Welcome to my blog and The Grand Finale of my Five Part Series on Acupressure and Qigong! Today we’re going to explore several new ways to help alleviate stress and support proper mental/emotional balance. Let’s get started.
Energy & Sanity
At the start of this five-part series, we discussed the concept of energy, for many of you perhaps for the very first time. I told you about how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on an understanding of the body as a complex network of energetic interactions.
In the past several articles, we explored different ways in which that energy indicates and manifests itself due to blockage and discovered how quickly relief can be gained when that energy is cultivated, mindfully directed, balanced, and allowed to flow without obstruction.
Today we’ll take all of this one step further and discuss some of the ways that energy relates to mental and emotional health as well. To help you understand how this works, try to think of energy in terms of vibration or frequency. We’ll use sound and light as familiar examples.
The frequency (or vibration) of sound waves is much more dense than the frequency of light waves. We can relate this to the human body, too, where the energetic frequency of the physical body is much more dense than the frequency of, say, our thoughts. But all is energy, and energy communicates.
The point of this is to demonstrate how an understanding of energy can help to address physical as well as nonphysical concerns. On a very basic level, your thoughts and your emotions are little more than energetic patterns. This gives you a lot more control over them than you might at first expect.
Because of this, it’s no exaggeration to say that your very sanity is intimately connected to the quality of your energetic state.
Let’s pause for a moment and discuss balance. As I’m sure you already know, it’s one thing to discuss balance in relation to physical functions like digestion. But it’s another thing entirely to discuss balance in relation to the runaway tendencies of our thoughts or the oftentimes rollercoaster-like activity of our emotions!
Just look around. We are constantly being inundated by outside influences targeted at instigating specific emotions. For many of us, mental activity is out of control. And talk about stress! For all of our technological advances and modern conveniences, we are more stressed out than we’ve ever been.
Naturally, our mental and emotional lives suffer as a result. We carry our immense levels of chronic stress in our bodies and many of us can’t recall the last time we felt even the remotest version of mental or emotional “balance”. In fact, for many (Americans especially), such balance has become a new kind of unicorn.
But the truth is that practices like qigong and acupressure really can help to manage stress and mental-emotional discord. And what better tools to apply in such a case than those specifically designed to address the problem at its root? Today I’ll teach you a few of my favorites.
Qigong for Stress Management
Qigong helps to manage stress in a number of different ways. Not only can it help to balance and direct energy during times of mental and/or emotional stress, it also acts as a meditative practice, helping to calm the mind and slow the incessant stream of thoughts that are often at root of our stress-related symptoms. We learn to depend on qigong for establishing awareness and energetic balance in the body and the mind.
QIGONG FOR STRESS #1. This sound exercise is appropriate for all ages and can be practiced standing, seated, or while lying flat on your back. Click on the button below to see a video demonstration.
- Due to the vocal nature of this exercise, I always recommend finding a quiet corner of your own, somewhere private and away from prying eyes or judgmental stares. (The key here is to alleviate anxiety, not cause more due to fear of judgment!)
- This particular exercise focuses heavily on release of stress and tension being stored in the body as a result of mental-emotional stressors like anxiety and depression. You'll be very surprised just how much such a simple exercise can help.
- Now you try.
QIGONG FOR STRESS #2. This sound exercise is appropriate for all ages and can be practiced standing or seated. Click on the button below to see a video demonstration.
- Thumbs up! But remember: you want to willfully extend the thumb until you can feel a certain amount of tension in the base of the thumb and the hands.
- Next up: take a long breath through the nose and deep into the abdomen.
- Now get to singing "Ahhhhhhh" while making slow, small circles with your upraised thumbs.
- Like the last exercise, this one focuses heavily on release of bodily tension resulting from mental and emotional stressors such as anxiety and depression.
- DON'T FORGET - you'll want privacy for this one.
Acupressure for Stress Management
Believe it or not, there are whole systems of energy healing dedicated to the relief of stress and the effects of stress (such as headaches and sore necks and tension in the shoulders) based on the principles of acupressure. We learn to depend on acupressure because of how potent and immediate and effective it can be at removing blockages and restoring natural energetic flow to areas of tension.
ACUPRESSURE FOR STRESS #1. This exercise routine is appropriate for most ages and can be practiced standing or seated. Click on the button below to see a video demonstration.
- Because this exercise can be applied just about anywhere anytime, it's the perfect go-to when you're feeling overwhelmed with stress, anxiety, or even depression.
- FAIR WARNING - your hair may end up looking a hot mess by the time you're done, but I promise you: it's worth it!
ACUPRESSURE FOR STRESS #2. This exercise routine is appropriate for all ages and can be practiced standing, seated, or while lying flat on your back. Click on the button below to see a video demonstration.
- This exercise is especially useful for balancing emotion. It directly addresses the heart and is a relatively inconspicuous means of relieving feelings of overwhelm, stress, anxiety, and even depression.
- Don't forget to take long, slow, deep-into-the-gut breaths while you're tapping, too, ok? During and after - that's the trick.
Other Common Mental and Emotional Health Issues
As you can see, acupressure and qigong make incredibly useful tools for managing stress. The exercises are wonderfully easy to remember, simple to apply, and (in most cases) can be practiced just about anywhere from just about any position.
In addition to stress-related issues, acupressure and qigong have been used to help alleviate many mental and emotional problems. Some examples include: depression, addiction, anxiety, ADHD, chronic fatigue, insomnia, racing thoughts, anger, fear, grief, jealousy, mood swings, panic, shame, and more.
An important thing to remember is that, while qigong and acupressure can be very effective in helping to relieve common mental and emotional health issues, they are only one piece of the puzzle. These sort of health issues are typically very complex, and they deserve to be taken seriously.
To learn more about how to lower stress levels, take back control of runaway thoughts, and balance emotional extremes, schedule an appointment by clicking on the button below. Together, we can work to define a path suited just for you.