Simple Ways to Reduce Stress with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Lenore Cangeloso

By Lenore Cangeloso


Simple Ways to Reduce Stress with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Stress can easily create a toll on your mind and body. It is considered the number one culprit when it comes to imbalances within the body. Researchers report that severe stress can elevate cortisol levels and can ultimately create conditions such as obesity and metabolic disorders.

In our modern lives, it is easy to get beset by responsibilities, technology and relationships, as we are continuously busy with things like advertising, news, and social media. Even though our days are busy, it is important to take out time to care for yourself.

 As the wise Chinese sage Lao Tzu said, “in fact, the best gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”

The holistic practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine incorporates diet and lifestyle into its regimen. By adding some (or all!) of these easy tips into your life, you may not become less busy, but you will notice yourself dealing with stress in healthier ways!

1. Drink More Tea

Taking time from your busy schedule to slow down and brew a cup of tea can do wonders for your state of mind. This simple act can bring more mindfulness and self care into your days. For centuries, tea has been seen as an art form as specific herbs need special attention, temperatures of water and brewing times. So dive in, and learn what the tea needs, spend some time smelling the herbs, observing how the tea flowers in hot water and smelling the healing aromas. There’s a tea out there for almost everything- lucky us! 

  • Green tea or matcha for a little energy boost.
  • Chrysanthemum and goji tea- for tired eyes, Pro Tip- after tea has brewed and tea bag has cool you can place onto your eyes and use as a poltice to multiply the benefits for your eyes.
  • Chamomile and honey tea- if you need to de-stress and wind down after a long day.
  • Fennel and mint tea works as a digestive tonic.
  • Rose tea- soothes your nerves and uplifts your mood, it is also known to make you more open to receive and accept love.

2. Qigong/ Tai Qi

These activities are great to get your blood moving and bring you into the present moment. Look for classes in your local area if you need to know where to start. If you are in the Portland Area there are great classes offered at the Lan Su Chinese Garden. You can search online for a short flow that you can add into your daily routine. . Even five minutes a day can reduce stress and ease pain. My favorite Qigong Activity is shaking. This activity requires no fancy workout clothes or mat, you can do it anywhere!

  •     Start off by standing in a comfortable position.
  • Take a some deep breaths and let your body to relax.
  • Straighten your knees, jaw and neck, open your legs wide.
  •     Lightly start to bounce in place, allowing your joints to be loose, you can coordinate your breath with your movements.
  • You can shake a slowly or strongly as you like. Don’t worry about looking stupid, just get into it!
  •     Do this activity for at least 5 minutes at a time.

When you are ready to stop, stop abruptly and close your eyes, notice if there is any movement in the stillness, take a few deep breaths before stepping back into your day.

3. Clean Out Clutter

Having a messy and cluttered home can lead to states of stress too! So take some time out of your weekend and try to go through things in your house. . See if there are things piling up around the corners of your house, if yes, then go through them and ask yourself, Do I really need these, Do I use these? Does it make me feel good? Is it useful? Is it beautiful? If most of the answers are no- clean it out!

You can donate most items to organizations such as the good will, salvation army or even shelters around your town. After the piles start in your closet, then move onto the kitchen and garage. You’ll start to feel better by cleaning out clutter.

walk barefoot stress relief

4. Walk Around Barefoot

This simple act can be thoughtful, taking out time to see nature is very important. There are also many meridians that start and end at your feet, so you can use this activity to help bring balance and calm to your body this way. The first point on the Kidney meridian is located on the bottom of the foot, and the kidney meridian and organ system is associated with the body source qi, so use this time to refuel your tank!

5. Meditation

Hand-in-hand with the above suggestion is meditation. Qigong and Tai Chi are mediation in motion, but you can also take a seat and just be. Use this time to allow the thoughts to quite down and take some deep breaths. Think you hate meditation?  Here are 6 tips for people who had meditation.

6. Pressure points 

There are some amazing acupressure points located on your body that can help chill your mind, and calm your body. Locate a point and press lightly onto the point, while breathing deeply and imagining your breath moving through that area. Feel any stagnation or anxiety float away with every exhale. Hold each point for 3-5 minutes.

  • LI4- This point is located between the thumb and index finger on the webbing of your hand, closer to the metacarpal bone of the index finger.. This point is great to relieve stress and muscle tension ,even headaches.
  • GB 20- Reach up and place your thumbs in the tender region between the base of the skull and the top of the neck, to either side of your spine, let your fingers stay gently on the top of your head. Press lightly or rub small circles here. This can help alleviate headaches and foggy brains.
  • St 36- This point is located four finger widths down from the bottom of your knee along the outer region of your shin. Applying pressure at this point can increase energy, and reduce fatigue; it can also relieve digestive disorders.
  • LR3- This point is located in the webbing between the big toe and the second toe. This is a great point to use if you are feeling irritable or are tired from running trying to do it all! Sneak yourself a foot massage while you are at it. Your body and mind will thank you! 

This article originally published at

Lenore Cangeloso, LAc is a state-licensed and board certified Acupuncturist and Herbal medicine practitioner. She is the owner of Wild Earth Acupuncture in Portland Oregon. Lenore has spent many months traveling to deepen her knowledge of the human body, and is a dedicated and skilled practitioner that strives to help you achieve optimal states of wellbeing. You can learn more about Lenore at

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