Emotional Stress Release


One of the easiest and most frequently used kinesiology techniques is Emotional Stress Release (ESR).  On the forehead above the eyes are two points that can have a strong calming effect on the nervous system.  


History and Development


These points are two of the neurovascular points based on the word of chiropractors Dr Terrence Bennett and Dr George Goodheart.  After some preliminary findings in clinic, Bennett used a radio-opaque dye and a fluroscope to observe the effect of holding certain points on the head and body.  When holding these points with gentle finger pressure and slightly tugging to create a traction, X-ray results showed an increased blood flow to specific organs and glands.  Some years later, Bennett's work was simplified by Goodheart and named Neurovascular reflexes to describe the effect on the blood flow.  


The ESR are part of the broader set of Neurovascular reflexes and are taught in Touch for Health classes worldwide as a way to assist everyday people with techniques to maintain their own health and wellbeing.  


How to Release Stress with ESR


Hold these points lightly with your fingers or a whole hand resting over your forehead.  While holding the points, think through whatever situation, event or memory is causing you stress - You can talk this through out loud with someone else or just visualise the stress and think silently about the different aspects in your head.  Continue holding the points until you are feeling calmer or the situation seems easier to you.  (You can also hold these points for another person for example a child, while helping them through a stress.)


There is anecdotal evidence that these points may affect not only blood flow in the organs and glands, but also in the brain.  In the case of the ESR points, they would be bringing blood flow back to the frontal cortex (involved in planning for the future and ability to judge and make rational decisions) when this has been diverted as a result of activation of the fight-flight response.  The ability to use rational thinking and problem solving skills in relation to the stressful situation allows us to more effectively process and resolve the issue.    


You may find that once is enough to create the change that you need, or you may find that you work through different layers of stress around this memory or situation.  Either way, ESR technique allows you to help process the stress and avoid the neurological paralysis induced by the survival response.  The memory or projected stressful event may not necessarily change, but your reaction to it hopefully will.


To find a kinesiology practitioner in your area:

For Touch for Health classes in the UK see:



ESR points picture from: Touch for Health - The Complete Edition By John Thie, DC and Matthew Thie, M.Ed



Touch for Health - The Complete Edition By John Thie, DC and Matthew Thie, M.Ed

Energetic Kinesiology – Principles and Practice By Charles Krebs and Tania O’Neill McGowan

Article by Kate North

Specialised Kinesiologist
Neural Organisational Technique Practitioner