Three Mountains Wellness Blog


Three mountains wellness blog

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Acupressure After Emotionally Traumatic Events

Emotionally traumatic events are all too common in our society. When problems seem insurmountable and words fail, or when people have been conditioned to find solace in hatred, too often people turn to violence and traumatize entire communities. The emotional damage spreads like ripples in a pond and it seems everyone is affected to some degree.

Both Western and Chinese medicine recognize that emotions impact how the body functions. Ideally, the rapid release of systemic stress hormones fades when the immediate danger passes and the body goes back to normal, but sometimes the emotional hit is so great that the body and mind find a new normal that is less healthy and resilient.

In Chinese medicine, the emotions are recognized as very powerful forces in health and disease and so it is considered very important to re-balance yourself after experiencing a traumatic event. Acupressure is a simple, painless and cost-free way to stimulate your brain, re-center yourself and create a path forward to return to the life that you want to have. You can do acupressure any time and for as long as you need to. Your own hands as the only tools you need to create healing.

Here are two simple points that you can use to re-center and facilitate healing. They are not the only points that you can use, but they are very powerful and beneficial. If you try acupressure, like it and want a more personalized acupressure routine, you can contact an acupuncturist to develop one for you. If you choose to create an acupressure routine on your own, I recommend journaling your progress in The Acupressure Log Book or other journal to make it easier to identify your own patterns and have a record of the points and techniques that work best for you.  

There is an old saying, “Earth Good, Everything Good”. The Earth is our home and the Earth element represents our center. People often describe emotional trauma as a feeling of being kicked in the gut, and often feel “off” afterwards because their energy center has been affected. Fear scatters the Qi so that it no longer flows normally in the channels. Grief can demand all of the energy of the body, which can also disrupt the normal flow, leave you feeling weak and lowering your willpower. A great acupressure point to correct all of these imbalances at once is SanYinJiao (also called Spleen 6 or SP6).

Drawing of SanYinJiao - SP6

SanYinJiao is located on the inner lower leg, 4 finger widths above the ankle bone. It’s not complicated to find. You just fold your thumb in, hold your hand horizontally, put your fingers together, set your index finger on the ankle bone, and the SP6 point will be under your pinky finger. SanYinJiao is a major point and it’s pretty big, so you don’t need to worry about being super specific.

Put your finger or fingers on the point and start massaging it in a circular, clockwise direction. You can also tap on it or just hold it. Listen to your body and do what feels good. If you find soreness on or around the point, tap, massage or hold longer in that area.  Repeat on the other leg. You may feel a change in a few minutes or you may need to work on the point for some time. There’s no time clock here. Your body will respond eventually if you are persistent. You don’t have to experience results all at once. If you don’t have a lot of time, do shorter, more frequent acupressure. Just remember, acupressure only uses enough pressure to stimulate the nerves - never use so much pressure that you give yourself a bruise.

The other point that you need to do acupressure on is NeiGuan (also called Pericardium 6 or PC6). NeiGuan means Inner Pass and this point is an excellent passage gateway to re-balance the interior of the mind and body. It regulates the Heart, calms the spirit, harmonizes the stomach, alleviates that sick feeling in the gut and opens the Yin Linking vessel which helps your body’s internal communication between organs and improves overall functioning.

Drawing of NeiGuan - PC6

NeiGuan (PC6) is located on the inner arm, in about the same relative position as SanYinJiao on the leg. It is located in the middle of the inner arm, about 2 cun above the middle of the wrist. 2 cun is a system of relative measurement that acupuncturists use instead of inches because people are different sizes. A petite person’s point is not going to be the same number of inches from the wrist as a basketball player’s. But they will both have the same cun measurement. 2 cun is just the length of your index finger from the tip to the 2nd knuckle. If you align one hand so it points toward your elbow and place the second knuckle of your index finger over the middle of your wrist, the PC6 point will be under your finger tip. It actually takes longer to type out that description than it does to locate the point. Don’t worry about being too specific in your point location. NeiGuan is also a major point on the body and has a large sphere of influence.

Just as you did with SanYinJiao, put your finger or fingers on the point and start massaging it in a circular, clockwise direction. You can also tap on the point or just hold it. Listen to your body and do what feels good. If you find soreness on or around the point, or you feel that the tissues in the area are somewhat weak and your fingers sink easily past the tendons, tap, massage or hold longer in that area. Repeat on the other arm. This is an easy point to work on any time you have a minute because it’s so conveniently located. Be patient and persistent. Eventually the signal that you are sending up the nervous system to the brain will be acted on, you will start to feel better and you can go back to feeling confident in being the light in the world that darkness can never truly overcome. Spartans Will!