Apparatus & methods for optimizing anchoring force are described herein. In securing tissue folds, over-compression of the tissue directly underlying the anchors is avoided by utilizing tissue anchors having expandable arms configured to minimize contact area between the anchor and tissue. When the anchor is in its expanded configuration, a load is applied to the anchor until it is optimally configured to accommodate a range of deflections while the anchor itself exerts a substantially constant force against the tissue. Various devices, e.g., stops, spring members, fuses, strain gauges, etc., can be used to indicate when the anchor has been deflected to a predetermined level within the optimal range. Moreover, other factors to affect the anchor characteristics include, e.g., varying the number of arms or struts of the anchor, positioning of the arms, configuration of the arms, the length of the collars, etc.