These Spiky Acupressure Rings Are Like “Self-Care” Fidget Spinners

They’ve helped me focus and even alleviate pain.

Acupressure rings on a hand.
Photo: Courtesy of Yana Shept

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 the 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 matear seeds, and those rings.

Impresa "Spiky Sensory" Acupressure Ring Set
Impresa Products

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 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

ProSource Acupressure Mat

ProSource Acupressure Mat

The Acupressure mat that relieved Lori Keong’s back pain.

ZenGuru Acupressure U-Shaped Neck Pillow
Zen Guru

ZenGuru Acupressure U-Shaped Neck Pillow

And for all the tech-necks out there, a U-shaped neck pillow that targets neck and shoulder pain.