Today’s big idea is that there are two special little spots on your body—no, not any of those spots that just popped in to your head when I said that!—that are important acupressure points for calming the nervous system, and anxiety, according to traditional Chinese medicine. One is called the Sea of Tranquility, and it’s in the center of your breast bone. And the other is called the Calming Point, and it’s in the center of your palm.
Listen To The Podcast Here
Before I tell you where the acupressure points are for calming and how to work with them, I want to tell you about how I went on the Today Show in 2009. I taught Amy Robach, who was a co-host at that time, and America, about the Sea of Tranquility. I was sitting on set, next to Amy, and they had told us we had 30 seconds until we were live. And I felt something scratchy just under my collarbone so I flipped the edge of my sweater over and boom, there was a tag. My sweater was inside out and I was about to go on national tv!
Everyone saw it, the camera guys, Amy, and we had a huge laugh, that went a long way toward helping dispel my nervousness and anxiety about being on The Today Show. The thing that helped the rest of my anxiety dissipate was actually pressing the Sea of Tranquility acupressure point. Which Amy and I did during my interview. I’m here to tell you, it really works.
With anxiety it’s really easy to think you need something out there to help you feel better
A pill, a glass of wine, a therapist. Really all those things can be helpful and there’s a time and place for everything. But don’t you just love thinking that you actually have a Sea of Tranquility within you that you can access any time you want? That it’s part of you, and always with you? Acupressure—which is basically DIY acupuncture that uses your fingertips instead of needles. Helps you access that inherent tranquil energy. Which then helps you come back into balance.
Here’s how to find it the acupressure points for calming
First find the notch at the base of your throat, right where your collar bones meet. That is the tip of your breast bone. Using gentle pressure with one or two fingers, follow the breast bone down until you find a tender spot—it’s a little divot that’s pretty much directly in between your boobs at nipple height. When you touch it it might feel a little owie, or you might feel some kind of a zing; that’s how you know you’ve found it. Keep your fingers on it, with steady but gentle pressure, and take at least 10 nice normal breaths. You don’t have to go for the burn, there’s no bonus points for intensity. You’re really just sending a message here, so don’t shout.
And now let’s find the second acupressure point for calming and that can really help with anxiety.
It’s called the Calming Point and it’s located in the center of your palm. This point calms the heart and soothes apprehension and anxiety. To stimulate it, curl your fingers into a fist, and then press your ring finger in to your palm. You can loosen the rest of your fingers once you’ve made contact between the palm and the ring finger. Breathe naturally for a minute or so. You can do this anywhere, and no one needs to know you’re doing it. Try it now—I’ll wait! Just breathe your normal breath. And I’m willing to bet you can detect some sort of shift in your body or your mind.
The Sea of Tranquility and Calming Point are always available to you and . You can’t forget them at home—unlike your phone or your mask, am I right?
So that’s your tiny assignment
Try both of these acupressure points for calming right now real quick, see which one you feel a bigger affinity for, or perhaps notice a bigger reaction to. And then do that one the very next time you feel those anxious thoughts making themselves known.
Be sure to come back tomorrow when I’m interviewing Leigh Medeiros about her 30 year stint as an anxious person, and how she has learned to live with anxiety and panic, as well as it what it has to offer us.
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