Christine Spehar

Are you too busy to go to a bodyworker? Try acupressure techniques from Michael Reed Gach, PhD, founder of the Berkeley, California-based Acupressure Institute (www.acupressure.com), to relieve these common complaints.

Anxiety
Use your index, middle, and ring fingers to press indentations in the bone structure of your breastbone, which is located midway between your stomach and throat. "When you press firmly into those indentations, breathe long, even breaths for two minutes," says Gach.

Neck tension
Interlace your fingers behind your neck and lower your elbows so they're at neck level, not head level. Inhale as you tilt your head back and bring your chest up, and exhale as your elbows come together in front of you and your head comes downward. As you bring your elbows together, the heels of your hands will press the points on the side of your neck muscles. Repeat this five times with long, deep breaths.

Headache
When you feel pressure in your head, place your fingertips on your temples, level with the eyebrows. This pressure, combined with slow rotation and deep breaths, increases circulation and relieves pain. Then, place your thumbs underneath the bottom of the skull, 3 inches apart, and tilt your head back while pressing underneath the skull bone, using the weight created by tilting your head back to apply most of the pressure. Hold each point for a minute while breathing slowly and deeply. For more serious headaches, hold one of these points for a minute and then go to the other point, alternating back and forth three times, for a total of six minutes.