How to Apply Pressure to Acupressure Points

Acupressure PointsHow do I contact acupressure points?

This is a great question!
How to contact, press, or massage an acupressure point is one of the most common questions people ask me. Below is my protocol for working with acupressure (also known as acupoints, points, acupuncture points).

7 Steps for contacting acupressure points:

  1. Be centered, grounded, and connected to your breath and energy
  2. Allow your energy to guide you as you gently place your finger or thumb on the acupressure point
  3. As you make contact, allow all of your mental focus and awareness to seep through your body to the acupressure point
  4. Allow your pressure to sink into the point
  5. Always notice how your pressure is being received

    Ask the person to verbalize if they want more or less pressure.
    Notice if their breathing becomes restrained (lighten your pressure), or more relaxed (you have the right amount of pressure).
  6. Keep your intention focused while sensing the Qi (energy) at the acupressure point.
  7. You will feel an urge to vary the depth, to use small circular massage, or to be still – follow that urge. These urges are your intuition responding to the Qi. This is your direct guidance from the Qi.

Your contact will vary from person to person, and from acupoint to acupoint. Because we are all different, it makes sense that our contact with acupressure points will vary based on our individual differences.

Honor your experiences as they are your direct learning from Qi.

With practice and experience, you will be confident in your ability to know how much pressure to use on acupressure points. I promise!

Listen to a recording of this blog post:


Cindy Black

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.


  1. Rajvinder kaur on November 19, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Dear Cindy u r a wonderful acupressure Therapist God bless you more, I m also acupressure therapist but not like u want to learn more, but want be able to, thanks dear this wonderful information 😊💗🙏

    • Cindy Black on November 19, 2019 at 9:49 pm

      You are welcome – I am always learning more too!

  2. Mary May on November 16, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Just found your website and am hoping you can provide some help as I have just started having the shooting pains assiciated with TN. I have not been to a neurologist yet however. I had a root canal done by a dentist and started having severe pain so I then went to an endodontist who suggested I have TN. After reading about this disease I have become depressed about what is in store for me and all those who suffer from this disease. I am hoping that your diagrams will help me by perhaps lessening the pain. Since my pain is located on my right side of the bottom of my nose, triggered by blowing my nose or something touching the inside of the very top of the gums, which acupuncture point would I use to help ease the pain? Do I use an essential oil as I massage there? Is there anything you would suggest to use on my gums? If I put warm water in my mouth, it seems to help a lot with the pain. Thank you so much for being there for all of us! Mary

    • Cindy Black on November 26, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Mary,

      I’m sorry to hear about your pain. I would try these points – gentle pressure only, do not create additional pain with too much pressure.
      Stay with it, experiment, notice your results and keep trying.

      For points around the nose, please review points for sinus pain post – try gentle pressure on those points too.

      I make a warm salt water mouth rinse that soothes my gums – just a little cup of warm water and a little salt – simple and it feels great.

      I use gentle pressure on the points, don’t have much experience using essential oils on them. You need to be cautious when using essential oils around the eyes, nose and mouth.

      I hope you find relief soon

      – Cindy

  3. […] Check out this great blog post>>How to Apply Pressure to Acupressure Points  […]

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  5. […] Check out this blog post on how to massage acupressure points. […]

  6. DONNA DEMSKY on June 1, 2017 at 9:55 am

    hi, Cindy, it’s Donna again. I’ve done some snooping and this medicine is amazing but still, believe my own injuries would hinder my performance. do you? well, I wanted to know where do i start. this is fabulous information to learn, just for the sake of learning. and your mannerism is superb. your wealth of knowledge blows my mind.

    • Cindy Black on June 1, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Hi Donna,
      One premise of doing this work is be comfortable within your own body. I call this an approach because we will all have our own style based on the limits and possibilities of our body-mind-spirit. There is no one right way “to do” the work, so I do think you can learn to practice Meridian Massage. Your experience will be your best teacher!

  7. […] For more about working with acupoints, here is a previous post: “How to Apply Pressure to Acupoints.” […]

  8. Sheri Ferber on January 3, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you.

  9. […] Check out this blog post all about how to massage acupressure points. […]

  10. […] For more about working with acupoints, here is a previous post: “How to Apply Pressure to Acupoints.” […]

  11. […] the center point of that crease.  The back of the knee is a vulnerable area. Adjust to using very light pressure on Bladder 40 so that you do not injure the knee joint. By using gentle, circular motion you can […]

  12. […] All of these points are on both sides of the body. Experiment with locating and contacting the points. Here is another blog post about how to apply pressure to acupoints. […]

  13. SUSAN on July 28, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Cindy. I just wanted to give you feedback regarding current class I am in 60 Transformational Acupoints. I am really learning a lot. Thanks for yesterday comments particularly making a distinction regarding western and eastern approach in acupuncture or homopathic treatment (the quick fix approach)! Rather then approaching the systems of the whole body knowing , with many of our clients, you need to suggest there are lifestyle issues involved which is more then one treatment of a couple points.
    Also, like what you shared in preparing yourself before you start your work day. Thanks

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on July 28, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks Susan! I appreciate hearing about your experience – thanks for writing 🙂

      • marrieta on May 2, 2018 at 1:44 pm

        please cindy show me how to exactly trace st 3 acupressure point…the measurements like how many cun

  14. CindyM on July 28, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Thank you Cindy, as always you are able to explain how to best use our knowledge, understanding and intuition as we learn to use accupressure.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on July 28, 2016 at 12:08 pm

      You are welcome! 🙂

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