Fear and uncertainty aren’t going away anytime soon.
That means we need to take care of our mental health as much as our physical health.
We can’t allow these higher levels of stress we’re feeling to become the new normal.
It can do irreparable harm to our bodies… weaken our immune system… and increase our risk of heart attack and stroke.
That’s why I have two more stress relievers for you today.
Last week I told you how I found a way to relieve stress without realizing it…
And all it took was squeezing a tool I use to keep my hands strong for climbing.
But what if you’re dealing with joint issues and can’t grip or squeeze something like a stress ball?
That’s where acupressure comes in… and its gentle approach can help reduce stress and anxiety in less than 10 minutes.
Acupressure is the sister treatment of the ancient practice of acupuncture.
It’s based on the same principles, only there are no needles and you can safely and effectively do it yourself at home. You just apply pressure to certain points on the body to help relieve stress.
By doing so, you release built-up muscle tension and promote blood circulation… both of which can reduce stress and anxiety.
This might sound an awful lot like some new-agey stuff that’s wrapped up in a lot of hogwash. But there have been many studies that back up its effectiveness.
A review of several studies found that acupressure techniques did indeed help get rid of anxiety right before surgery.
And a subsequent study found that acupressure treatment reduced stress levels in cancer patients.
So if it can be this beneficial for people facing dire medical situations, it’s fairly safe to say it could also be beneficial for those pent up in their homes during this pandemic.
So here are two simple exercises that are proven to lower the release of stress hormones…
First, start with the hands. Locate the pressure point between the base of your thumb and index finger.
With your right hand, apply the thumb to that area and brace it with the index finger on the bottom of your hand.
Simply press down on the area for two to three minutes while moving the thumb in a circle. You want to be firm with the massage, but not so much that it hurts. Then switch hands.
For our other exercise, start by sitting in a comfortable chair with your eyes closed.
Then zero in on the point right between the eyebrows.
Apply pressure to the area with your index fingers or thumbs. Slowly give yourself a massage in a circular motion while taking slow, deep breaths.
To the right is what it looks like when someone else is applying this method to a patient.
Continue for three to four minutes and see how you feel. If your stress levels still feel elevated, simply repeat.
Relaxation doesn’t come easy these days. That’s why it’s so important that we find little ways to reduce our stress whenever we can. Our health depends on it.
For additional stress relievers, recipes and other ways to cope during the COVID crisis, click here.
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