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  • Sara Says: 6 Acupressure Points for Anxiety

    While we can’t imagine living anywhere else besides our beloved mile square, many of us here face anxiety every day. After all, many of us commute and work in New York City, a fabulous city in many ways, but also a city with excessive energetic vibrations and swarms of passive aggressive and negative emotions. When this excessive or aggressive energy is taken inward, it can leave a person feeling wired without the ability to calm down. This state is commonly known as fight or flight response, an Autonomic Nervous System imbalance. Unfortunately, general anxiety is becoming quite common. Many of us find ourselves in situations when we are unable to catch our breath, are constantly clenching our jaws, having butterflies in our stomachs, or even having trouble sleeping. So, next time you find yourself unable to relax, take a couple minutes out of your hectic day and try using acupressure on the following acupuncture points discussed below!

    {Note: acupressure should be a gentle but firm touch. If you are leaving red marks on your skin, you are pressing too hard — remember, this should be a relaxing experience!}

     

    “Great Gateway” & “Chest Centre”

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    It should be no surprise that gently holding the area where your heart lies is a relaxing acupressure practice. To get the most benefits, gently hold over your heart and diaphragm. As displayed above, gently place one hand over your sternum and the other hand underneath your breasts {imagine where your diaphragm is}. I typically recommend these points to those who have trouble catching their breath when they become anxious, those who sigh often, along with those who feel irritable or frustrated when overcome with anxiety. Additionally, if you experience “tummy troubles” or butterflies in your stomach along with your anxiety, this is an excellent exercise for you as well! {A little tip: while gently holding these two acupuncture points focus on your breath, close yours eyes and expand your diaphragm, and imagine releasing your anxiety with every breath you take.}

     

    “Palace of Toil”

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    “The Palace of Toil” is an acupuncture point on the pericardium meridian. According to Chinese Medicine, the pericardium {a sheath around the heart} is the guard or the heart protector. Those who experience anxiety are constantly putting their pericardium in battle. If you experience chest tightness, shortness of breath, or heart palpitations, this point is for you. {Easily found by where the middle finger lands when it is bent gently into the palm of the hand}. The point might even be tender for those who experience chronic anxiety. Simply massage this point gently in the palm of your hand {I use my thumb in a circular motion} and imagine all your worries leaving your grasp….let it all go!

    “Gushing Spring”

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    Ever feel as though you simply have too much energy in your chest and head? Those who have the inability to calm down, or often find themselves feeling manic, agitated, or “giddy” should hold onto “Gushing Spring” until they feel the energy drop to their feet. In addition to acupressure on this point, I often suggest gently placing your feet on the ground, while sitting at the edge of a chair. It is important to be present in this moment and really feel the earth beneath your feet. Once you feel every part of your foot anchored into the earth, I then recommend visualizing roots growing from the bottom of the foot and rooting deeply into the ground. Root yourself and let the excess energy fall from your head, off of your body, and into Mother Earth. After a few breaths, notice how the energy in your head has changed. The goal is to feel grounded and present in the moment to ease your anxieties. {Bonus tip: standing in your bathtub with enough warm water to pass the ankles, along with a generous amount of epsom salt is also an excellent way to ground your energy!}

    “Hall of Impression”

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    If you suffer from stress headaches or insomnia during times of anxiety, then gentle acupressure to your “Third Eye” is for you. {The Third Eye is part of the Chakra system that provides some with the ability to see potential and possibilities beyond the physical.} Knowing what potential wisdom lies at this precious point, it is no surprise that some already intuitively massage their Third Eye to soothe their stress headache. A gentle hold to this point may also help ease you to sleep at night; massaging the Third Eye can be extraordinarily comforting. It is even an excellent option to hold on a young child during hyperactive moments. Perhaps try holding the point if your child is easily startled during an upcoming scary Halloween festivity! {Bonus tip for insomnia: try dapping a soothing essential oil like lavender or camomile on this point at night before hitting the pillow to induce sleep}.

     

    “Man’s Middle”

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    “Man’s Middle” is not a point typically recommended for general anxiety. However, during times of an acute panic {attack} it is a point that could be handy to have knowledge of. For example, if you ever find yourself in a moment where you are having a bad adrenaline rush {panic} and are unable to catch your breath, apply firm pressure to this point and breathe in and out through your nose, until your breathing returns to normal. {In the event of an actual panic or anxiety attack, know applying acupressure to this point does not substitute proper medical attention!} This point should be thought of only as a tool that can be used during times of acute fright or acute panic until proper medical attention can be administered.

    Why not one last tip to calm your mind? If none of these points help ease your anxieties, try gently massaging your ear lobes or the top of your scalp. Yes it is true! I have found these areas both to be very soothing and instantly relaxing for many of my patients. Try gently massaging in small circular motions for a few breaths and see how your energy changes — I’ll bet you will be pleasantly surprised!

     

    Questions about how to treat your anxiety?

    Contact sara@acupunctureatelier.com!

     

     


    Written by:

    Sara Khosrowjerdi is a licensed acupuncturist at the Acupuncture Atelier in Hoboken. She received her Master’s of Acupuncture with honors at Tri-State College of Acupuncture in NYC. Being Reiki Level 1 & 2 Certified, she also has a vast understanding of the Chakra system and the role it can play in the healing process. At Acupuncture Atelier, her primary practice focuses on the unique treatment styles of Kiiko Matsumoto, with whom she studied for three years. Using KM Acupuncture as a base, Sara always integrates and supports, using Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture Physical Medicine, Reiki, and essential oils. She is the healthy living expert in our column, “Sara Says,” offering tips on staying zen, healthy, and happy in our fast-paced lives. When not working full time as an acupuncturist, Sara enjoys yoga, cooking and free style dancing.


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