Welcome to the year of the Rooster!
As many people will now be heading back to work, here are some:
Practical tips for dealing with Stress & Anxiety:
Chinese Medicine is often used for the management of stress and anxiety, between treatments there are things that we can do practically anywhere, which will provide some instant relief; the hardest part is just remembering to do it!
I will outline a breathing exercise and a few acupressure points which you can practice as your own ‘stress emergency kit’ for those times when you feel like the pressure is going to make you burst!
First: 4-4-8 pranayama (like yoga for breathing), it brings clarity back to your mind, and delivers more oxygen to the lungs to generate qi. Most of us are on automatic pilot, breathing into only the very upper portion of our lungs. Breathing is controlled by both the subconscious and the conscious mind, by consciously taking control of it we also control the automated responses our bodies have to stress, and by breathing into the belly we are stimulating the Vagus nerve which controls the parasympathetic nervous system.
Sit in a comfortable place, close your eyes and begin to breathe in, right down to your belly. Your belly should rise on inhalation and retract on exhalation. Don’t worry if it takes you a little while to master it, that’s normal. Ignore any thoughts & follow the 3 cycles of breathing below and continue for as long as it takes to calm the mind…
BREATH IN THROUGH YOUR NOSE TO THE BELLY, SLOWLY TO THE COUNT OF 1….2….3….4…
HOLD YOUR BREATH NOW TO THE SLOW COUNT OF 1….2….3….4…
EXHALE THROUGH YOUR MOUTH SLOWLY TO THE COUNT OF 1….2….3….4….5….6….7….8…
And repeat the cycle again, for as much time as you have to spare, 5~10 minutes should be fine. You can do this anywhere, even in the car!
Acupressure Points for Stress & Anxiety:
Located on the inside of the forearm half a finger up from the palm. Press firmly and hold on one arm for 30 seconds, then alternate arms.
On the inside wrist crease just inside the tendon, you will feel on the little finger side.
Between the eyebrows, being located on a bony area you can tap this point; it may also be useful for headaches.
On the lower part of the breastbone close to the intersection of the 4th ribs, again as it is a hard surface you may benefit from tapping here.
Combining these points regularly will leave you feeling less stressed and aid to treat anxiety disorders, for best results consultation with a practitioner is recommended.
Table 1 & 2 of the Acupuncture Evidence Project (McDonald J, and Janz S, 2017) retrieved from www.acupuncture.org.au
© Photos courtesy of: Kirschbaum, B. (2010). Atlas of Chinese tongue diagnosis. Seattle: Eastland Press.
Good luck with the self-help; feel free to message or mail me if you have any questions!
Mark Davis (Doctor of Chinese Medicine.)
Eastential Chinese Medicine, David Yao Chi Guan, Four Seasons Wellness Centre, Shinma Acupuncture, Acupuncture Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford Medical & Acupuncture Centre