3 ACUPRESSURE ROUTINES FOR STRESS AND ANXIETY.
Are you feeling stressed and anxious? With the current conditions and COVID 19, many of us are feeling stressed and anxious. There is also a lot of fear around what may happen and when this will end.
To assist you during this uncertain time, I have written about 2 acupressure routines that you can perform at home to help you with stress, anxiety and aid with sleep issues as well.
But firstly, what is acupressure?
Acupressure is very similar to acupuncture – in that we still using an acupuncture point which is located along a meridian and by activating these points – we send a message to the body.
However, with acupressure – we are applying firm pressure to the acupuncture point, instead of using a needle. The difference is that we are not stimulating the point for 20mins, and acupressure has a milder effect on the body compared to acupuncture.
However – acupressure is simple, effective and easy to be perform – you can perform it anywhere, all you need is your thumbs, fingers and a ball point pen.
Once you know Where the points are – you have your own portable healing system!
How to apply acupressure?
- Use your thumb, finger or other blunt tool (like a pen) to apply pressure to each point. Pressure can be applied firmly and directly, or each point can be massaged in a circular motion – do whatever feels right for you.
- Stimulate each point for as long as feels good for you – most people find 30 second to 2 minutes manageable for each point.
- Inhale deeply and focus on the point while applying acupressure to yourself. You might like to imagine light or energy surrounding the point.
- For maximum effect, application of acupressure should be strong, but it should not be uncomfortable
- Here are 3 of our favourite point combinations to combat stress and anxiety.
Stress Relief Combination 1 – Mind and body relief.
In the point combination – we use head points – DU24, yintang and taiyang. To balance this out – we then use Kidney 1 – the source point of the kidney. The kidney point grounds and balances our energy.
Location: on the midline, at the junction of the forehead and the hairline. Directly between your eyebrows in the indentation where the bridge of the nose meets the center of the forehead.
This point is used to calm the mind and is useful for anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia, vertigo, depression and frontal headaches. Apply firm pressure for approximately 2 minutes to this point.
This point is located in the centre of your eyebrows.
This point is an excellent point to assist with calming the mind down from too much thinking. E.g. – we are stick on one or many thoughts that just keep going around and round in our heads.
This point is used to assist with anxiety, stress, insomnia, frontal headaches, sinus pain/heaviness, and nasal congestion. It calms our Spirit.
For this point – I like to apply acupressure by massaging in a circular direction for approximately 2 minutes.
This point is located by finding the end of the eyebrow and the end of our eye (outer canthus). This point is then located about a finger width away from the outer canthus of the eye and is found in the depression. It feels like a large depression or dip.
This point is used to assist with headaches, dizziness, and insomnia. It is also useful for temporal headaches. (headaches at the side of the head). I like to perform acupressure using a circular massage technique to this point – I find it more comfortable.
Kidney 1 (Yong Quan)
This point is located on the bottom of the sole of the foot. To find the point – divide the foot up into 3rd’s. Find the first 1/3rd. The point is located between the 2nd and 3rd toe at this first third.
This is the source point of the kidney meridian and a great way to put energy into the body.
This point is grounding and calming and it helps us to recentre. This point is used to assist with stress, anxiety, sore throat, dizziness, and insomnia.
This is an extremely strong point and is an excellent point to assist with calming the mind and bringing us back into balance. It also aids with breathing and strengthens the kidney meridian.
Stress Relief Combination 2 – Buddha’s triangle
The buddha’s triangle is composed of 3 acupunctrure points – Heart 7, Pericardium 6 and lung 9.
Together these points are used to assist with anxiety, depression, sadness, repressed emotions, stress and insomnia.
The 3 points together, assist to rebalance and ground our body and give our body a much needed “hug”. These points can also be used to assist in meditation – to calm the mind and aid with enhancing the meditative process.
- Heart 7
Heart 7 is located on the ulnar side (little finger) of the wrist, along the first crease on the inner wrist.
To find this point, feel along the main wrist crease from the middle toward your little finger. When you find the large tendon about level with that finger, stop – the point is just to the inside of that tendon.
This point is used to assist and aid with calming the spirit, improves palpitations (heart flutters), calms feelings of fear and anxiety, aids with insomnia.
- Lung 9
Location: Level with Heart 7, but on the other side of the wrist. This point is found just to the outside of your radial pulse.
This point is the source point of the lung.
As a source point of the lung – it ensures that the lung organs functions correctly. It is used to move blockages in the lung – clear phlegm, assist with breathing issues, aid with asthmatic conditions and work on the emotions of the lung organ – which is “grief and sadness”. Therefore, it is an excellent point to aid with depression, grief, sadness and feeling “blue’ as well as heaviness within the chest.
- Pericardium 6
Pericardium 6 is located directly in the centre of the mid wrist and is located by placing 3 fingers on the 1st crease of the inner wrist. Once you have done this, you will feel your finger falls on 2 tendons. PC 6 is located between the 2 tendons.
PC 6 opens the chest, calms the spirit and protects the heart, its useful for assisting with nausea and vomiting. PC 6 is a great point to assist with anxiety, depression, stress, and repressed emotions.
Stress Relief combination 3 – The 4 gates.
The 4 gates are a combination of 2 points – Liver 3 and Large intestine 4. From a TCM perspective, we use these points together to “open up all the doors and windows of the body” and allow the wind to clear stuck energy and emotions – so they are swept away”. This clears the body and enables the energy flow to flow smoothly and calmly.
These points are great for pain, headache and general feelings of tension, stress, irritability, anger and feeling overwhelmed.
Large intestine 4
Location: Between the forefinger and thumb, about halfway along the hand bone that connects to your pointer finger. Dig around in the “fleshy” part of the skin for a sore point – you will feel it (it will be quite tender).
Easiest way to find it is an indicated by the 2nd image above.
This point is used to assist with regulating the immune system, is the main point used to treat all head conditions – headaches, sinus issues, colds, jaw pain and toothaches.
Location: on the top of the foot, in the hollow just below where your first and second toe foot bones meet. Feel around for a sore spot (again, you’ll find one!)
This point is used to assist with: soothing irritability, depression and anger, improves headache, clears the head and eyes, helps to regulate menstruation, insomnia and vertigo.
So, there you go! 3 amazing stress relief combinations that we I use all the time in the clinic. Please use these routines whenever you are feeling stressed and anxious, or even have a headache and troubling sleeping!
We are currently offering telehealth appointments please call 0412 789 772 to book your appointment today!
About the Author.
Dr Julia Bartrop
Julia is a mum to 2 little girls and runs her own practice within Eltham Health and Wellness. She is also located at Renew health and Acupuncture on a Monday.
Julia uses Chinese Herbal Medicine, acupuncture, acupressure, food as medicine and dietary and lifestyle advice with all her consults.
Julia has a passion for assisting with women’s health issues, anxiety, stress, depression, digestive disorders, fertility – natural and assisted IVF and menopause.
The greatest gift you can give to yourself is your health – physical, mental and emotional health.
Julia offers simple yet effective advice which can be implemented easily into your daily life.
To book an appointment with Julia – please call 0412 789 772.