Pressure point therapy, or acupressure, works along the same lines as acupuncture, minus the needles -- a bonus if needles make you squeamish. Acupressure's focus is to target energy meridians and reflex points on various parts of your body to control health issues such as weight loss. The idea is to improve the flow of energy in your digestive tract so that it can effectively communicate with your brain and prevent you from overeating.
1. On the Face
Look no further than the front of your face for one of the acupressure points that is associated with weight loss. It's called the philtrum, and it's that little indentation between your upper lip and nose. Press a finger to this point for about 10 seconds, using a circular motion, when you're tempted to snack between meals or overeat during dinner. According to "Natural Medicine for Weight Loss," pressing this point sends a message to your brain that you are no longer hungry.
2. Near the Ears
If you've ever wondered what that little flap of cartilage is that sticks out from your ear, partly covering the opening of your ear canal, it's called the tragus. That's a handy term to know, as one of the weight loss acupressure points is located near the tragus on both your ears. If you gently press around it with your finger, you'll find a soft spot in front and a little above your tragus. Chinese Auricular Acupuncture" says that this point can be manipulated to satisfy oral cravings such as the urge to eat.
3. Bottom of the Feet
Most of the acupressure points for weight loss focus on suppressing your appetite, but there are some points on your feet that can be pressed to help your body get rid of fat, according to "Natural Medicine for Weight Loss." Apply pressure in a rotating motion to specific spots on the bottoms of your feet several times a day to see results. The points that need attention start with your liver, found around the middle of the bottom of your right foot. The point for your colon is located between the middle of each foot and each heel. The kidneys are another useful weight-loss point, found in the center part between the middle and heel of both feet. The point for your thyroid starts at a point between your big and second toes and traces in a curving line through the balls of your feet. Finally, apply pressure to the point for adrenal glands, located just about the middle of the arch of each foot.
4. Stick With a Professional
Even those who publish books on acupressure admit that it can be tricky to master. "Linda Page's Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone" says that it can be difficult to pinpoint the correct spots to achieve the results you want. Additionally, a precise amount of pressure is required for acupressure to be effective. Performing acupressure incorrectly or in the wrong spot will garner no results or, in the worst-case scenario, create the opposite effect from what you intended. It's wise to visit a professional certified in acupressure to ensure the procedures are performed correctly, and that you don't inadvertently do yourself more harm than good.
- Linda Page's Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone; Linda Page
- The Flex Diet: Design-Your-Own Weight Loss Plan; James Beckerman
- Kiss Your Fat Goodbye; Gary Null, Ph.D.
- Chinese Auricular Acupuncture; Skya Abbate
- Natural Medicine for Weight Loss; Deborah Mitchell
- The Wisdom of Your Face; Jean Haner
- Stress Management for Life, 3rd ed.: A Research-Based Experiential Approach; Michael Olpin and Margie Hesson
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images