A practical guide to stress relief, by guest author Ka Hang Leoungk.
Stress affects all of us but not all of us have the same causes or triggers.
In Chinese medicine and acupuncture we often see three main reasons why a person might be stressed and how to relieve it. If you can’t make it to an acupuncture session, you can still try these acupressure points to see how it feels.
Generally, the best way is to apply even, firm pressure with your thumb. It shouldn’t be so light that you barely feel it but also not so hard that your fingernail goes white.
Stress factor 1: a busy world
1. One big stress factor is the world around us, and that can include work deadlines, family commitments and just burning the candle from both ends. It can often feel like something is going to give.
From the wrist crease on the inside of your forearm, measure an approximate three fingers width (1.5 inches or about 4 or about 3.5 cm).
Rub that point for about 5 min, then rub that point on the other arm for another 5 min. Take deep breaths and slowly feel your shoulders start to relax.
Stress factor 2: a busy brain
If you’re an over thinker and find it hard to calm your mind especially at night, try rubbing the edges of your ears.
Bring both hands to your ears and while holding on to your ear with your fingers, use your thumbs to rub them gently from earlobe upwards following the outer edge of the ear as it curls up.
Do this for 5 min and then squeeze the apex and the fleshy part of your upper ear. You should feel warmth in the ear and feel your jaw unclenching.
Stress factor 3: blurred boundaries
Sometimes obligations and deadlines can make us feel frazzled and emotional.
Boundaries can become blurred and you feel yourself being stretched thin.
Rub the point on your foot between your big toe and second toe, all the way down till it reaches the first bone. Your thumb should fit in this “webbing” space nicely.
Unlike the other two acupressure points, you can press a little harder and you should feel a nice ache. Press for 5 min and then switch sides.
I find left thumb for right foot and vice versa makes it more comfortable. Or even better, get someone else to press it for you.
About the author
Ka Hang Leoungk is an Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine Herbalist specialising in helping people be their best with the stresses of modern life. Hong Kong-born and Greek-raised, she now calls London home.