results. If you’re ever unsure about anything, just ask your Chinese Medicine practitioner. And, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, always check in with your Acupuncturist as there are some points that are contraindicated.

General Wellbeing Acupressure Points

Below are two excellent points to get you started.  As alway, refer to the directions above, and when in doubt, talk with an Acupuncturist for more guided perspective and recommendations.  

Stomach 36 (3 Leg Yin): Point of the Sea of Water & Grain “Sea of Nourishment” 


photo by Kanpobliss


  • Tonifies Qi & Blood
  • Strengthens "Wei (protective) Qi"
  • Regulates digestive system

Yintang: Hall of Impression



  • Calms the Spirit
  • Eases frontal headaches
  • Transforms congestion of the sinuses 

Care Consideration: Just a reminder that the above information is not a substitute for medical care and is not a substitute for medical advice or recommendations  from a healthcare provider.  This information is not intended to treat, mitigate or cure any disease.  That said, we encourage you to connect with an Acupuncturist in your community to learn more about this and other Traditional Chinese Medicine options.  If you’ve got questions about Chinese herbal medicine or getting started with an Acupuncturist, feel free to connect with us on


Kris González is a Licensed Acupuncturist, herbalist, 養生 yǎng shēng (Nourishing Life Tradition) enthusiast, teacher, and founder of The Way of Yin – a profoundly inspiring educational hub that invites people to embark upon a journey of self-discovery, remembering the cycles, rhythms, and relationships that are foundational to our health. More information about Kris and her incredible resources can be found at

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