Getting enough sleep is important, but sometimes even going to bed early is not a guarantee that you will wake up rested.
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When suffering from insomnia it can be difficult to fall asleep, even when tired, which leads to low energy, fatigue, decreased performance and difficulty concentrating the next day. Lack of sleep can also lead to mood disturbances, which obviously impacts our relationships with the people around us.
While medication for treating insomnia exists, these can also make the problem worse and will, of course, not treat the underlying issue. There are also a couple of habits and routines that can be adopted to make it easier to fall asleep, but one of the techniques gaining popularity is acupressure.
Causes Of Insomnia
There are numerous reasons why insomnia can occur, but causes include stress, emotional discomfort, depression, medication or even changes in your environment. If the insomnia continues for prolonged periods it can also turn into a vicious circle where the prospect of not being able to sleep can lead to anxiety or panic. Medical conditions such as asthma, arthritis, allergies and chronic pain are also often linked to insomnia.
The Acupressure Points And Techniques
The following acupressure points can all assist with not only falling asleep, but also to remain sleeping instead of constantly waking up throughout the night. For the best results, perform these techniques in a calm and relaxed manner while you are in bed just before going to sleep. Do some gentle stretching before getting into bed and also try to induce yawning by performing a couple of exaggerated yawns. You should also wait at least an hour or two after eating to perform the acupressure, and don’t worry if you experience some discomfort in the pressure points as this is a sign of blocked energy.
1.Wind Mansion Acupressure Point
The Wind Mansion acupressure point helps relieve headaches and mental stress.
Location: This point is found in the large hole below the skull at the top of the neck.
Technique: Use either your middle finger tip or, if your wrist is flexible, the thumb to work this pressure point. Tilt your head back and use its weight to apply pressure instead of trying to use physical strength. Apply the pressure for up to two minutes while breathing slowly and deeply.
2. Gates Of Consciousness Acupressure Point
This pressure point can relieve headaches as well as neck pain that can cause insomnia.
Location: This point is found below the base of the skull. Look for the hollow that is situated between the two vertical neck muscles.
Technique: Apply gradual, but firm pressure to this point using both thumbs for at least a minute. To make it more comfortable, lean your head backwards. If done correctly you will feel an even pulse on the points.
3. Heavenly Pillar Acupressure Point
This point helps with insomnia, stress, exhaustion and feeling burned out.
Location: It is found just below the base of the skull on the thick muscle.
Technique: Stimulate this acupressure point by curving your fingers and placing the tips on the neck muscle. Keep firm pressure on the point, and focus on taking slow, deep breaths.
4. Vital Diaphragm Acupressure Points
The Vital Diaphragm is useful for freeing yourself from anxiety and worries that can cause insomnia.
Location: The Vital Diaphragm is found on the back, between the spine and shoulder blades at about heart level.
Technique: Due to the location of the Vital Diaphragm it can be tricky to reach by yourself. Either let your partner apply pressure to the points, or place two tennis balls that are spaced apart the correct distance and then lie down on top of these for a minute.
5. Spirit Gate Acupressure Points
This pressure point can provide relief from anxiety and cold sweats and prevent insomnia that is related to over-excitement.
Location: This pressure point is found in line with the little finger on the inside of the wrist crease.
Technique: Use your thumb to press down on this point while gradually increasing pressure. After a minute, repeat the process on the other arm.
6. Inner Gate Acupressure Points
Anxiety, palpitations and indigestion can all contribute to insomnia, and the Inner Gate is able to treat all of these conditions.
Location: This point can be found on the inner side of the forearm at the central point. Look for it about two-and-a-half finger widths up from the crease of your wrist.
Technique: Using your thumb, either apply medium pressure on this point or massage the area gently for about 60 seconds. Afterwards, repeat the process on the other arm.
7. Calm Sleep Acupressure Point
In addition to helping with back pain, the Calm Sleep point is able to assist with combating insomnia.
Location: Look for this acupressure point just below the ankle bone, on the outside of your leg.
Technique: Press down on this point as well as the Joyful Sleep point using the thumbs of both hands. Maintain pressure for 60 seconds while breathing deeply.
8. Joyful Sleep Acupressure Point
This acupressure point cures hypertension, anxiety and helps with sleeplessness.
Location: This acupressure point is also below the ankle bone, but on the inside of your leg.
Technique: Press down on this point, along with the Calm Sleep point using the thumbs of both hands while breathing deeply. Maintain the pressure for one minute.
9. Third Eye Acupressure Point
This acupressure point can be used to relax the central nervous system and will relieve anxiety as well as take care of insomnia.
Location: You will find this acupressure point in the indentation where your forehead meets the bridge of your nose. Look for it directly between your eyebrows.
Technique: For the best results the Third Eye acupressure point should be stimulated in conjunction with the Sea of Tranquility point. Close your eyes and place the tip of your right middle finger on the Third Eye point while breathing deeply. At the same time use your other hand to apply pressure to the Sea of Tranquility point. Both these points must be stimulated for about a minute.
10. Sea Of Tranquility Acupressure Point
This pressure point can be used to relieve chest congestion, nervousness and anxiety, all of which are factors that can contribute to insomnia.
Location: The Sea of Tranquility can be found on the center of the breastbone. It is about three thumb widths above the base of the breastbone.
Technique: Follow the technique described for the Third Eye acupressure point to stimulate both these points in conjunction. As with the Third Eye point, the Sea of Tranquility point must be stimulated for about a minute.
In addition to assisting you with falling asleep the above mentioned acupressure points also provide other health benefits and are generally very relaxing to perform. As with anything it requires practice to successfully perform acupressure, but stick with it to make your problems with insomnia a thing of the past.