3 Acupressure Points That Actually Work

Ever dealt with occasional insomnia or anxiety?

How about headaches, period cramps or muscle cramps anywhere on your body?

If you answered yes to any of the above, these 3 acupressure points need to be in your wellness repertoire. If your issues are chronic or long standing, consider a series of acupuncture treatments to get to the root of your symptoms.

acupuncture for anxiety and insomnia

1. YinTang

Located between your eyebrows, at the third eye center, this point is nicknamed “the bliss button”. It can immediately shift your mindset when you are feeling stressed, anxious, or you can’t sleep. There are several ways to stimulate this point; experiment to find which works best for you. The first way is to simply press the point lightly with your finger and massage in a small circle. Or, start with your finger right above the bridge of the nose and stroke upward towards the forehead. Both of these methods should be continued for 1 minute, or up to 5 minutes. Using a calming essential oil, like lavender, can amplify the effects. Try this on your loved ones, too – kids and animals love this point!

acupuncture for headaches

2. Gallbladder 8

Dubbed the “hangover point” by acupuncture students, this point actually works for any type of headache, especially migraines and that headache you get when you haven’t eaten anything in a while. Find the point by tracing up one inch from the very top of your ear. Poke around and see if you can find a tender point. Using your thumbs, strongly press both sides together and hold for at least one minute, or until you feel the headache start to subside. Bonus: press this point every hour when you are out drinking, and again when you get home to avoid a hangover.

acupuncture for muscle cramps

3. Spleen 3.2

This is a special point discovered by Japanese acupuncturist Master Nagano that corresponds to all the muscles in the body. It can be used for calf cramps, muscle spasms, period cramps (the uterus is a muscle), muscle twitches and the like. It’s located on the inside of the foot, on the line where the skin changes color. Run your finger over the side of the big toe, over the big bump, then fall into a depression – that’s Spleen 3.2. I find it’s best to use moderate pressure on this point, not too strong, but not too soft. Massage the spot in small circles with your finger or thumb for at least a minute. Don’t forget to do both sides! If you’re in pain, it helps if you can talk a friend into doing this for you.

There are more than 300 acupuncture points on the body, but not all of these translate well to acupressure. My patients and I have found these 3 points to be useful for self-care, and they really are effective when used regularly.

Have you tried any of these points? How did they work for you? Share with us in the comments below.

And as always, if your symptoms are chronic and long standing, get some professional help. If you're in the Greenville SC area, I'd be happy to help! 


Elizabeth Williams is an acupuncturist in Greenville, South Carolina, specializing in pain management, women’s health, and psycho-emotional issues. She’s passionate about helping people feel their best and sharing her wealth of knowledge with the community. Elizabeth is the owner of Dragonfly Acupuncture & Massage, on Wade Hampton Boulevard. Appointments can be made by calling 864-451-4313, or scheduled online here.