Using acupressure and fingerholds for stress relief
Posted by BarbaraZ on March 10, 2012
Making changes in your life often brings unwanted stress. I do not believe in taking pills for such things, when there are alternative options that work. This weekend I was doing some research online about acupressure and came across several good articles for relieving stress. One site, Capacitor.Org had information that they use around the globe to help people with natural healing. I also enjoyed the information by Michael Reed Gach.
The use of various forms of pressure on the body has existed and evolved over 5000 years. Acupressure is a verified medical form of this practice. It evolved mainly by accident as individuals noticed when pressure was applied in certain areas, they experienced specific reactions. The diverse reactions were noted and recorded. The points involved are now known to be areas sensitive to bioelectrical impulses. When pressure is applied, the impulses are activated. Common names given to these points, are pressure points, or trigger points. Over time these points as well as the reactions, have been mapped and documented. Now, a practitioner or an individual can go right to the correct position, to experience the response desired.
The points used in Acupuncture and Acupressure are the same, but with Acupuncture, needles are used instead of the fingers. A certified practitioner is needed to practice Acupuncture, but most individuals can learn to master using acupressure for themselves. First, feeling for the sensitive area, or pressure point, and when it is found, applying a gentle pressure with a rotary motion until the pain or the desired effect occurs. What occurs is the release of muscle tension and increased circulation which stimulates the body’s own healing ability.
Some specific points for releasing stress and tension, taken from the book by Michael Reed Gach called Acupressure’s Potent Points. Use the diagram attached to follow the locations. Michael Reed Gach also has a blog one can visit if they wish to learn more. (update_2/25/2013) I recently contacted Michael Gach regarding the use of his information. He sent me links to several areas of his that have quite a bit of information.
Self Care: from A-Z, Acupressure Books, Free Articles and Ways to use Acupressure. Explore them all as there is a wealth 0f information available on these sites.
- Gates of Consciousness (GB 20) It is below the base of the skull, in the hollow between the two large vertical neck muscles. 2-3 inches apart, It is for release of frustration, and irritation, plus much more.
- Heavenly Pillar (B 10): It is located one finger width below the base of the skull and 1/2 inch out from the spine on both sides. This point is to release stress, eyestrain, stiff neck and more.
- Shoulder Well (GB 21) This is not to be used by pregnant women. It is found on the highest point of the shoulder muscle midway between the outer tip of the shoulder and the spine. Used for relief of frustration, shoulder tension, nervousness.
- Heavenly Rejuvenation (TW 15): this is located on the shoulders mid-way between the base of the neck and the outside of the shoulder, 1/2 inch below the shoulder. Pressure here can relieve tension, still necks, and is good for resistance to colds and flu.
An international organization, www.capacitar.org is involved with trying to reach out to areas around the world, to show them how they can use natural healing methods to help themselves. They include in their workshops, Tai Chi, visualization, breathing as well as acupressure to relieve stress and fingerholds to help manage emotions along with other forms individuals can use to help themselves.
They describe several basic pressure points for stress relief. A gentle pressure is applied to the area for several seconds, using the fingertips. You will know when you locate these areas as they are usually sensitive to the touch.
- Two Points on Eyebrow-Nose Ridge. This is found at the bridge of the nose between the start of the eyebrows and slightly towards the eye. The thumb and forefinger can be used to apply pressure here.
- Two Points on Back of Neck. It is located roughly ½ inch below the base of the skull between the muscle of the neck then outward ½ inch from either side of the spine. Same as B 10 above.
- One Point at Base of Skull. This is located right at the base of the skull at the center of the neck
Post Hurricane Katrina they produced a brochure with many helpful ways, including acupressure and finger holds to relieve stress and strong emotions. Their Emergency kit can be downloaded from their site.
The emotions run along channels throughout the body. The individual is to use one hand to apply pressure to a finger of the opposite hand, according to the emotion they wish to control or lesson. They are to hold the appropriate finger for 2-5 minutes. A pulsing sensation will be felt. While holding their finger, they are to breath in the positive feelings of harmony, healing and strength.
During this process the mind becomes focused ‘in the moment’ and this helps it to be distracted from the strong emotion being felt. The use of music can be introduced during the practice. Fingerholding can also be used for relaxation.
Aside from the acupressure I am finding meditation or at least attempting to quiet my chatterbox or as others call it my monkey mind. I just sit in a basic yoga position using a cushion and seek calmness within. I also find talking quietly over what is bothering me will also lead to that quietness I seek. This, along with deep and slow abdominal breathing, sets me up for a good night of sleep.