Stress Relief & Immune Boosting
Using Acupressure Points
Everyday stresses accumulate inside our bodies, causing shoulder and neck tensions as well as anxieties that often make it hard to breathe. You can use Acupressure, deep breathing, and stretching exercises daily to counteract the common daily pressures in your life.
Balancing Stress in Our Lives
We can only withstand a certain amount of stress. Each person has a different threshold, and each must determine for himself or herself how much is too much. When you cultivate an inner awareness of what’s going on inside you, both emotionally and physically, you discover your optimum balance of activity and rest.
If we take care of ourselves by eating properly, getting enough rest and exercise, and practicing techniques that release tension and balance our bodies, then our resistance to illness is strong.
In a fast-paced world, it is easy to overwork yourself, take on too many commitments, and extend yourself to the point of exhaustion. This energy imbalance weakens the immune system. If we abuse our bodies, push ourselves too hard, eat poorly, don’t exercise, and fail to release tension, our immune system weakens, and we are more prone to illness.
By using these Acupressure points regularly, balancing your activities, and practicing deep breathing, you can counteract stresses, prevent fatigue, and boost your immune system. Deep breathing exercises alone can greatly increase your energy level and boost your immune system. Bring the following Deep Breathing Exercise into your lifestyle to counteract your stress and balance your hormones naturals.
Immune System: Deep Breathing Exercise
Start with your palms together, and place the back of your thumbs firmly against your breastbone at the level of your heart and press CV 17, the Sea of Tranquility point. Close your eyes and focus on breathing deeply for two minutes.
Gently control your respiratory system, making each breath grow longer and deeper than the last one. Breathe out any tensions that you feel are restricting your lungs from moving fully and naturally.
Feel your mind clear with each breath. Notice the resistance your mind creates: the worries and judgments it comes up against. Take several deep breaths and let your breath dissolve these barriers. Breathe deeply and gently — remember, you are breathing in life itself.
To end the exercise, hold the breath at the top of the exhalation for a moment, feeling its fullness. Then exhale smoothly, letting your hands drift down into your lap, and relax, feeling the vitality of the breath circulate throughout your body.
Tonic Acupressure Points for
Strengthening the Immune System
The following Acupressure Points are effective for dealing with a weakened immune system condition. You do not have to use all of these points. Using just one or two of them whenever you have a free hand can be effective.
A particular Acupressure point, Bearing Support (B 36), governs resistance, especially resistance to colds and flu. It’s located near the spine, off the tips of the shoulder blades. The Chinese book, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, says that “wind and cold enter the pores of the skin” at this point. This point, as well as other points in this area, helps to strengthen the immune system. Conversely, these points around the tips of the shoulder blades are the first to get blocked up just before an illness, especially a cold or flu, takes hold.
Elegant Mansion (K 27)
Location: In the depression directly below the protrusions of the collarbone, just outside your upper breastbone.
Benefits: Strengthens the immune and respiratory systems. Relieves chest congestion, breathing difficulties, asthma, coughing, anxiety, and depression.
Crooked Pond (LI 11)
Location: On the upper edge of the elbow crease.
Benefits: Relieves elbow pain, fever, constipation and immune issues.
Outer Gate (TW 5)
Location: Two and one-half finger-widths above the center of the wrist crease on the outside of the forearm, midway between the two forearm bones (ulna and radius).
Benefits: Relieves rheumatism, tendonitis, wrist pain, and colds. Balances the immune system and strengthen the whole body.
Three Mile Point (St 36)
Location: Four finger-widths below the kneecap, one finger-width to the outside of the shinbone. If you are on the correct spot, a muscle should flex as you move your foot up and down.
Benefits: Strengthens the whole body, and the immune system. Tones the muscles, aids digestion, and relieves fatigue. Boosts the immune system with renewed energy. Heightens the body’s endurance.
Bigger Stream (K 3)
Caution: This point should not be stimulated strongly after the third month of pregnancy.
Location: Midway between the inside of the anklebone and the Achilles tendon in the back of the ankle.
Benefits: Strengthens the immune system, relieves fatigue, swollen feet, ankle pain, and balances the Kidney Meridian.
Joining the Valley (Hoku, LI 4)
Caution: This point is forbidden for pregnant women because its stimulation can cause premature contractions in the uterus.
Location: In the webbing between the thumb and index finger, at the highest spot of the muscle when the thumb and index finger are brought close together.
Benefits: Relieves arthritis, constipation, headaches, toothaches, shoulder pain, and labor pain. Helps to relieve congestion and inflammation and strengthens the immune system.
Sea of Vitality (B 23 and B 47)
Caution: Do not press on disintegrating discs or fractured or broken bones. If you have a weak back, a few minutes of stationary, light touching instead of pressure can be very healing. See your doctor first if you have any questions or need medical advice.
Location: In the lower back, between the second and third lumbar vertebrae, two to four finger-widths away from the spine at waist level.
Benefits: Fortifies the immune system, rejuvenates the internal organs, relieves fatigue, and pain associated with lower back problems.
Sea of Energy (CV 6)
Location: Two finger-widths below the belly button, between it and the pubic bone.
Benefits: Strengthens the condition of the immune system and the internal organs. Relieves abdominal muscle pain, tones the abdominal muscles and intestines, helps fortify the immune, urinary, and reproductive systems, relieves constipation, gas, and general weakness.
Bigger Rushing (Lv 3)
Location: On the top of the foot, in the valley between the big toe and the second toe.
Benefits: Boosts the immune system. Relieves fainting, eye fatigue, headaches, and hangovers. Relieves pain and strengthens the immune system.
Sea of Tranquility (CV 17)
Location: On the center of the breastbone, three thumb-widths up from the base of the bone. (See illustration above.)
Benefits: Relieves anxiety, anguish, depression, and boosts the immune system. Governs the body’s resistance to illness and decreases anxiety by regulating the thymus gland.
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Self-Acupressure Techniques for Immunity
Firmly hold K 27: Place your middle fingers in the hollows directly below the protrusions of the collarbone, just outside your upper breastbone. Breathe deeply as you hold the points for one minute.
Sit forward on the edge of your chair for the next exercise.
Briskly rub B 23 and B 47: Place the backs of your hands against your lower back. Rub up and down briskly for one minute, creating heat from the friction. This self-massage will stimulate both lower back points.
Sit back comfortably in your chair and continue.
Firmly press CV 6: Place your fingertips in the center of your lower abdominal area, between your belly button and pubic bone. Gradually press one to two inches deep into the lower abdomen. Close your eyes as you breathe deeply for one minute.
Briskly rub St 36: Place the knuckles of your fists on St 36 of both legs. The points are located four finger-widths below the kneecaps and one finger-width outside the shinbones, on the muscles. Briskly rub them up and down on the outside of your shinbones, just below your knees.
Rub K 3: Place your right heel between your left inner anklebone and the Achilles tendon to rub K 3 for thirty seconds. Switch sides for an additional 30 seconds.
Rub Lv 3: Place your right heel in the juncture between the bones that attach to the large and second toes, and rub Lv 3 for thirty seconds. Then switch sides to stimulate these two points on your other foot for thirty seconds.
Briskly rub LI 11: With your arms bent in front of you and your palms down, place the palm side of your right fist on top of the elbow crease of your left hand. Briskly rub over the elbow joint with your palm for thirty seconds, creating heat with the friction. Then do the same on the other arm.
Rub TW 5 and then LI 4: Make a fist with your right hand and place it on the outside of your left forearm, two finger- widths from your wrist crease. Briskly rub TW 5 for thirty seconds. Then place your right fist on LI 4, the Hoku point, on your left hand. This point is located on the webbing between the thumb and index finger. Use your knuckles to briskly rub the Hoku point for thirty seconds. Switch arms and stimulate these two points on the other side.
NOTE: Skip the Hoku point if you are pregnant.
Repeat steps 1 & 2 to further boost your immune system.
Press CV 17: Keeping your palms together, place the back of your thumbs firmly against your breastbone to press CV 17, the Sea of Tranquility point, found at the level of your heart. Continue to keep your eyes closed and concentrate on breathing slow, even, deep breaths into your heart to completely dispel any anxiety. (See the first image of this article shows Step 9.)
A Healthy Diet for Strengthening Immunity
Diet also plays an important role in building resistance to illness. When we eat processed, preserved, or devitalized foods, we weaken our immune system and our resistance because these foods have been stripped of necessary nutrients and fiber.
Certain foods, such as miso soup, parsley, beans, tofu, sea vegetables, fresh vegetables, and lightly toasted sesame seeds can strengthen the immune system and reinforce the body’s ability to protect itself.
Excessive Activities That Cause Stress
Traditional Chinese Medicine discovered that excesses of particular activities weaken the immune system by overstressing certain Acupressure meridian pathways. The following potent points are described in detail below.
- Excess standing damages the Bladder and Kidney Meridians, which can cause fatigue and low backaches. To restore these meridians, stimulate the Sea of Vitality points (B 23 and B 47) by rubbing your lower back for one minute. Then hold Elegant Mansion (K 27), directly below your collarbone, for another minute. Finally, hold the Bigger Stream (K 3) points on the insides of your ankles for one minute, as you breathe deeply.
- Excess sitting can damage the Stomach and Spleen Meridians, which can contribute to anemia or digestive disorders. Stimulate the Three Mile Points (St 36) on the outsides of your calves to benefit these meridians.
- Excess lying down can damage the Large Intestine and Lung Meridians, which can affect both respiration and elimination. For these meridians, use Joining the Valley (Hoku, LI 4), in the valley between the thumb and forefinger, and Crooked Pond (LI 11), on the upper edge of your elbow crease.
- Excess use of your eyes, as in close desk work, can damage the Small Intestine and Heart Meridians, which can create emotional imbalances. The Sea of Tranquility (CV 17) on the center of your breastbone is an excellent point for balancing these meridians.
- Excess physical exertion can damage the Gallbladder and Liver Meridians, which can cause cramps and spasms. Use Bigger Rushing (Lv 3) on the top of your feet to benefit these meridians.
This book provides a chapter on immune boosting featuring the points and routines we covered above. In addition the book covers Self-Acupressure routines and healing point formulas to enable you to relieve stress related problems from A to Z.
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