The modern, western lifestyle has brought a lot of convenience to our lives, programmable and even talking appliances, robots that vacuum our floors, and virtually anything can be delivered to you with a click of a button, many things even on the same day! But those conveniences have come at a price. The expectations of how much we have to get done in a day, the pressure to be the “perfect parent” because of all the research and opinions blasted on the internet, social media, and even the type of work most of us are doing, IE always sitting at a computer… it all adds up to the common aches, pains, and feelings of stress and anxiety that most of us have experienced one time or another in our lives, and what many people experience chronically.
Acupuncture is something that is excellent at helping to ease the symptoms of stress and help us to feel better and even help our bodies to repel against stress and be stronger. Most of us can’t get into acupuncture appointments on a daily basis, so having some tools to use throughout the day, in between visits, can be a great help for someone to get some relief, and have a better day. Below are a few acupuncture points that you can use “acupressure” on, to reduce tension, pain, and other symptoms associated with stress.
Symptoms of Stress:
Stress is a normal physiological response to emergency situations, and at low levels it can even help to increase productivity because it stimulates the adrenals to produce hormones that help us to stay alert and focused, like when you drink a cup of coffee. The problem comes when that stress level is too high, or if it is sustained for too long. Then your body starts to develop symptoms of too much stress which can cause mild to even severe interruptions to your life. Common symptoms of too much stress to your body include:
· Anxiety or Depression
· Difficulty with Concentration
· Nausea or heartburn
· Gas, bloating, or changes in bowel movements
· Chest Pains and Heart Palpitations
· Insomnia or troubled sleep
· Eating Disorders
· Cravings or addictions with Sugar, Alcohol, Smoking and other Drugs
4 Acupressure Points to Relieve Anxiety and Stress:
These are points that you can stimulate yourself with pressure and massage to help relieve some of the symptoms of stress. They are convenient and can be utilized at any time so you can help yourself to feel better.
Stomach 36 – Leg Three Miles– This point is located a hands width (four fingers, not including the thumb) below the knee cap and one finger width away from the bone on the leg. Applying pressure at this point increases the circulation to the GI tract which is a sysem that gets deeply impacted by stress. Have you ever had gas or bloating, or changes in your appetite from stress? This is why! By pressing on Stomach 36, you help your GI tract to fight back from the stress and help to resume normal function. This point also helps to give a boost of energy which can be very helpful during times of stress. To activate this point, apply pressure and even do a little firm massage on the point for about 1 minute, multiple times throughout the day, especially after a meal.
Large Intestine 4 - Union Valley– This point is located in the webbing between the thumb and the index finger, pressing to get “underneath” the second metacarpal bone, so you would press at an angle like you were trying to get to the center of your palm. Stimulating this point helps to relieve muscle tension and pain, especially those resulting from stress. This is one of the most used acupuncture points because of how effective it is at alleviating a plethora of symptoms. Often used for headache, neck, back, and shoulder pain, and overall stress in the body. To activate press firmly in the manner described above, this point will elicit a deep ache, which is an indication that you are accessing it properly. Massage for about a minute several times throughout the day, especially when muscle tension or pain is present. Avoid using this point while pregnant as it is a point we use acupuncture on when attempting to induce labor.
Liver 3 - Great Rushing– This point is located in the webbing between the big and the second toe, follow that hollow towards your ankle until you fall into the meeting place of the two bones. Applying pressure on this point helps in unblocking the meridians and maintaining smooth flow of qi and blood throughout the body. This point is coupled with Large Intestine 4 to create the “four gates” which is a point combination used in acupuncture to move qi and blood throughout the body. When we are stressed, we block blood flow which can cause a number of different symptoms including pain (like the pain and tension you get in your neck and shoulders when you’re stressed). This point, especially when coupled with Large Intestine 4 is great at helping to move the blood and alleviate the pain.
Pericardium 6 – Inner Pass – This point is located three finger widths proximal from the palm on the forearm in the center, which is between the two large tendons on the forearm. This point has been researched showing its effect on the vagus nerve, which is part of the parasympathetic nervous system. Some people, when under stress, will exhibit anxiety symptoms like an increase in heart rate or even heart palpitations, when you feel your heart racing or pumping very hard. The vagus nerve is responsible for this sensation as well as other symptoms associated with stress like dizziness or light headedness, changes in gastric function etc. That is why this point is so good for stress because it can inhibit cardial vagal activity, which basically means it reduces the activity of the vagus nerve to reduce that feeling of “fight or flight” and encourages deep breathing to help you to feel better quickly. Press on this point firmly between those two tendons, you may feel a slight “electrical” sensation to your palm, this is the activation of the median nerve, if this sensation is uncomfortable, lighten your pressure. Use this point for anxiety, heart palpitations, and even nausea from stress, motion sickness, and pregnancy.
Use these points at any time to help to relieve your symptoms of stress. These can be used by anyone, but work best in conjunction with a treatment plan to heal your body and reverse the organ and tissue malfunction that is causing the symptoms. For more thorough relief and to reverse the malfunction, we recommend an evaluation from a natural healthcare provider who can help you make a treatment plan. If you, or someone you love is suffering from these symptoms, don’t wait, call us at Integrated Oriental Medicine, PS right away, and we can help you to feel better quickly and completely with our natural methods. Don’t suffer any longer, acupuncture can help! Call us today!