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  • Writer's pictureKelly Hora, Acupuncturist

Acupressure for Stress and Anxiety Relief: acupuncture points are within your reach!

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

The covid-19 pandemic is inherently stressful. Consequences to financial, physical and emotional health vary from person to person and family to family, but we all share the need to access moments of calm and feel safe. Even without needles you can work with acupressure points to guide your nervous system to a calmer state and feel reassured. Inherently stressful, this chapter in our lives can guide us to develop coping skills that will be forever useful. I developed this acupressure sequence during a virtual session working with a patient using telehealth.

Try this acupressure sequence if you are feeling anxious or having trouble sleeping. These points are also great for strengthening our sense of connection with ourselves and others which is essential during physical distancing. Click here to download PDF Message me if you'd like some ear seeds in the mail xoxo

Neck Release through Eyeball Movement - #5 from above.... The vagus nerve is one of the cranial nerves that begins in the skull and connects several organs with the brain. It is an essential part of our nervous system that regulates our arousal. When we are in danger, anxious, or need to fight we depend on our sympathetic nervous system to shunt blood to our muscular system so we can react quickly! When we are safe, the vagus nerve signals the body to resume blood flow to the intestines, slow the heart rate, relax respiration and allow all systems to rest. Research on vagal tone shows that it has positive clinical affects on digestion, IBS, depression, PTSD, and heart rate variability. Poly vagal stimulation also helps in cases of trauma. Many therapies, such as acupuncture, meditation, yoga affect vagal tone and can be used to help you relax and regulate your nervous system. Instructions: Practice when when you want to shift your body into a more relaxed state. It uses eye movement to engage sub occipital muscles at the base of the skull, drawing the first two vertebra into alignment. • Lie on your back • Gently interlock your fingers and cradle your head in your hands so that the back of your head is resting in your palms • Face forward, looking at ceiling or sky if laying down. Your hands, arms and head will stay in the same position throughout the exercise • Moving your eyeballs only, look to the right for 30-60 secs. You will know when to return eyes to center when you feel a shift in breathing, a yawn, or other sensation of relaxation, release, or calm. This may be subtle. • Repeat, moving eyeballs only, looking to the left • Relax, gently observe your breath, and rest in a comfortable position. Repeat if desired. You can practice this anytime. It is especially helpful at bedtime and you can return to it if you wake in the night and have trouble getting back to sleep. You can teach your loved ones this simple, yet powerful way how to connect in and find a calmer space. Based on: Accessing the Healing power of the Vagus Nerve: self help exercises for anxiety, depression, trauma and autism by Stanley Rosenburg.

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