Part 3 of a Series on Anxiety and Depression
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Acupuncture is a great and effective way to help deal with and help with anxiety and depression. An acupuncture session with a professional is ideal, but applying some simple acupuncture techniques yourself at home and throughout the day can be highly effective and helpful as well. Simple gentle pressure applied in a circular motion -like a gentle massage on a fixed point for 2-3 minutes each can be helpful. Try to sit down and do daily or use some of them if you’re going through a particularly stressful or anxious moment.
The following are a few points that are used regularly in TCM for anxiety, calming the mind and helping with depression:
Shen Men and Sympathetic
These points are located on the ear that is very easy to find and stimulate. Shen men is located on the upper half of the ear near the inferior lateral wall of the triangular fossa and sympathetic point just under the ridge. They help to calm anxiety and slow down your heart rate. It’s helpful for impatience and mood swings, good for nervousness, pain and high blood pressure. Sympathetic is particularly good at rebalancing our sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system. Simply grasp your ear on either side of the upper ear and massage gentle in circles.
Located on the wrist joint on the radial (little finger) side in the depression formed on the proximal (inner) border of the pisiform bone (when you feel your outer wrist there’s a small bone and when you move towards the centre of the wrist you can feel a small depression. This is where the point lies. This one of the most powerful points for calming the mind and regulating the heart. Insomnia, palpitations, fear, anxiety, agitation, poor memory and depression are all indications for this point. Gently massaging it regularly can help calm as well as nourish the heart system.
On the inner forearm 3 finger widths from wrist crease (just use your ring, middle and index finger together to measure the distance) in between the two tendons. Just use your nail and look for the most tender spot there and apply pressure there. We use this point all the time in clinic to help calm a racing heart, for anxiety, insomnia, moving stuck energy and opening up the chest area. It’s also the point that’s great for nausea and motion sickness.
A beautiful calming point this point is also good for stress, relaxing, headaches, insomnia, clearing your sinuses and even increasing your intuition and inner knowing! Apply gentle pressure in small circular motion for 3-5 minutes.
Located just below the Sternocostal angle (breast bone) about 1.5 inches on or just below the zyphoid process. This point helps to regulate the heart for palpitations and calm the mind. It is great for that oppressive heavy sensation that might accompany depression or anxiety as well as clearing cough or fullness in the chest
Located on the soul of the foot, between the second and third metatarsal bones, approximately 1/3 of the distance between the base of the second toe and the heel in a natural depression that’s formed when the foot is flexed. This point is particularly good at bringing energy down from the head and deeply calming the spirit. This is great to massage when feeling anxious, ungrounded, have insomnia or general agitation.
For more information about how TCM can assist with anxiety, please contact us at Urban Wellness (firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-324-8888) to book an appointment with Angela
By Angela Warburton, B.A, RTCMP, R.Ac