My 5 favourite acupuncture/acupressure points for anxiety/overwhelm

These are the common points that I use in my clinical practice to help with "winter anxiety" --- to keep the energy in your body and your e-motions moving harmoniously:

1. KI-3 "Kidney #3' - this point is excellent in nourishing our kidney Qi., for strengthening the kidneys. Our adrenal glands love this point as it builds our internal feeling of, "I can meet whatever life brings me". When the kidney/adrenal energy is weak we worry more and little upsets don't just roll off our back as they do when we are feeling more resourced. This point builds our reserve energy and increases our patience. It's located on the inside of the ankle.

In Chinese Medicine and really in most wellness models, flow is essential for health. One of the ways to get yourself feeling mentally or emotionally off is to have lots of thoughts without action. Analysis-paralysis is something everyone has experienced at one time or another. There are so many decisions and we get overwhelmed and kinda freeze. From a neuroscience point of view the overwhelm triggered the amygdala which disconnects the amygdala from the regulatory function in the prefrontal cortex and we feel stuck. Get out of this habit with Spleen #1!

2. Yes, Spleen #1 is a new favourite of mine. It is near the tip of the big toe and it 'helps move stuck thoughts'. In Chinese Medicine it is recognized that illness can be caused by stuckness. In my experience what tires us out the most as moms and entrepreneurs is our mental chatter and indecision and lack of trust. In Chinese Medicine they say that a thought that has no action can create stuckness. Any "Aha"s out there? Here's why you can feel so good when you finally take action on something you've been thinking about for a while and why indecision and overthinking can be such energy zappers.

3. Heart #7 - this point nourishes the heart directly and is located in the little hollow on your wrist crease on the pinky side. If it's tender it needs attention as tenderness tells us there is stuckness.

4. Conception Vessel # 17 (CV-17) - also known as the "Sea of Tranquility" ... yes please I say! This point is located on the sternum (breastbone) between the nipples ... or where the nipples used to be before breastfeeding ha ha. if you massage along your sternum and find the most tender point you are there. For those of you who practice yoga or meditation, you naturally put pressure on this point when you bring your hands to your heart center.

Tapping on this point or massaging it when breathing increases depth of breathing, opens the heart and transforms negative thinking by again dropping the energy down out of overthinking. In Kundalini Yoga, practices are begun with hands in prayer position at CV-17 and "Ong namo guru dev namo" is chanted and the vibrations felt there. Figures it is the go-to tuning in meditation for this powerful practice of kundalini yoga for cultivating inner strength and peace of mind.

5. Kidney #1 - this point is in the hollow on the bottom of the foot between the pads of the foot. I rarely needle this point in practice as it is pretty intense but I massage it or activate it with tuning forks with every client as it is an extremely grounding, settling point. Again, this is an easy one to massage if you're sitting on your bed or meditation cushion. Add essential oils like Frankincense or Lavender or Stress Calm (by Young Living Oils) or whatever your favourite is. Bringing in these oils is an enjoyable way to come more into the moment where your true power and inner strength live.

Well, I hope this empowers you with simple tips to finding and keeping your peace at this time of year so these holidays can be a source of nourishment for you.

To have a naturopathic acupuncture session to support you in transforming or prevent any anxiety/overwhelm you have, call the office at (403) 609-8385. FYI - Most insurance companies cover Naturopathic Medicine by a licensed practitioner and the money allocated for 2018 will disappear December 31st. Wherever you live take advantage of this and head to your local ND to get the wellness support that helps you truly thrive in your life, starting with this month right now. (-: