Have we talked about this recently?
About this time of year, I have a lot of conversations in clinic related to poor sleep. The longer days and warmer weather are common culprits from keeping you from getting a good nights rest. I assume, if I have talked with 40 people about this, there must be many more that are dealing with the same issue, so let’s talk sleep and what you can do about it!
It is common to notice more sleep problems as we enter into the summer months. While acupuncture and herbal medicine are great tools helping you get your zzz’s, acupressure, something you can do for yourself every night is a simple but powerful tool to add, and it is easy (because we know, you are tired).
Self-massage through acupressure on certain points allows you to gain the benefits of an acupuncture treatment without coming into the office. Here are three acupuncture points that can help you fall asleep faster and improve your quality of the sleep.
Pericardium 6 (Neiguan)
Pericardium 6 is located three finger widths above the transverse crease of the inner wrist. It lies directly between the two tendons felt there. This point is said to help descend the Qi and calm anxiety. Also known for its use for nausea, it is possible to buy wristbands to apply pressure to this point.
Bladder 62 and Kidney 6
Both Bladder 62 (outer ankle) and Kidney 6 (inner ankle) can be found by locating a tender depression about one inch underneath the tip of the ankle bone (malleolus). These points help you to become grounded allowing you to fall asleep and stay asleep. These are especially good if you feel like you can get ‘caught up in your head and your feet are not on the ground’.
How to Massage
Once located, massage points together by maintaining a firm but painless pressure using your fingertips. Begin by working with the points on your wrist. Then move to your ankles. You can massage the two points on your ankles at the same time. Small circular motions may be applied if desired. Massage these points for 3 to 5 minutes.
The benefits of these three points can be had through daily acupressure before bedtime. Try this for at least one week, as the effect may be subtle at first. This technique can be very helpful when worked into the nighttime routine, especially when combined with regular acupuncture and appropriate herbal therapy.
For more tips on getting a good night’s sleep, read our blog posts: