Did you know the human body has hundreds of acupuncture points? Yes, it is true and yes, every single point has a specific location, a name, and a function. Even more fascinating, when one point is used in conjunct with another point, they can perform even more specified functions. Acupuncture is a healing modality that has been practiced for centuries. Over the past years, it has become increasingly popular within the US and is slowly becoming relatively mainstream.
However, those who are unfamiliar with the modality still might be under the impression that acupuncture only treats pain. This common assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. The real beauty of acupuncture, is the fact that it treats everything. Including anxiety, stress, and other mental-emotional imbalances. Since many of us are unable to leave our homes, it is likely that anxiety and stress levels are at an all time high. Perhaps try applying acupressure to one or all of these stress relieving points!
This precious point is formed in utero and is my ultimate go-to grounding point. Nothing says “root down” quite like poking a needle into the bottom of someones foot! May seem extreme, but trust me, it instantly pulls down all of those racing thoughts and worries from your mind. Rooting you down and leaving them in the dirt. Boom! The point is located at the sole of the foot, between the second and third toes. Gently palpate the bottom of your foot and see if there is a tender spot at that point. If so, gently (but firmly) apply pressure. Hold for 3-10 seconds, release for moment, then re-apply pressure and hold again. You may repeat this process anywheres from 3-7 times. An excellent Essential Oil (if you have them) to apply on this point is Cedarwood or Vetiver.
Palace of Toil
This Fire Element point is related to the Heart Protector (The Pericardium) making it an excellent anxiety soother. Let’s be honest, who isn’t experiencing some anxiety right now?! Located in the palm of your hand, between the second (from your thumb) and third finger joints. If this point needs attention, trust me, you will know it. The point will likely be very tender if you are filled with anxiety and overwhelming emotions. Be gentle with this one, as it is the protector of your Heart energy. Apply on as much pressure that feels good. Then, hold for 3-10 seconds like we did on the base of your foot, repeat the process as needed. Know, if emotions come up during the process, simply allow them to leave your body as they arise. Don’t panic, this reaction is very common. Lastly, since it’s the palm of the hand, I don’t recommend applying oils to this point. After all, we want to avoid getting oils anywhere on your pretty little face, ouch!
This point is located directly on the sternum, within the Heart Chakra, and at your Heart’s center. This beautiful point is delicate, and yet very very powerful. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, emotional, or even short of breath simply place your hand directly over this area. Apply firm and loving pressure from your hand (your fingers might be too pokey). Close your eyes, hold pressure for 5-15 seconds, release, and repeat for as many times as you need. This point should be calming and soothing. Essential oils like Rose, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, or Jasmine are all excellent relaxing choices for this point.
OK, I must confess, this one is not necessarily a go-to acupuncture point for “stress”. If you were to come into my office, this is not a point I would needle for an “emotional well-being” treatment. However, when it comes to acuPRESSURE, I am obsessed! The point is primarily used to treat knee pain, because it is located directly above the patella (knee cap). It is extremely grounding and stress relieving to apply gentle (but firm) acupressure to the area right above the knee. While applying acupressure to this point, see if you can send your undivided attention down to your knees. Feel their support and their strength. Sink into them, allowing your weight to shift down closer to the Earth (away from your mind). Feel your unwavering strength. This point should ground and also fill you with confidence. Essential oils like Frankincense, Cedarwood, and Myrrh are all excellent choices for building strength.
If you have been feeling jumpy, paranoid, or unable to sleep this one is for you. Again, this is not a common acupuncture point for anxiety and stress. However, with gentle acupressure, this point can instantly soothe your racing mind. Know, the reason why I love this point for “soothing acupressure” is because of where it’s located; directly behind the earlobe. Many don’t know this, but gentle massage of the earlobes can be extremely relaxing. Trust me, just give it a try, it’s delicious! Perhaps try massaging along with the acupressure on this one? But, I digress, once you have located this acupuncture point gently massage the lobe first and then gently apply pressure to the point, hold for 3-7 seconds, and release for a moment. Repeat 2-5 times, or as needed to calm the mind and promote sleep. For Essential Oils, I like to use Bergamot or Lavender whenever treating points around the ears and scalp.
Still craving more? Well, if you are looking for more ways to destress (or get witchy) during this time, try using all of the Elements of the Planet! Meaning work with Mother Earth. Get a house plant, plant some seeds, pick up a rock from the sidewalk, order some grounding crystals from ETSY, smudge your home, or even simply stand in warm water past your ankles. All of these Elements will help keep you grounded, and perhaps even a little sane while you are staying at home. Be safe and be well!
Husband and Wife Team Afsheen and Sara Khosrowjerdi, left their successful Wall Street careers to found Acupuncture Atelier in 2015 with a mission to bring an alternative to the impersonal and at times even callous health care that has put so many patients into debt, endless prescription pills and even worse, ineffective treatment.