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6 Facial Pressure Points, Plus 1 for Relaxation

Person massaging facial pressure points

Before you get busy exploring your face for pressure points, it’s important to understand how to engage these areas.

“Some of the most common acupressure points are easier to locate, especially since many of them exist where there are ‘gaps’ between bones, tendons, or ligaments,” says Ani Baran of NJ Acupuncture Center.

However, she points out that sometimes finding these pressure points can take some time. With that in mind, make sure to follow any detailed instructions on how to find them and allow plenty of practice time to perfect the technique.

When it comes to applying acupressure to the face, Baran explains that it’s important to use the right technique and find the right balance.

“Generally we suggest a mix of pressing and massaging back and forth with one or two fingers, usually for up to at least 2 minutes per pressure point,” she says.

As far as pressure, the main thing to remember is “gentle but firm.” In other words, firm enough to feel some pressure, but gentle enough not to leave any sort of mark.

Additionally, Irina Logman, CEO and founder of Advanced Holistic Center, recommends massaging and applying pressure for at least 30 seconds to activate these points.

According to Baran, pressure points are specific areas of the body that run along meridians or channels through which the energy in our body flows. “They are easily accessible not just by acupuncturists, but by anyone who wants to practice acupressure at home,” she explains.

These areas correlate with specific points where blocking of the meridians is common, resulting in pain and discomfort in the body. By servicing pressure points, Baran says we can unblock the meridians, regulating the flow of energy and releasing endorphins and other natural pain-relieving “qi” to the affected areas of the body.

The acupressure points located on the face have been used to help with anything from congestion and headaches to fevers and chills.

Although research on the benefits of acupressure is limited, some research suggests it may help reduce physical pain as well as stress.

A 2015 study found that acupressure massage was effective in reducing symptoms of Bell’s palsy, a type of paralysis. Symptoms of depression were also reduced.

A small 2019 study on people with chronic low back pain found that self-administered acupressure reduced pain and fatigue.

Acupressure massage is also often used in dental care as a noninvasive approach to reducing pain.

There are several acupressure points located on your face. Points on the front of your face include:

  • LI20
  • GV26
  • Yintang

Points on the side of your face include:

  • Taiyang
  • SJ21
  • SJ17

Here are some tips from Logman on how to find these pressure points and use them for a variety of benefits.

LI20

Illustration by Diego Sabogal

LI20 is located in the nasolabial groove, which is the groove where your nostril meets your face.

Use it for:

  • clearing the nasal passages
  • relieving congestion and itchy nose

GV26

Illustration by Diego Sabogal

GV26 is located right in the center between your lips and your nose.

Use it for:

  • restoring focus
  • calming your mind

Yintang

Illustration by Diego Sabogal

Yintang is located between your eyebrows, which is the area otherwise known as your “third eye.”

Use it for:

  • reducing anxiety
  • improving sleep

Taiyang

Illustration by Diego Sabogal

Taiyang is located in the tender depression of the temple.

Use it for:

  • one-sided headaches
  • dizziness
  • eye problems

SJ21

Illustration by Diego Sabogal

SJ21 is located in the depression anterior to the supratragic notch, which is right above the tragus of the ear, closer to the face.

Use it for:

SJ17

Illustration by Diego Sabogal

SJ17 is located right behind the earlobe. According to Logman and other practitioners, this pressure point has been used in treating symptoms of facial paralysis, toothache, and lockjaw.

On the hand: LI4

Illustration by Diego Sabogal

Additionally, Logman says LI4 can help with disorders of the face and relieve pain as well as chills and fevers.

To find it, squeeze your thumb to the base of your index finger. You can locate it at the highest point of the bulge of the muscle and nearly level with the end of the crease.

Acupressure, which has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine, uses pressure points on certain parts of your body to promote wellness. It’s often mistaken for acupuncture, which uses needles to treat a variety of conditions.

While both methods aim to stimulate acupoints or pressure points, acupuncture is generally a stronger stimulation most often performed by an acupuncturist for several health conditions.

Acupressure, on the other hand, is considered more of a self-healing modality that helps with minor issues such as stress and mild pain.

There has been at least one report of an unusual abscess after prolonged acupressure massage. The area you’re massaging should not be painful, and the pressure should not be uncomfortable. If bruising or pain occurs, discontinue acupressure.

If you’re searching for a self-healing modality that can ease pain, reduce stress, and promote overall well-being, you may want to consider acupressure.

While this practice may help with minor ailments, you should always consult with your doctor first, especially if you’re experiencing more serious health or medical issues.

Additionally, if you experience pain or any other discomfort while practicing acupressure, stop applying pressure immediately and consult a trained acupuncturist for further information. They can help you determine which points to focus on and teach you how to locate and apply pressure.

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