The holidays are a stressful time for many, with family and work obligations coming together to make a perfect storm. At this time of year we don’t generally have the time to do our normal stress relief activities, and therefore things add up. Elevated or prolonged periods of stress will begin to effect other aspects of our health, causing issues ranging from anxiety and depression, to difficulty falling and staying asleep, digestive problems, and body tension.
There’s no need to not wait until the new year to start resolutions for better health, here are a few great stress relief techniques to help you make it through holiday season. And while they may not relieve your stress entirely, they are a great tool to help take the edge off, so you can end the year feeling a little more relaxed.
Acupressure -Point #1: Yin Tang (or the “Third Eye”)
The “Third Eye” is located between the eyebrows, right were the nose and forehead meet. In Chinese Medicine we call this point Yin Tang, which translates to “Hall of Impressions,” alluding to the fact that this point helps calm the mind. Massaging this point can help with overthinking and settle down an overactive mind.
To activate this point press and massage with a circular movement, going equal times in both directions. Also try grasping at the area with your thumb, index and ring fingers and kneading. Both of these techniques will help with anxiety, insomnia, and headaches.
Acupressure -Point #2 – REN17 (Chest Centre)
This point is located on the sternum, along the front midline of the body, directly between the nipples. It is a great point when stress causes symptoms such as shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or tightness of the chest. In other words, use it to help lift the emotional weight off your chest.
Massage this point both clockwise and counter-clockwise using either the pads of your three middle fingers. Alternatively, make a fist and place it on your chest at REN17, use your other hand to support the fist and again massage in a circular movement, making sure to go in both directions.
Acupressure-Point #3 – Pericardium 6 (Nei Guan or “Inner Gate)
Nei Guan is one of my favourite points because it is able to help with so much! Locate this point three finger widths from the inner wrist crease between the two tendons. This point is able to help deal with what both of the last did, including anxiety, insomnia, chest tension and palpitations. What it is able to do on top of that is deal with nausea, vomiting, and emotional irritability.
To activate this point grip one wrist with the other hand and use you thumb tip to press between the tendons. Hold it for 30 seconds up to 10 minutes, and see how you stress and other symptoms begin to melt away.
Jonathan is a acupuncturist and practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. He values a holistic approach, and seeks to treat the root causes of illness and provide symptomatic relief for people seeking to better their health and quality of life. As a practitioner, Jonathan seeks to create a positive healing environment, where patients can step away from their daily stresses. Through creating a safe and comfortable space, patients can look forward to coming in for treatment as an opportunity to seek relief and get the support they need.