Acupressure for Calming Shen by Kerry Marshall

“When one applies medical treatment, one must keep in mind first of all, the patient’s spirits”

(Ling Su, ancient CM text)


The Shen is the Chinese word for spirit and in Chinese Medicine it encompasses the heart, mind, emotions, and spiritual aspects of the patient. We have many acupuncture points to choose from when addressing ones Shen. I’m going to teach you how to apply these yourself with acupressure.

I was drawn to acupuncture for many reasons, but one is how it links the physical and emotional aspects of our health. We often discover with questioning and observations that we cannot treat one without considering the other.

There are many causes as to why your Shen is not calm, stable and flourishing. Symptoms can present differently in people.  They may be fleeting or lingering beneath the surface. They can be debilitating on your daily functioning. They can be chronic, acute, temporary or constant. You may have one or more symptoms from the list below, it doesn’t matter. These acupressure techniques may be useful for you to try.


Some common symptoms people present with in clinic are:

Trouble getting off to sleep

Waking through the night

Disturbed sleep

Fear, worry, lack of motivation, sadness

Poor memory or difficulty concentrating


Mood swings

Heart palpitations

Easily startled

Low or increased appetite

Irritable or fidgety

Nervous tension




I will often share with my patients some self care techniques using acupressure to use on a daily or need to basis.  I have taught kids to use these also.

You can use one or all of these points to help when needed.  I like a lot of these as they can be done in public and no one would know or you could choose to be in a quiet space and do all of them. One will become a favourite and work best for you. This can be your go to if you feel any of your symptoms rising.

‘there are no rules only tools’ you can do no harm in trying these out. They can be applied for one minute or ten whatever works for you.

Palm of the hand  – with your thumb rub the middle of the palm of your hand quite deeply.

Wrist – the inside on the wrist and forearm has many calming points. Massage around the joints of the hand and arm bones.

Rub with your thumb and focus on the middle between the two tendons, push and slide your thumb with pressure up along a third of your arm.

Between the eyebrows – with your finger rub in a down ward movement to the bridge of your nose like you were soothing a baby, calmly. With gentle but firm pressure. I love this one at night when trying to sleep.

Top of head – Tap consistently with your finger firm but not painful. Also tap in a small circle around the point that would be the top of you head. Calming yes! But can also be good to lift your mood.

Middle of the chest – If you run your finger down from the bottom of your neck to about between the breasts you will find a point that your finger nestles into.  It is often a little tender. Press or rub on and a little above and below. Just find the spot that feels right for you.

Under ribs – Follow the base of your ribs with your fingers from the outside to where they join in the middle. Press or rub just underneath and about a 1cm below. Feel for a tender spot and focus of this.


Kerry is available at Mornington Chinese Medicine from 9am to 2pm on Monday, Thursday and Friday.

138 Tanti Avenue, Mornington, VIC

03 5973 6886

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