5 Acupressure Points to Help You Sleep
We all want to be healthy and most of us know it is important that you take regular exercise, eat well and get enough sleep.
However, not all of us find sleep that easy. How many of you go to bed tired but then lie there waiting for the elusive sleep to arrive? You may initially drop off but then at the witching hour (3 am), you're lying there staring at the backs of your eyelids in the dark.
Lack of sleep is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and heart disease, to name but a few.
Like me, I'm guessing you've tried banishing your phone to another room, having a warm shower before bed, keeping the room at the optimum temperature for sleep, worn bed socks, slathered lavender products all over yourself, read a book, worn eye masks, earplugs..........you name it you've tried it
......but have you tried acupressure?
Acupressure is an alternative medicine technique similar in principle to acupuncture. It is based on the concept of life energy which flows through "meridians" in the body. In treatment, physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points with the aim of clearing blockages in these meridians. Wikipedia
Right, now you know what it is, how can it help you?
You can use it to correct functional imbalances in the body and restore the flow thus returning the body to a more natural state of well-being. It helps relax muscles as it is an effective form of stimulation - and you can do it yourself!.
Let's get down to it then:
Point 1 - "Three Yin Intersection"
How? Find a comfortable position, and take the thumb of one hand, and gently hold the point on the opposite leg, see photo. You’ll find this point on the inside lower leg, four fingers’ width above the ankle bone.
As with all acupressure points except the ones that run down the centre of your body, this point is bilateral, which means it’s found on both legs.
How much pressure? This can be a very sensitive point and can be tender even with just a light touch, especially for women pre- and during menstruation. Just rest your finger on the point, there’s no need to apply pressure. If it’s too tender, release gently.
How long? Massage with circular or up-and-down motions for four to five seconds. You can start out by holding for 15 to 30 seconds if that feels comfortable. Repeat a couple of times on each leg.
Warning: Do not use this point if pregnant.
Point Two - "Bubbling Spring"
Where? The bubbling spring point is found by curling your toes inwards and finding the small depression that appears just above the middle of your foot on the sole of your feet.
How? Lie on your back with your knees bent so you can reach your feet with your hands. Now taking one foot in your hand, curl your toes, you will feel a depression on the sole of your foot. Apply firm pressure and massage this point for a few minutes using a circular or up-and-down motion.
Why? By stimulating this pressure point it is believed that you ground your energy and bring on sleep.
Point Three - "Inner Frontier Gate"
Why? Useful not only for insomnia but also useful if you suffer motion sickness or nausea during pregnancy.
Where? On the inner forearm, about three fingers’ width from the wrist crease.
How? Gently cradle your wrist on the palm of the other hand, and lightly press the point with your thumb. You can experiment with the pressure, but light pressure is usually effective.
Be sure to relax both arms and shoulders; you can place your hands on a table or your lap to be comfortable. Hold for 30 seconds or so initially, to see how it feels for you then use circular movements for a few minutes. Release gently if you feel any acute pain.
Point Four - "Windpool"
Where? Located on the back of your neck, it can be found by feeling for the mastoid bone behind your ears and following the groove around to where your neck muscles attach to the skull.
How? Firstly clasp your hands together and gently open your palms with your fingers interlocked to create a cup shape with your hands. Now use your thumbs to apply a deep and firm pressure toward your skull, using circular or up-and-down movements to massage this area for up to a minute. Breathing deeply as you massage the area helps you to relax.
Why? May help to reduce respiratory symptoms like coughing, which often interrupts sleep, It’s also associated with reducing stress and calming the mind.
Point Five - "Spirit Gate"
Where? At your wrist crease, below your little finger.
How? Feel for the small, hollow space in this area and apply gentle pressure in a circular or up-and-down movement. Continue for two to three minutes. Hold the left side of the point with gentle pressure for a few seconds, and then hold the right side. Repeat on the other wrist.
Why? Not only is this point helpful for insomnia, but it also is associated with quieting your monkey mind which will help you fall asleep.
The secret to benefiting from acupressure self-help is to make it a daily habit. Identify a time of day when you’ll remember to practice acupressure — when you first get up, just before you go to sleep, while you’re watching Netflix, even while you’re reading a book. The benefits of acupressure come with regular, consistent practice.
More soon xx