Pressing for de-stressing: Fighting stress with acupressure
By Alice Morgan
Here it comes….
That time of the year is fast approaching! Kids finishing school, work projects piling up, Christmas carols in the supermarket, university exams looming, and family members planning how long they and their horrible little miniature poodle Fluffy will stay with you in your one-bedroom apartment for the holidays. Argh!
No wonder why the urge to finish all that double choc peanut ice-cream you bought yesterday is so high. I know you’re trying your hardest not to scream at everyone who bumps into you on the footpath (stick to the left!!) and boy, do day-time naps sound like a great idea??? Stress is all around and affects us all! And with Santa breathing down our necks, finding time for a massage or acupuncture treatment could be hard, but never fear, here are some quick and easy tips to help keep the stress at bay!
Acupressure is a method of using constant pressure from a fingertip on acupuncture points to help with a variety of illnesses and is widely practised in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM has been around for thousands of years and is used extensively for stress relief.
Best thing is, this won’t take long. Grab a seat, it does help to concentrate on your breath, so take some time out (10 minutes is all you will need) and then you can get back to finding the end of that sticky-tape that keeps ripping in a more Zen like manner!
This is a nice easy one to start on. Right in between your eyes. Using your thumb and a decent amount of pressure, press onto this point for 3 minutes. Close your eyes and start to become aware of your breath, breathing deeper into your abdomen each time.
GV 20 – Bai Hui
If you trace a line from the top of your ears, you will meet at the top of head right at this point and it may be slightly tender. Give this point a gentle, continuous press for 3 minutes. Keep on breathing, nice a deep now, feel that stress start to melt away.
Heart 7 – Shen Men
I heart this point! Found down on the wrist, on the pinky finger side. Find it by starting at the tip of the pinky, trace down to the line where your hand joins with your arm and place some pressure here for 2 minutes. Don’t forget to do both hands, it’s all about balance!
Deadman, P, Al-Khafaji, M., & Baker, K. (2007). A manual of acupuncture. East Sussex, England: Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications.
Hmwe, N.T.T., Subramanian, P., Tan, L.P., & Chong, W.K. (2015). The effects of acupressure on depression; anxiety and stress in patients with hemodialysis: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 52(2), 509-518. http://doi.dx.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2014.11.002