There is nothing more relaxing, head-clearing and zen-inducing than a massage at a day spa. The dim lights, delightful smells and glorious massage is our idea of the perfect antidote to stress. But at the end of a long, hard day, when all the spas are closed – what’s a woman to do? The answer is to re-create that zen-spa massage at home for instant relief!
The technique we absolutely love is pressure point massage or acupressure massage. That’s the practice of placing pressure on certain points in the body to trigger a response like self-healing, tension release or pain relief. It’s a traditional technique rooted in ancient Chinese Medicine that works to a similar principle as acupuncture, but instead of using needles, you simply use massage to activate certain points in the body.
According to Chinese Medicine, the body contains a meridian system (sometimes called a channel network) that energy or “Qi” passes through. Although there is no physical representation in our anatomy that reflects the meridian system (like nerves in the nervous system), the channels often coincide with arteries, muscles and organs. However, this centuries-old thinking has stood the test of time, is revered in many cultures and practised by many.
The theories behind the meridian system and exact mapping can get quite complex. Put very simply, the network can be divided into twelve Principal meridians that are divided into Yin and Yang groups. Like much of Chinese Medicine, meridians relate to our physical function but also spiritual and emotional health.
We’re fans of acupressure for at-home massage because it's much simpler to DIY. Think about how hard it would be to give yourself a full body massage! Instead, you can focus on targeting specific points along your meridian to maximise results.
To give you the ultimate at-home acupressure experience, we’ve paired our favourite Noelle products for their aromatherapy properties with some pressure point massage routines. When life gives you lemons, grab your Noelle and massage your way to a better day.
To Help You Get to Sleep
There is nothing worse than having a bad day leak into a bad night and turn into a bad sleep. Rest is the ultimate healer, so you really need good sleep to properly recover and start fresh the following day.
Stress Relief Massage Oil, Body Wash and Body Lotion, featuring Tea Tree & Eucalyptus and essential oils. The compound eucalyptol in Eucalyptus is believed to assist with anxiety. Likewise, the aroma of Tea Tree can promote relaxation and may alleviate insomnia.
As this session is designed to get you to sleep, we would recommend taking a warm shower or bath using these sleepy-scented products and save the massage for when you are in bed or a quiet comfy spot before bed.
Pressure point massage is traditionally done dry without any oils or lotion. You can keep it traditional, but we like to mindfully apply Stress Relief massage oil or body lotion all over and pause over the pressure points for acupressure when we get to those spots. Adding a ritual like this makes the experience more luxurious and relaxing which will feel like more of a treat after a bad day.
Pressure Points To Induce Sleep
The Spirit Gate (also called heart 7 or Shenmen) is located on your wrist below your pinkie. If you run your finger along the crease and feel a dip, you’re there. To massage, apply gentle pressure using your thumb in a circular motion. After two to three minutes, press and hold the left side of the Spirit Gate point for a few seconds, followed by the right side. Repeat in your other wrist.
The second point to focus on is the Three Yin Intersection (Spleen 6 or Sanyinjiao) located on the inner part of each leg above your ankle. Find your medial malleolus – the big bone jutting out of your ankle. Follow it dip down as you move your hand up your leg. From the base, count four finger widths up, then move your finger towards the back of your leg until you feel ‘behind’ the bone. Apply pressure to this point and massage in a circular or up and down motion for five seconds. Repeat on the other leg a few times on each side.
For When You’re Lacking Confidence
We all have those days when we look in the mirror and loathe what we see. In a perfect world, we’d be able to shake those feelings off and feel confident no matter what we see in the mirror. But sometimes that just isn’t possible. Rather than avoiding mirrors altogether, learn to love your body and promote healthy body flow with self-love acupressure.
Energy Massage Oil, Body Wash and Body Lotion, featuring Wild Hibiscus and Mandarin essential oils. Like most citrus oils, Mandarin oil can uplift your mood, however, because it is a little lighter, it can also promote calm too. Mandarin oil contains D-limonene, which supports metabolism and can help cleanse lymphatic glands which aid circulation. Wild Hibiscus is a great source of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (or AHAs) that gently exfoliate the skin. Having soft, supple and refreshed skin will help you love the skin you’re in and is one step to body confidence!
As this routine is all about confidence, we love the idea of getting lavish with a bath or shower that feels like a real treat. If you can, light a few candles in the bathroom, turn down all the harsh lights and put on your favourite chill tunes to help you feel your best. We like to do this routine for self-love while we’re in a warm bath or shower to really allow the moment to sink in.
Pressure Points for Self-Love
Great Embrace (also called spleen 21 and Dabao) is the perfect acupressure point to focus on when you’re feeling low. It is located about a hand’s width below each armpit on the ribcage – usually where your bra sits. Look for the tender dip between ribs. Activating these pressure points is best done in tandem by wrapping your arms around and reaching to each point with your opposite hand. Try it. Are you hugging yourself? Do you see how it’s perfect for self-love? Once you’ve indulged in your own loving embrace, apply gentle pressure using the length of your finger and hold for two to three minutes. Relax, (rinse if you’re in the bath or shower) and repeat.
Aside from all the good feels of hugging yourself, this acupressure point is where energy moves from the spleen to the heart. By tending to this point and releasing blockages, you're allowing energy to flow to the heart. Blockages here are related to a myriad of imbalances in the body, including depression.
Menstrual Pain Relief
There are many joys to being a woman, menstrual pain is not one of them. So when that time of month inevitably comes around, it's handy to have a routine that can help ease the pain and make those days more bearable.
Marine Regenerate Body Oil, Marine Body Wash, Marine Body Lotion featuring Tasmanian Brown Seaweed and Lavender, citrus and Peppermint essential oils. The scent of Lavender is synonymous with calm. It’s commonly used to promote relaxation which can help to relieve stress that comes with menstruation. Citrus oils like Lemon and Orange can help to give your mood a much-needed boost and Peppermint oil can help soothe muscle aches. Tasmanian Brown Seaweed is a skincare hero, particularly due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Of course, the inflammation is internal so a topical application won’t directly help – but healthy, nourished skin will definitely help you feel less irritable!
Sitting in a bath is a lot less relaxing when you have your period, so we recommend doing this routine after you’ve washed. Our top tip for a soothing experience – warm a little bit of Marine Regenerate Body Oil (be extra careful not to make it too hot) and rub it onto your lower back and pelvic area if you’re experiencing cramps. The warmth will help relax tight muscles while you take in the healing aroma.
Pressure Points for Menstrual Pain Relief
Great Surge (also called Liver 3 or Tai Chong) is located on the tops of your feet between the bones leading to your big toe and second toe. To find it, measure about two finger-widths above where toes join and feel for a tender spot between the bones. Apply firm pressure and massage up and down for 4-5 seconds, repeat on the other foot and on both feet 2-3 times. This pressure point tends to many ailments, particularly stress, lower back pain and menstrual cramps.
Converging Valley (also called Large Intestine 8 or He Gu) is super easy to reach and also a little bit fun to massage. It’s located on the top of each hand, on the fleshy bit between your thumb and pointer finger. Apply pressure and massage in circles for 4-5 seconds at a time on each hand. Converging Valley is believed to aid overall pain, inflammation, blood flow and tension headaches.
BONUS: Extravagant Pro-Masseuse Tip
To really amp up the spa experience with any (or all) of these day-saving routines, apply your choice of oil to your entire body five minutes before you shower. As you are applying the oil, take long, deep breaths to take in as much of the beneficial aroma as possible. Take your time and move along the body in slow, smooth motions stopping to pay extra attention to any pressure points that you want to tend to. Then, hop in the shower and wash using the corresponding body wash. As it washes off the oil, you’ll be enveloped in the aroma of just the right scent to help save the day.