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Stress and Anxiety Relief with At Home Acupressure

Acupressure, like acupuncture, uses pressure point locations to manipulate Qi (energy) that flows through the energy pathways inside of your body. In traditional Chinese medicine, these pathways are known as meridians.

When pressure is applied to the pressure points it triggers a variety of positive effects on your body and mind. This form of alternative medicine is believed to be an effective way to decrease stress, reduce pain and tension, boost circulation and naturally improve the immune system.

How Does Stress and anxiety Affect Your Body?

Stress is a natural physical response to out of control or overwhelming situations. Certainly, during the pandemic most of us are feeling some degree of frustration and helplessness. At a normal level, stress can help you increase productivity and improve focus, but when stress and anxiety levels are high, it takes a toll on your quality of life.

When your body is exposed to frequent and intense stress and anxiety levels, it may lead to health problems, such as headaches, insomnia, and low energy, all of which prevent you from normal daily activities. Some scientific data points to chronic or severe stress leading to ulcers, and even cancer.  Acupressure is an effective form of holistic natural health medicine that helps to reduce stress and improve your overall general health.

Finding Relief in Acupressure

Although receiving acupuncture treatments from a professional acupuncturist is the optimum way to relieve stress, Do It Yourself acupressure will provide relief and offers you some control in these trying times. The following pressure points are the recommended for stress relief:

Begin with 8 deep belly breaths

Inhale slowly over the count of 6. Hold the breath for a count of 8. Then, slowly release the breath over a count of 6.  Imagine there is a candle flame in front of your mouth and let the breath out slowly and gently so as not to blow out the candle flame.

Now use the following pressure points for self-soothing and stress reduction.

Pressure Point Methods

Three Mile Point. This pressure point is located approximately two-finger widths below your knee, and four-finger widths towards the outside area of your leg. Using your index finger, apply pressure for one minute to regulate energy flow, increase concentration and relieve fatigue.

Great Rushing. Apply pressure to the webbing between your big toe and second toe to help unblock choked meridians and maintain a smooth flow of energy.

Grandfather/Grandson. This pressure point is located three finger widths behind the base of your big toe, on the inside side of your foot. Applying pressure to this point will help balance energy circulation and relieve your mind of anxiety and worry.

Union Valley. This pressure point is located in the webbing between your thumb and index finger. Use your thumb and index finger of the opposite hand to apply pressure for three minutes and take deep breaths while applying pressure. Accessing this pressure point will help to relieve stress and tension in your body.

Central Treasury. You can find this pressure point two-finger widths under the area where your arm meets your chest. Using the tip of your index finger, apply moderate pressure on either one side or both sides together to increase blood circulation and help balance unstable emotions.

Remember, in order to receive the full benefit of an acupressure session, it is important to do some simple stretching and breathing exercises before each acupressure session.  The more often you use these acupressure techniques you may see a cumulative effect of increasing calmness and positive outlook.

Kelly Burkenstock, M. D.

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