Getting a good night's sleep is crucial to living a healthy life, yet for many, the act of falling asleep, as well as staying asleep, comes as a constant challenge. Luckily, of all the natural and non-invasive ways to promote relaxation and sleep, pressure points are some of the most effective.
The concept of pressure points, otherwise known as acupressure, is something seen in natural remedies fairly often and might sound familiar if you’ve heard of acupuncture before. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at what this technique promotes and how its benefits can be applied to overcome the challenges of getting a good night’s sleep.
Tapping Into the Benefits of Pressure Points
The pressure point technique offers a way to tap into parts of the body that aren’t immediately visible to the naked eye.
Right under the skin lies a vast and complex network called the lymphatic drainage system. This system performs a hugely important job, helping to keep the body’s internal system clean while also dispelling harmful toxins; including cancer cells.
A clear internal system will prepare the way for the body to access a range of different benefits, including new tissue growth, however, it’s not uncommon for the lymphatic system to sometimes get blocked. When this happens, lymph, the fluid that the network uses to carry out the drainage, has nowhere to go, preventing harmful toxins from being removed from the body.
Blockages are usually flagged by swelling, localised pain and soreness, however, they’re not always this pronounced, which is why knowing about and regularly addressing the body’s many different pressure points is so essential.
Adding pressure to these points with a pair of Hand Therapy Massage Balls is the most effective way to clear blockages and ensure smooth sailing for the lymphatic system.
Acupressure therapy triggers a wave of rest and relaxation and is a popular way to soothe tired muscles after a workout. But through a different lens, these benefits can also be applied when preparing the body for a good night’s sleep.
Not only will the practice do away with the uncomfortable, sleep-limiting effects of lymph blockages, most notably swelling and inflammation, but it’ll also signal to the brain that sleep should start soon.
Here are five of the best pressure points you can use at any time to help induce deep and restful sleep:
Five Pressure Points for Better Sleep
Third Eye Point - Let’s start with the basics - the third eye pressure point is easily one of the most accessible, and can be found directly in the middle of the crosssection between the eyebrows, the top of the nose and the forehead.
Applying a gentle level of pressure with your massage therapy ball and rolling it back and forth in this area promotes feelings of relaxation and calm, and is one of the most integral points in acupressure due to its proximity to the sinuses.
It’s also the perfect way to relieve stress, tension headaches and stomach pains, and has been shown to rebalance the endocrine system, making sleep much more achievable and peaceful.
Inner Wrist Point - Another super simple and accessible pressure point can be found on the inside of the wrists; an epicentre of lymph activity.
Also known as ‘Pressure Point P-6’ in the acupressure industry, applying the same steady pressure in a rolling motion around this region is a powerful way to promote sleep and calm the stormy seas of anxiety.
Interestingly, although a must-know in the realms of sleep science, applying pressure to the inner wrist point has also been documented as a way to mitigate feelings of nausea and vomiting, and this point is popular with many people who suffer car/travel sickness.
Kidney 27 Point - Although not associated with the organ to which its name is related, Kidney 27, also known as ‘Kidney Shu’, is a pressure point located just under the collarbones.
Activating this pressure point is believed to have a calming effect on the body and the mind, and can be used to alleviate coughs, shortness of breath and feelings of fear. Stimulating this area also induces a strong sense of relaxation and sleep, which is why it’s a perfect feature for this list.
To stimulate this area, roll your Hand Therapy Massage Ball closely under the collarbones, travelling along the length of the bone.
It is important to use a light touch when working with this point and to listen to your body, as pressing too hard can cause discomfort. Some people report feeling a warming or tingling sensation when stimulating Kidney 27, which can be a sign that the point is being effectively stimulated.
Incorporating Kidney 27 into your bedtime routine can help calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and promote feelings of relaxation, making it easier to fall and stay asleep
Bubbling Spring Point - The feet are the main character when it comes to acupressure, due to how highly interconnected this region of the lymphatic network is to the rest of the body. Because of this, stimulating the Bubbling Spring point, which is located at the base of the second and third toes, can have a calming, rebalancing effect on the body.
Using your Hand Therapy Massage Balls, apply a firm but gentle level of pressure to the Bubbling Spring point. This pressure can be held for several minutes at a time, and just like Kidney 27, doing so can trigger a warm, tingly feeling which means that it’s working.
Incorporating Bubbling Spring into your bedtime routine can help calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and promote feelings of relaxation, making achieving sound and restful sleep much easier in the process. Additionally, due to its interconnectedness with other parts of the body, stimulating this point can also have a positive effect on other systems and organs, such as the digestive and urinary systems.
Four Gates Point - Just like the name suggests, the Four Gates point is a unique and powerful pressure point located at the cross-section between the base of the neck, the shoulders and the top of the spine.
While also sometimes referred to as the ‘Gates of Consciousness’, stimulating this pressure point with a Hand Therapy Massage Ball will relieve the mass amounts of tension that typically coincide at this cross-section. Doing so will alleviate the pressure on the neck and head, instigating a deep sense of relaxation and aiding in a better night’s sleep.
The Four Gates point is thought to affect the flow of energy in the body, and applying gentle pressure to this point can help balance the body's energy and soothe the nervous system, leading to a more restful sleep.
This pressure point is a typical feature in many traditional Chinese medicines, acupuncture and acupressure techniques, and its application seeks to address various physical and emotional conditions, including insomnia and anxiety.
Finding a Balance
These five pressure points are absolutely must-know to anyone looking to leverage the body’s natural secrets in their pursuit of perfect sleep. And while pressure points and Hand Therapy Massage Balls do come as essential tools for promoting a restful body and mind, their benefits should be used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and other sleep-promoting strategies, such as a consistent sleep schedule, a relaxing bedtime routine and a comfortable sleep environment.
Luckily, SMUG’s ground-breaking collection and adjoining blog provide the answers to all of life’s ailments, and we’d love you to join us in their benefits here.
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