Sometimes you need to get your engine started.
People often have a cup of coffee or an energy drink for that.
A few quick push-ups or some jumping jacks can work for that too.
Sometimes, however, you need to turn your engine off.
Forget sleeping pills, Heart 7 (HT7) and Gallbladder 20 (GB20) are two handy acupressure points to activate when you want to sleep.
Heart 7 is illustrated above. It’s located on both your left and right wrists. Massage the area roughly underneath the pinkie by the wrist crease on either side for 30 seconds to a minute to activate.
Among people who study acupuncture, these are widely known, well-studied points.
Like other points, they have their special nicknames. Heart 7 is “Spirit Gate.” Gallbladder 20 is known as “Feng Chi,” which translates from Chinese to “Wind Pool.”
In a 2009 study, activation of Heart 7 increased sleep quality in 79 percent of cancer patients who had difficulties with insomnia. For people unaffected by cancer, the rate was 60 percent. Admittedly, it’s not a perfect success rate, but if that were a sleep medication without any side effects, Western doctors would collectively be writing millions of prescriptions.
This is a sleep secret probably nobody has told you. It’s simple.
For the sake of consistency in pressure, the study used a wrist band with a hard plastic bead. The band is an insomnia aid called “H7 Insomnia Control.” While it worked pretty well in the study, many buyers on Amazon panned it. It turns out people don’t like sleeping with a hard, plastic bead poking into their wrist. It is no longer for sale, though you can buy something similar on Etsy.
Don’t let reports of their dissatisfaction dissuade you. There might be some kind of problem when people try putting such a band on, and they’re not shown or tend to put it on too tight. It’s hard to tell. Accupressure doesn’t have to be constricting in order to be effective.
The great thing is that you don’t need to wear a bracelet with a hard, plastic ball poking into a point of your wrist. You can gently apply pressure on the points for 30 seconds to a minute each. Do that while thinking of peaceful, happy, restful thoughts.
Or don’t think of peaceful, restful, happy thoughts. Think of the people you hate. Think of your bills, people yelling at you. And so on.
Put these points to the test.
Or not. Try the points and think of restful thoughts if you just want to get to sleep. Inhale and exhale deeply. Breath control is definitely part of the equation.
If you’re reading and practicing this somewhere where you’ve got to stay vigilant and alert, don’t apply pressure to Heart 7. Gallbladder 20 is fine, though it may cause you to dissipate some tension in your neck.
Gallbladder 20 is good for dealing with the effects of headaches, runny noses, colds, and has a relaxing impact on the nervous system.
Add them together and get an incredible acupressure treatment combo that promotes sleep. This is especially helpful if you wake up during the night and want to return to sleep.
Article updated April 22, 2021.