So does it work? University of Michigan investigators put acupressure to the test by teaching 39 college students the location of acupressure points believed to be either stimulating or relaxing (the students weren't told which were which). After establishing the volunteers' baseline alertness, the researchers had them attend 3 days of yawn-inducing lectures. At lunchtime on the first day, half of the students pressed stimulating acupoints; the next 2 days they pressed the relaxation ones. (The other students did the opposite.) On the days the students used the stimulation technique, they reported feeling significantly more alert than when they followed the relaxation routine.
Here's how to get the energizing effects:
Apply very firm pressure to these 5 stimulating acupoints with your thumb or index and middle fingers; hold each for 3 minutes, massaging in both directions:
(1) The base of the skull, one finger-width to the side of the spine.
(2) The pad between the joint of the thumb and index finger.
(3) The sole of the foot, one-third of the way from the toes.
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Two other acupoints: the top center of the head and the outside of the leg bone, 3 inches down from the kneecap.