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DIY Acupressure Massage For Stress and Anxiety

DIY Acupressure Massage For Stress and Anxiety

Katoka Massage Therapy knows that aches and pains can really take away from your abilities and overall happiness. We’re here to help you access some relief on the spot, using your own fingertips!

Try this DIY acupressure massage therapy for stress and anxiety.

When Stress and Anxiety Attack

Most people claim to have experienced stress and/or anxiety at some point in their life. In fact, some stress can actually be useful. When there is a healthy amount of pressure to perform well, people often feel motivated to succeed.

With a big race approaching, a marathon runner will feel the pressure to perform their best, in turn, they are driven to train in order to be prepared for the big day. This type of stress is not to be confused with the kind that creeps up on us and drags down our energies.

Whether from the daily pressure of work, family and social obligations, or some bigger crisis that life throws our way, we are all at risk of stress and anxiety. But there's a lot we can do to alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety, helping to induce a more relaxed state of mind.

What is the Difference Between Stress and Anxiety?

On the surface stress and anxiety might seem very similar, as they are both emotional responses and can have similar effects on our minds and bodies. Yet there are fundamental differences between them. 

Stress is typically triggered by an external factor. This can be a recent or present factor like an approaching deadline or something more long-term like a strained relationship. Anxiety is more defined by excessive and persistent worries that don’t go away even if there is no stressor. Stress itself can actually be a trigger for anxiety.

Good to Read: Try These Quick and Easy Stress Management Tips

If the stress and/or anxiety is minor, there are many management techniques that can be incorporated into one’s everyday lifestyle. That’s not to mention the massage therapy techniques that we will cover a little further down! If you are experiencing more severe stress and/or anxiety or find that it is starting to really affect your day-to-day functioning and mood, talking with a mental health professional is a positive and helpful additional avenue to be explored.


DIY Acupressure Massage For Stress and Anxiety

How Stress and Anxiety Affect the Body & Brain

Can anxiety make you feel sick? The answer is most definitely yes!


Stress and anxiety share many symptoms:

  • Headaches and Dizziness

  • Chest Pain or Increased Heart Rate

  • Muscle Tension or Pain

  • Stomach Pains or Problems

  • Feeling Tense or Nervous

  • Inability to Relax

  • Loss of Sleep or Oversleeping

  • Trouble Concentrating

  • Being Irritable

  • Consistent Worrying

  • Feeling Overwhelmed


To put it simply, anxiety and stress play major roles in our physical, mental, and emotional health! It also will affect individual people differently.

The long-term Toll of Anxiety

Anxiety increases your breathing and heart rate. This in turn concentrates your blood flow to your brain, since your body is preparing you to face an intense situation. If things start getting too intense, you can easily start feeling lightheaded and nauseous.

Because this is such a physical reaction, having consistent states of anxiety can take a large toll on both your physical and mental health. Long-term anxiety and the panic attacks that often come as a result of it cause your brain to regularly release stress hormones.

Your brain is flooding your system with chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol, which when used sparingly, help you respond to threats. However, with long-term exposure, these chemicals have an adverse effect. Your body is prompted to have frequent symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and even depression.


Massage Therapy to the Rescue!

Acupressure massage therapy is an easy and effective treatment for when you begin to feel stress and anxiety creeping in! Try stimulating the following acupressure points for some on-the-spot anxiety and stress reduction. (For more details on how to apply self acupressure massage, check out our handy tips here)


Isabelle and her team are amazing. They provide chair massage therapy at our offices and we are guaranteed a moment of bliss! Isabelle always helps in getting rid of some tight knots on my back. Very grateful for Katoka, they provide an outstanding service.

Isabelle and her team are amazing. They provide chair massage therapy at our offices and we are guaranteed a moment of bliss! Isabelle always helps in getting rid of some tight knots on my back. Very grateful for Katoka, they provide an outstanding service.

EX2---Third-Eye-Point-_ Seal-Hall or-Yintang --EX-2---v2.png

Hall of Impression or Yin Tang - EX2

This point is located in the centre of your forehead between your eyebrows. Sit back in a comfortable position and close your eyes. With either your thumb or index finger, apply gentle pressure in a circular motion. Stimulate this point as needed.

Governing Vessel Meridian - One Hundred Meeting Point or Bai Hui - GV20 (DU20).png

One Hundred Meeting Point or Bai Hui - GV20 (DU20)

Located at the highest point of the crown of your head. To find it, place a finger on the top of each ear and run your fingers up the sides of your head until they meet at the top of your head. Gently massage this point, working your way up to longer massages. This point also helps to alleviate dizziness, headache and clenched jaw.


Spirit Gate or Shen Men

Find the top cartilages of your ear and then slide your finger down into the triangle-like hollow just below. The tip of that hollow is your heavenly gate point. Apply firm but gentle pressure in a circular motion for about two minutes.


Shoulder Well or Jian jing - GB21

This point is located at the highest point of your shoulder muscles, directly above the nipples. To find it, pinch your shoulder muscles on each side with your middle fingers and thumbs. Apply gentle, firm pressure before releasing the pinch and massaging the point.

*Do not use this point if you are pregnant, as it can induce labor.

Lung-Meridian-Great-Abyss-or-Tai-yuan-- LU9--V1.png

Great Abyss or Tai Yuan - LU9

Turn your hand palm up and slightly spread your fingers. At the side of the wrist nearest the thumb, you should see a slight indent near the edge of the wrist.


Gently massage this point in a slow, circular motion for about a minute before repeating on the other wrist. Stimulating this point helps to relieve some physical signs of anxiety such as heart palpitations.

*You can try almost all of these DIY massages right at your work desk!*


But wait... There's more!

Anxiety and Stress Reduction Techniques

Never take for granted your mental wellbeing, and work to improve it every day! Try incorporating the following into your day-to-day life to help you get the most out of life and increase your positive energies.

Foster Good Relationships

The people you surround yourself with are important, and making connections in general is good for your mental wellbeing. Within healthy relationships, you are able to share positive experiences, provide emotional support, and receive support and love from others. Set aside family or friend time. Plan a day out or a video call with someone you care about but maybe haven’t seen in a while. Try switching off the TV or games to talk with your kids or family (a phone call counts too!)

Be Kind!

Acts of kindness affect us in the best of ways. You feel a positive sense of reward from giving to, or supporting others. Your self-worth increases and good connections are created. The best part is that being kind comes in all shapes and sizes. Say thank you to someone, anyone! Go out of your way to surprise someone with a small gift or gesture. Ask your family and friends how they are and really listen to their answers. Volunteer in your community if you can.

Learn Something New

Your brain likes being kept active, plus it’s a great way to build a new sense of purpose and boost your self-esteem. Start small! Cook something new, or work on a DIY project - this could even be a project that needs to be get done around the house that you would typically hire someone for. Check out a tutorial on YouTube for some inspiration and guidance!

Be Active

I know this one is a broken record, but your body was made to move! Physical activity causes chemical changes in your mood, helping to positively influence you. Whatever exercise you enjoy, try to find time in your day for it. And if you're sitting long hours for work, from time to time either take a quick walking break or march on the spot!

“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.”
- Jon Kabat-Zinn

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