How to massage or apply pressure to acupoints (acupressure points) is a bigger question than it seems.
I received an email today from someone asking this question – I am posting our exchange as I know so many people wonder the same thing.
I started to work on my body (using pressure on acupoints) and I’m not sure if my work is correct.
Should I simply press the point or massage it?
How to work with the points is a big question!
Use a combination of your linear mind to locate the point precisely, then use your ability to feel and sense (your intuitive mind) to contact the point. Sometimes you will feel drawn to holding deep pressure without movement, sometimes you will want to add a little circular motion. Sometimes you will be drawn to use lighter pressure with or without movement. This develops with practice.
The main guideline is to never cause pain or contraction. When you get it right you will notice yourself taking a deep, easy breath, relaxing, and calming down. When you work on other people watch for these signs in them.
So, practice as much as you can both on yourself and on others. Ask them what they are feeling and what type of pressure feels better to them. Do they prefer deep or light pressure, movement or contact without motion?
Getting the correct method with different people requires talking and listening to each other. You need to know what they are feeling in order to make adjustments, and you need to watch their breathing pattern to notice if it changes. If they look tense and are taking short breaths, that usually means they are in pain, so lighten your pressure and ask them to tell you when you get the pressure just right.
“Getting it just right” is a lifelong skill that evolves with practice and patience. Enjoy your practice!
Here is a video I made with a little more information on feeling and locating acupoints: