Pressing and reducing points
There are two ways that acupressure points are manipulated: pressing (reinforcing) and reducing them. Most are probably familiar with the first, but not with the second method.
To press points, use something blunt. Usually the fingers are used to press, but I find that for many points the fingers may be a bit too thick, so you’d have to press quite long and firmly. Ideal would be something 3 to 4 mm thick, like a (preferably used) pencil eraser that’s on the other side of a pencil. Some points can be pressed using a fingernail.
Pressing points for less than half a second can already have a distinguishable effect. So for just trying out a point you could press it only briefly. To get a full effect however, pressure should be applied for at least half a minute, but preferably longer. One to two minutes should do.
To reduce a point, turn a finger over it in counter-clockwise direction, also for one to two minutes. (What happens when you do this is explained in “What manipulation of points brings about.”) Clicking on the picture of points that need to be reduced displays an animation showing how this is performed (clicking again stops the animation).
I think it’s a good idea not to get into the habit of doing the same points every day. Do them when you feel you need them, don’t overdo it. Pay attention to what effects points have on you.
If you’re weakened (from age, disease or whatever), be sure to not reduce points more often then necessary. You could also additionally press these points for a few seconds.
Do a point on both sides of the body.
Feeling if it works
When you are not feeling any effects from pressing points, several things may be the case.
You may not be pressing on the exact right spot (acupuncture points are about 0.5 mm diameter, so you’ll have to be precise). Try different spots around the location you first tried.
You shouldn’t press lightly, but you shouldn’t hurt yourself either. Also, don’t press for just a few seconds (although if you’re very sensitive you might already notice effects then).
To feel if acupressure is working (for knowing that the location of the point is accurate), I usually sense what’s happening in my face. Almost all points in the list on this site have some effect here. Many of the points also have some subtle effect on the quality of vision. You may see more clearly and more colors. Meditation will develop your ability to feel the effects.