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To sleep peacefully at night, you need to relieve yourself of stress.
Be it with work, relationships, or anything else important to you, every day presents a new set of challenges and stressors.
And by the end of the day, all these stresses get crammed inside your mind and body.
Unfortunately, all these accumulated stress robs you of a good night’s sleep.
Too many days without restful sleep at night eventually leads to chronic fatigue and a serious lack of productivity.
It’s important therefore to tackle the source of your unhealthy sleep. Stress.
Although a regular commitment towards sleep is un-compromisable, you can look to include a quick fix into your bedtime routine that can relieve you of all the stress before sleep.
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Let me introduce to you the technique of Acupressure.
The technique of Acupressure has been around for thousands of years, but experts have only recently turned towards it as an effective medical treatment for stress relief and sleep disorders.
A small string of recent studies has shown promising results.
A 2010 study on 25 participants with insomnia reported improved sleep after five weeks of acupressure treatment. The study suggested acupressure treatment on a regular basis has the potential to improve insomnia.
Another study on 45 postmenopausal women with sleep disorders reported a 22% improvement in sleep quality after only four weeks of acupressure treatment.
Lack of sufficient research makes experts hesitant to prescribe it as a medical treatment.
However, researchers have suggested acupressure can be easily learned by anyone and used as an effective self-care method, specifically to manage sleep disorders.
Several studies have confirmed that acupressure techniques release neurotransmitters such as serotonin and activate opioid systems, which relax our bodies and promote healthy sleep.
No one can deny that acupressure has a ton of promise as a treatment for sleep disorders.
It’s completely natural and self-manageable.
At least it’s much better than popping pills for sleep.
Here are the 7 specific pressure points you can apply acupressure to sleep better at night.
Shen men or Spirit Gate
- Located below the smallest finger (the pinky) by the base of the wrist crease. Feel for the slightly hollow space in the area shown in the picture.
- Use your other thumb to massage in circles on this area for 20 seconds.
- Start with the right hand, then switch to left. Massage for 2-3 minutes each.
The Shenmen pressure point is said to regulate the pathways and energy to the heart. Stimulating this point can quiet your mind and help you fall asleep easily.
San Yin Jiao
- Located inside of your leg about four fingers above the ankle. Locate the highest point of your ankle and count four fingers’ width above. Apply deep pressure slightly behind the bone (tibia).
- Massage in circles for 4-5 seconds on this area on both feet.
- Should not be performed during pregnancy as it may induce labor.
The San Yin Jiao pressure point is commonly used for insomnia and pelvic disorders. Stimulating this point has been effective in improving general health in women and easing menstrual pain and distress.
Feng Chi or Wind Pool
- Located at the back of your neck. Find it by feeling for the mastoid bone behind the ear, following the groove to where the neck muscles attach to the skull.
- Clasp your hands together, then gently open your palms with your fingers interlocked to form a cup shape, using your thumbs to massage.
- Massage with deep, firm pressure and stimulate the area for 4-5 seconds.
- Relax and breathe deeply as you massage the area
Along with better sleep, acupressure on the Fend Chi pressure point is also recommended for headache, migraine, eye blurriness or fatigue, low energy, and cold/flu symptoms.
Nei Guan or Inner Gate
- Located on the inner forearm in between the two tendons, three fingers’ breadths below the wrist. Find it by turning your hand over so the palm is facing upwards and put three fingers from the wrist crease. The point is in the middle between the two tendons.
- Apply downward pressure between the two tendons, massaging and stimulating the area for 4-5 seconds.
Besides promoting better sleep by relieving stress, acupressure on the Inner Gate pressure point is associated with alleviating nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and headaches.
- Located on your foot about two finger-widths above where your big toe and the next toe join. Place a finger at the junction of the big toe and the next. Put pressure and start moving it above on the foot. The point is at the ridge between bones of your foot.
- Apply deep, firm pressure to massage and stimulate the area for 4-5 seconds.
Acupressure at Tai Chong pressure point is commonly used for stress, lower back pain, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, limb pain, insomnia, and anxiety.
Yongquan or Bubbling Spring
- Located on the sole of the foot, feel for the depression above the middle of the sole as you curl your foot inwards. The point is between the second and third metatarsals, about one-third of the distance between the base of the second toe and the heel.
- Apply firm pressure and massage in circles for a few minutes.
Acupressure on the Yongquan pressure point is considered to ground your energy and help with insomnia by calming the mind and clearing the brain.
- Located at the bottom of your feet. If you draw an imaginary straight line above the heel from one end of the ankle bone to the other, the point would be a little ahead of the heel upon the straight line. It is a soft spot and should not hurt. If it does, you have located it wrong.
- Massage on the point with your thumb with gentle pressure for a few minutes.
The Shimien is considered to be the insomnia pressure point and can help relieve your sleeping problems.
Everyone experiences stints of insomnia in their life.
Having a completely natural solution to cope up with sleep disorders is a blessing.
Warm-up your body with a few stretches and deep breathing before performing the acupressure session.
Make acupressure a part of your bedtime routine.
Eliminate the stress of daily life with 15 minutes of acupressure and treat yourself to a good night’s sleep.