Starting the morning off right can really set the stage for the day ahead. Even taking just a few moments in the morning to focus on self-care can be extremely beneficial. The practice of stimulating acupoints, known as acupressure, is a great way to incorporate Traditional Chinese Medicine into your routine to bring about more balance and everyday wellness.
Read on to learn a few easy ways to incorporate Traditional Chinese Medicine tips into your morning ritual to improve energy, focus, and mood!
Taking a few minutes in the morning to focus on self-care can profoundly benefit your overall well-being. This precious time allows you to center yourself, both mentally and emotionally, before the busy demands of the day take over. By dedicating even a brief moment to practices like acupressure, meditation, deep breathing, or a quick skincare/GuaSha routine, you can set a positive tone for the day ahead.
Self-care in the morning can also help reduce stress, boost your mood, and enhance productivity. It's an investment in your physical and mental health, helping you approach challenges with a clearer mind and a greater sense of self-compassion. Ultimately, these daily rituals can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling life.
A research study published in the journal Harvard Review of Psychiatry found that engagement in mindfulness activities often results in “transformative health behavior change”, such as improvements in chronic medical and psychiatric illnesses. Mindfulness defined by this study is “the awareness that arises when paying attention to the present moment nonjudgmentally, nonreactive awareness of the flow of cognition, emotions, and sensations” and is not limited to practices such as meditation yoga, and visualization.
Activities such as Qi Gong, breathwork, and acupressure can also help to increase mindfulness and overall wellness.
3 Acupressure Points to Start the Day Off Right
Acupressure is a traditional healing technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body, known as acupoints. By using fingers, thumbs, or even specialized tools, acupressure aims to stimulate the body's natural healing processes and promote overall wellness. This therapy is rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is used to help alleviate various physical and emotional ailments, such as pain, stress, and tension, by restoring the flow of Qi along the body's meridians. It is a non-invasive, holistic approach to health and well-being that is easy to incorporate into a daily morning routine.
Stomach 36- Zu San Li (Leg Three Miles)
Found upon the Stomach meridian on the anterior aspect of the lower leg, one finger-breadth from the anterior crest of the tibia, and about a hands width distance below the knee joint ( between the fibula and femur), this is one of the most well-known points. Stimulation of this point can help to regulate digestive function, boost immunity, and improve energy levels. The best way to do acupressure here is with the thumb or pointer finger with firm, yet gentle perpendicular pressure during calm deep breaths.
Governing Vessel 20- Bui Hui (Hundred Meetings)
Found on the apex of the skull, this point can help boost your mood, and clear your mind. Place your thumbs above your ears, and your pointer fingers at the top of the head. Take a few deep breaths and allow your fingers to find the tender point on the top of your skull. Press gently and firmly in small circles and watch your worries melt away.
Lung 1- Zong Fu (Central Palace)
This point is found on the upper lateral chest in the tender space below the acromian process and the pectoralis muscle. For this point make a soft fist, or bring the tips of all fingers together and gently repeatedly tap this region, which marks the beginning of the Lung meridian. Stimulating this area can help boost Qi levels and immune function.
How to Perform Acupressure
Performing acupressure involves applying gentle yet firm pressure to specific points on the body. It is an easy activity to do at home, only takes a few minutes, and can be quite effective.
- Prepare/ Relax: Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down. You can use your fingers or thumbs. Start by taking a few deep breaths to relax your body and mind.
- Apply Pressure: Use steady, gentle pressure on the selected acupoint. You may feel slight discomfort or a gentle ache, but it should not be painful. Start with light pressure and gradually increase it until you reach the desired level of sensation.
- Hold/ Breathe: Maintain pressure on the acupoint and take slow, deep breaths. Focus your attention on the point and try to relax your mind and the surrounding muscles. This is a great time to focus on mindfulness and sensations within the body. Hold for about 30 seconds to 2 minutes. If necessary, repeat the process on the same point on the opposite side of the body or move to another acupoint.
- Integrate: Gently release the pressure and take a moment to assess how you feel. You may notice a sense of relaxation, relief from tension, or improved energy flow.
Schuman-Olivier Z, Trombka M, Lovas DA, et al. Mindfulness and Behavior Change. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2020;28(6):371-394.Care Consideration: Just a reminder that the above information is not a substitute for medical care and is not a substitute for medical advice or recommendations from a healthcare provider. This information is not intended to treat, mitigate, or cure any disease. That said, we encourage you to connect with an Acupuncturist in your community to learn more about this and other Traditional Chinese Medicine options. If you’ve got questions about Chinese herbal medicine or getting started with an Acupuncturist, feel free to connect with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.