You may have noticed some posts from our friends at the Strategist on the Cut. They’ll be dropping in every now and again, sharing their expertise on the basics you don’t have time to research and the weird and wonderful things you don’t yet know you need.
One of the most popular photos I’ve ever posted on @gelcream’s Instagram (an account of mine that is dedicated to non-sponsored beauty reviews) is a picture of my hand with coiled metal rings on three of my fingers. They kind of look like a shrunken version of those spiral hair ties, but they’re actually acupressure rings. These doodads have been a staple around my household since I was about 7, though most of my followers had never even heard of them.
Acupressure, which operates in similar ways to acupuncture, does not puncture the skin but instead applies pressure to certain points. In the case of these rings, through little triangular-shaped points that stimulate various parts of your fingers. According to Chinese reflexology charts, this can help with both mental and physical issues. It also just feels really good.
My dad was a heavy smoker in his early 30s (while also being a well-known professional athlete), and one day he decided to quit. Long story short: He read Allen Carr’s book, but the only thing that actually worked almost overnight was acupuncture. My mom, seeing him improve so dramatically, decided to visit this Eastern doctor too, to treat her migraines and, as she now recalls, “some other stuff.” The acupuncturist lady they were seeing also sold them a bunch of different things to practice at home — a spiky mat, ear seeds, and those rings.
A couple years ago, the same age as my mom and dad back then, I was dealing with “some other stuff” — in other words, some health and mental problems. So when I stumbled upon those rings online, I ordered a few to take with me for overseas Fashion Week work. At first, it functioned more like a fidget spinner — it helped me focus and feel less stressed. I rolled it while waiting in line, sitting on the plane, or walking around. Though one afternoon, I realized it might do a little more. At the time, I had a really bad headache and felt lightheaded. I was weak but got up to get some air. On my walk, I massaged my fingers with the ring. The tingling pain the ring imparts when you roll it took my attention away from the headache, and I suddenly started feeling better — like my body was slowly balancing back to normal. I don’t know if it was the walk or the actual ring magic, but ever since, I turn to the rings whenever I’m feeling blah or just want a little me-time moment on the go. I’m no pressure-point expert, but if anything, they’ll distract you for long enough that whatever’s going on might just pass.
A few more Strat-approved acupressure items
The acupressure mat that relieved Lori Keong’s back pain.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.