In traditional Chinese medicine, fall represents a time of breaking down, refining, and letting go of any vital energy that doesn’t serve us. With an election and pandemic on our hands, there is certainly a lot of that floating around this year.
The overwhlem that so many of us are feeling impacts our mental and physical health. Mentally, we may have trouble concentrating or our mind may feel clogged with too many thoughts. Physically, feelings of overwhelm can affect the stomach. Have you ever noticed when your stomach feels off, but as soon as a stressful event is done, you feel better? In Chinese medicine, this is explained by the fact that the stomach is part of the Earth energy meridian that’s responsible for our thoughts, and so when we ruminate, it can actually physically manifest in our gut.
Using a hands-on technique like acupressure is one way to we can reduce overwhelm and its physical manifestation. Acupressure is a similar technique to acupuncture, but instead of needles, you use your fingers to manipulate acupuncture points on the body. The idea that that when our body’s organs and energy pathways are working in harmony, we have the ability to combat overwhelm before it leads to physical symptoms.
While the research on acupuncture is ongoing, there are some early findings: For example, one 2018 study found that acupressure reduced stress and anxiety in women receiving fertility treatment. For people that either don’t like needles or don’t feel safe getting acupuncture right now, a systematic review of studies found acupressure can be just as effective as acupuncture. Various outcomes included managing nausea and vomiting, reducing pain, and decreasing insomnia and fatigue.
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