Stress—we all have it, and we all want to get rid of it. But how? One of the fastest ways to give stress the boot and feel refreshed and calm is by focusing on a few key pressure points on our bodies.
The focus on these pressure points is often referred to as acupressure, a healing art used in Eastern medicine. Four common pressure point areas are the shoulders, skull, neck and the third eye. Here are some easy, self-massage techniques you can try to quickly alleviate tension in these four areas:
• Shoulders—Curve your hands into cup shapes, and place your fingertips on the tops of your shoulders, and press with your index, middle and ring fingers for 20 seconds.
• Skull—Interlace your fingers, and place them behind your head at the point on your neck where it meets the skull, then with your two thumbs, press gently for 20 seconds.
• Neck—Use your left hand, reach behind your neck, and place your fingers on the area below your right ear. While doing this, press the area behind your right knee with your right hand. Hold for 20 seconds, then release and repeat on the other side.
• Third Eye—Place your index finger in the space directly between both eyes and above the nose, and tap at least 20 times.
Looking for some more in-depth stress relief? Clinical studies have shown that a single 1 ½-hour massage session can significantly lower your heart rate, cortisol levels and insulin levels—all of which help reduce stress. Massage can also release endorphins and boost your levels of serotonin and dopamine. These hormones help you feel good, calm your nerves and promote healing and pain management. At Massage Envy, we know the important difference regular massage can make, not only for your emotional well-being, but also for your physical health.
While all methods of massage can provide benefits, trigger point massage is particularly well suited to rid you of stress. A trigger point is a tight area within your muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. During this kind of massage, isolated pressure and release, along with deep breathing, help to alleviate the source of the pain.