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Acupressure for Stress Relief

The acupuncture point, Heart 7 (located on the heart meridian) is also referred to as Shen Men in Chinese. Shen refers to spirit and men is a gate. There are many acupuncture points that are described as gates. In order for things to move freely in and out of a gate the hinges must be well lubricated. This particular gate is the gate to our spirit or our vitality. If it is perpetually closed we find ourselves in a constant state of darkness or sadness. If the gate were open all the time we would be in a constant state of arousal or hyper activity.

Debra Kaatz speaks of the power of this point when she says, “This gateway opens the beauty of someone’s spirit. It allows them to both see the richness around and reveals their inner beauty….At Shen Men the spirit of love flows, regulating and nourishing life with compassion and joy.” Stimulation of this point can help to regulate the opening and closing of this gate to allow for a more harmonious emotional state.

This point can be paired with other points to help issues such as insomnia, sleep talking, palpitations, high blood pressure, poor memory, depression, disorientation, fright/fear and sadness.

This point is located on the palmar side of the hand at the wrist crease. It is at the proximal and radial side of the pisiform bone in the depression between the tendons (see diagram for more guidance). You might notice this area is tender to the touch.

Before starting a self-acupressure session make sure to set the right intention for the treatment. Sit or lay in a comfortable position and start by settling your mind. Take a few slow, deep breaths. Inhale for four counts, hold the breath for seven counts and then exhale slowly for eight counts. Repeat this process 3-5 times.

Once you feel settled and the point has been located, gently massage the point in a circle motion for thirty seconds. Start on the left side and then move over to the right side. With your mind’s eye send your breath down to this point to activate it further.

For a more tailored acupressure experience reach out about telehealth sessions.

Image from: Deadman, P., Al-Khafaji, M., & Baker, K. (2016). A Manual of Acupuncture. East Sussex, England: Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications.

Kaatz, D. (2005). Characters of Wisdom: Taoist Tales of the Acupuncture Points. Bicester, Oxfordshire: The Petite Bergerie Press.

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