Depression is a common mental health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. With the increasing prevalence of stress and anxiety in our modern lives, more and more people are seeking alternative treatments for depression. Acupuncture and acupressure, a traditional Chinese medicine technique, has emerged as a popular and effective option for managing depression. We have not only explored traditional acupressure techniques for managing depression but also discussed the benefits of using an acupressure mat as an additional tool in combating anxiety and depression. 

Incorporating traditional acupressure and an acupressure mat into your self-care routine can create a comprehensive approach to addressing depression and anxiety symptoms, improving your overall mental health. 

This article will explore the basics of acupressure and discuss how it can help alleviate depressive symptoms. 

Causes of Depression

Depression can be caused by genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Some common triggers include major life changes, trauma, chronic stress, and certain medications. A chemical imbalance in the brain may also play a role in the development of depression.

Depression manifests in various ways, including persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, feelings of worthlessness, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

What is Acupressure?

Acupressure is an ancient healing practice that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body. It has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and other holistic health practices to treat various physical and mental ailments.

Acupressure aims to stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities by unblocking energy pathways, known as meridians, which are believed to be connected throughout the body.

During an acupressure session, practitioners use their hands (or sometimes special tools) to apply pressure at various locations along the patient’s energy pathways (meridians).

This helps restore balance within those pathways, allowing for a better flow of qi (energy) throughout the entire system, resulting in overall well-being improvement for both mind and body alike.

Acupressure treatment is a holistic approach to improving physical and emotional health, with the potential to reduce symptoms of depression and insomnia.

Acupressure Points for Depression

As an experienced acupressure specialist who uses acupressure daily, not only for myself but also for clients, I have witnessed firsthand the effectiveness of acupressure in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and stress. Through the study and practice of acupuncture and acupressure, I have come to appreciate the power of these ancient oriental techniques in providing relief for various mental health conditions, including mild, moderate, or severe depression.

Research, such as randomized controlled trials, has shown that acupressure can reduce depression and anxiety levels, with some acupressure studies even reporting a significant reduction in depression symptoms. By applying pressure to the proper locations on the body, acupressure helps regulate the flow of Qi, which can relieve anxiety, stress, and chest tightness.

It is essential to find the middle ground between seeking the right treatment for depression and relying solely on acupressure. While acupressure is effective in alleviating anxiety and depression symptoms, it is vital to consult with a mental health professional to address any underlying issues that may contribute to these conditions.

In the following section, we will explore the specific acupressure points for depression that have been proven to help ease symptoms and discuss the effects of acupressure on depression.

Remember, if you are experiencing severe depression, it is crucial to see a doctor and receive the right treatment for your needs, alongside using acupressure techniques to support your recovery.

Depression is a serious mental health condition that can be difficult to manage. Several key acupressure points can help alleviate depression symptoms. Here are five essential points:

Governing Vessel 20 (GV 20)

GV 20, also known as Baihui, is located at the top of the head, approximately in line with the tips of the ears. This point is thought to uplift the mood and help alleviate depression.

Heart 7 (HT 7)

HT 7, or Shenmen, is found on the inner wrist, just below the crease, and in line with the pinky finger. This point is believed to calm the mind and reduce anxiety, making it particularly useful for depression.

Lung 9 (LU 9)

LU 9, or Tai Yuan, is situated on the inner wrist increase, in the depression just below the thumb. This point is linked to balancing emotions and alleviating sadness and grief.

Kidney 27 (KI 27)

KI 27, also known as Shu Mansion, is located on the chest, about one inch below the collarbone and two inches from the midline. This acupressure point can help relieve depression by promoting emotional balance and reducing stress.

Pericardium 6 (PC 6)

PC 6, or Nei Guan, can be found on the inner forearm, about two finger widths from the wrist crease, between the two tendons. This point is known for alleviating anxiety, irritability, and mood swings associated with depression.

How to Apply Acupressure for Depression

To apply acupressure, follow these simple steps:

  1. Identify the appropriate acupressure points mentioned above.
  2. Use your thumb, finger, or a blunt object to apply steady, firm pressure on the point.
  3. Hold the pressure for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, while taking deep breaths.
  4. Release the pressure and repeat on the other side of the body if necessary.
  5. Apply acupressure to each point once or twice daily for best results.

Acupressure Mats and Their Role in Combating Depression

Acupressure mats, or acupuncture mats, are a modern innovation designed to provide the benefits of acupressure therapy in a convenient and accessible way. These mats are typically made of foam or other cushioned materials and are covered with thousands of small plastic spikes.

When you lie down or stand on the mat, the spikes apply gentle pressure to various acupressure points on your body, similar to the effects of traditional acupressure.

An acupressure mat can be particularly beneficial for those dealing with depression, as it can help stimulate the release of endorphins, known as the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals. These endorphins can help improve mood, reduce stress, and promote relaxation: The Science Behind Standing on an Acupressure Mat. Best Positions, Practices, and Tips

Regular use of an acupressure mat can complement other depression treatments, providing additional support for emotional well-being.

Like traditional acupressure, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating an acupressure mat into your depression treatment plan and follow any recommended guidelines for safe and effective use.


In summary, targeting specific pressure points through ancient healing techniques, including using an acupressure mat or acupressure stick, can help reduce depression and anxiety. This ancient healing art of massage focuses on key points linked to emotional well-being, such as HT7, helping to alleviate symptoms like heart palpitations, restlessness, and emotional stress.

By applying pressure to these points, individuals can experience relief from tightness in the chest and nourish their emotional health. Acupressure techniques can be performed using the thumb and forefinger or specialized tools, making it accessible to everyone. When the flow of Qi, or life energy, gets stuck or becomes stagnant, acupressure can help to restore balance and promote overall mental health.

Incorporating acupressure into your daily routine, either through traditional methods or an acupressure mat, can effectively reduce anxiety and depression: Best Acupressure Mats of 2023 (Ranked & Detailed Review)

As always, please consult a healthcare professional before beginning any new treatment and follow their guidelines for safe and effective use.

FAQs in Relation to Acupressure for Depression

Where is the acupressure point for depression?

The most commonly used acupressure point for depression is the Large Intestine 4 (LI4) point, located in the webbing between your thumb and index finger. Stimulating this point can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and promote relaxation. Additionally, it can be used to relieve headaches, nausea, indigestion and menstrual cramps. To activate LI4 press firmly on the spot with your thumb or a knuckle for 1-2 minutes while taking deep breaths. You may feel slightly tingling as you stimulate this area – this is normal. With regular use, you should begin to notice an improvement in your overall mental and physical health.

Does acupressure work for depression?

Yes, acupressure can be an effective treatment for depression. It works by stimulating certain points on the body connected to energy pathways and releasing endorphins that help reduce stress and anxiety. Acupressure is also known to improve mood, promote relaxation, increase circulation, reduce pain, and boost immunity. Research has shown that regular acupressure practice can improve mental health outcomes in those suffering from depression.

How fast does acupuncture work for depression?

Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) used for centuries to treat various physical and mental health conditions, including depression. Studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in reducing symptoms of depression within just one to two sessions. It works by stimulating certain points on the body, which helps regulate the flow of energy, or qi, throughout the body. This can help improve mood and reduce stress levels, leading to an overall feeling of well-being. The practice of acupuncture and acupressure may not work immediately, but regular treatments can significantly improve depressive symptoms over time.

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