How to emotionally process the emergence out of Melbourne’s lockdown – acupuncture and reflexology perspective
By Jennifer Cook and William Ly
As we come out of lockdown and out of social isolation, we have new challenges to face in terms of how we mentally and emotionally process this change.
Our children are sometimes finding the reintroduction to loud places with lots of people, overwhelming and upsetting. They are taking longer to adjust back into those places and situations (cafes, parties, the markets) that they were so familiar with previously. And as adults, I can honestly say the feeling is pretty much the same.
So TCM Dr William Ly and myself have put together a few hands on tips for how to help regulate yourself and how your children can help themselves in times of higher stress, and overwhelm as we reintegrate back into the world.
The best places for kids to stimulate in order to help calm themselves is on their faces. In both the ancient acupuncture and reflexology maps, the zones are the same and easy to find which makes these quick and simple to teach our children. Incorporating this with a few deep long breaths, and children find these great little tools to help them reset and overcome the overwhelm.
This zone is a small almost egg shape right between the eyes and upwards. It is simply stimulated by doing slow circles around this zone with a finger. The direction is not important as you do it both ways (if possible). 10 times clockwise and 10 times anticlockwise.
This stimulates the hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal gland, all of which sit in the middle of the brain. The Pituitary is the Master Gland and plays a major role in regulating body functions, producing hormones and controls most of the glands in the body. This point also works on adults – so give it a go. 20 times each way with a couple of deep breaths and see how you feel afterwards. Do it with your kids together as a ‘reset’ button.
This next zone is over the ‘0’ point. This point which is right at the end of the ear near the base of the jaw bone, is a known point in both TCM and Reflexology, to lower blood pressure and lower stress and anxiety.
Get your children to rub with their fingers, from the top of the ear to the bottom, 10 times. If they need more, go again – 10 times. Some slow breaths while they do it help increase the effectiveness.
Again this point works on adults, but you can just use the one point instead of the whole zone (seen here in orange). And again, 20 circles one way, and then 20 the other.
For adults, William and I wanted to give you points you can use on the train, bus, in a meeting, in a crowded place or anywhere you felt that touching the middle of your forehead could be a little strange and obvious.
We have 2 places on your hands here so you can work these anytime you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, having trouble taking a deep breath or need a reset.
This point is the same reference point as the one between the eyebrows. It is the pituitary point, so the Master Gland, which is a small pea size gland in the middle of the brain which plays a major role in regulating body functions and overall general wellbeing.
Stimulate this point with the edge of the thumb of the other hand. 20 times each way and on both the left hand and the right. This is a great one for headaches and stressful moments, so incorporate this with slow deep breaths.
The final point for you is a little trickier but has a couple of functions, one of which is to relax the muscles of the shoulders and neck.
If your trapezius muscles, neck muscles, shoulders and arms are tense due to stress and anxiety, this zone is a great one to compliment the pituitary zone as we all know we have a combined physical and mental response to stress and anxiety.
With either the thumb of your opposite hand, or all fingers of the opposite hand, work the channel down the side of the hand which runs from below the knuckle of the little finger down to the wrist.
We love giving this a good going over, from top to bottom (wrist being bottom) about 20-30 times on each hand. You can find this zone really hard and stiff to begin with and it should loosen up the more you work it. Stretch your head from side to side along the way and you will find that you have more range and easier head movement.
Hopefully these help all the family (the kids points even work on the dog!) and you can all start to enjoy the warmer months and the opening up of the world.
Take care and go gently.
Jennifer Cook is Director and Reflexologist and William Ly is TCM Dr and Acupuncturist at the Western Health Collective.