Pressure Points to Soothe Anxiety and Invite Sound Sleep

A good night’s sleep is absolutely essential to well-being. However, many of us struggle to fall asleep, often because of anxious thoughts and feelings keeping us awake. One natural, simple and time-tested way to help you de-stress and drift off to sleep is

Acupressure is an ancient practice first developed in China. It was also adopted in ancient Japan, where it is known as Shiatsu. The theory behind acupressure is that by stimulating certain pressure points throughout the body, other organs, systems and qi (the essential life force) are affected, and channels that may have been blocked are able to open and function optimally once again.

This method is similar to acupuncture, and uses many of the same points, but on a broader area. Instead of inserting needles into the points, as in acupuncture, pressure is applied to the points using the fingers, thumb, or the palms of the hands. Sometimes, depending on the point, it is lightly massaged. You can do this for yourself, or enlist a partner or family member to help you.

To enhance the effect of acupressure techniques, try combining them with meditation. Before you go to bed, find a quiet space, turn on some soft, soothing music if you wish, focus on your breath, and clear your mind to enter the present moment. Then try lightly pressing or massaging the following pressure points:

For anxiety

The “Heavenly Rejuvenation” point: Place your thumb on your shoulder, halfway between the outside of your shoulder and your neck. Now move your thumb down about half an inch. Massage lightly and/or hold pressure to the point on both sides. Having someone give you a shoulder massage and focusing on this point on each shoulder is a great way to target this point.

The “Third Eye Chakra” point: The point above your nose, in between your eyebrows, is known as the third eye chakra, and is traditionally associated with higher vision. Lightly massaging this point when you feel stressed may help to put things in perspective. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for full effect.

For insomnia

The “Inner Gate” point: This point is located about a quarter of the way up your arm (or about three finger lengths) from the base of your wrist. You will feel a slight indent between your tendons. Using moderate, constant pressure, hold this point, on either arm, or both alternatingly, with your thumb while breathing deeply, until you feel sufficiently relaxed.

accupressureThe “Peaceful Sleep” point: To locate this point, place your finger where your neck meets your jaw, right in front of your ear, on either side. Press a finger gently but firmly into the point, and hold for 10 to 15 minutes. Be careful not to push too hard.

To further promote a peaceful mindset during both acupressure and meditation sessions, try applying a drop of pure lavender essential oil to the above-mentioned pressure points. This oil is gentle enough to be applied directly, although you can also mix it with a base oil, such as organic coconut oil, for use in massage.

-The Alternative Daily


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