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We all know that stress is just a part of life. We all have moments of feeling anxious or depressed, but when those feelings become more of a permanent fixture in our lives, it is time to get some help. What many may not know is how effective acupuncture can be in providing relief to the mental and physical symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. continue reading
“At a time when people are so conscious of maintaining their physical health by controlling their diets, exercising, and so forth, it makes sense to try to cultivate the corresponding mental attitudes too.”
– HH the Dalai Lama, 1963
It can be easy to forget how much our mental state can affect our physical well-being. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, that connection is evident in the treatment strategies, but it is also true that when we are feeling bad, we don’t always think to look at our minds. It works both ways. continue reading
One of the most wonderful things about being an acupuncturist is the ability to help put myself back into balance using acupressure. If I feel anxious, I can press on specific acupuncture points and calm myself down. You can too!
Would you like to know which acupressure points I use to chill out? There are so many points on the body that help to calm the mind and bring us down from our stresses and anxieties. My top three, however, are pericardium 6, liver 3, and stomach 6.
Pericardium 6 is a point that is commonly used for stress and nausea. You may have seen the bands some women use around their wrist for morning sickness relief. These bands are designed to put pressure on P6, quelling the queasiness. The point is located between the two tendons on your wrist, two fingers up from the wrist crease. Pressing on it is immediately calming. It helps to open the chest, as well, so if your anxiety comes with a side of chest tightness or shallow breathing, this is your point.
Liver 3 is a point located between the big toe and the second toe. If you slide your finger between the toes up until you hit the junction of the two bones, you will find a very tender spot. This is a great point for so many things: irritability, headaches, TMJ pain, anxiety…the list goes on. If you think about these four issues, they all have one thing in common: they result from the energy in the body rising upward. Liver 3 is a very grounding point. It channels the energy downward. When we are in a state of anxiety, it’s so hard to get out of our heads. This point can help.
Stomach 6 isn’t typically on the top 10 list of acupuncture points for stress, but it is my favorite. If you clench your teeth, you can find it by going one finger width anterior and superior to the angle of the mandible at the belly of the masseter muscle. Like many people, I hold a lot of tension in my face and jaw. Open your mouth, relax your jaw and massage this point. This technique creates relief for me. Once I feel the muscles in my face release, it brings a sense of relaxation into my entire body. Try it for yourself, it feels great!
No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, setting goals is one way to help you get there. Often, when people have no goals, they lack motivation, focus and direction. Setting goals also provides a benchmark to determine whether or not you are succeeding. But how do you set goals if you’ve never done so before? Or what if you have set goals in the past, but you didn’t achieve them? Do you just give up and tell yourself that goal setting doesn’t work? That’s one option, but let’s put things into perspective. continue reading