The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine recently used 39 medical students to test how applying pressure to acupressure stimulation points would either wake up or relax students stuck in all-day lectures.
Points for acupressure stimulation:
* The top of the head
* The top of the back of the neck on both sides
On the back of the hands in between the thumb and forefinger
below both knees
* On the bottom of the feet — at the center just
below the balls of the feet
Points for acupressure relaxation:
* Between the eyebrows
* Just behind
* On the front of the wrists
* On the lower legs above the
ankles and toward the midline
* On the top of the feet in between the
large and second toes
Students stimulated those points by tapping their fingers lightly on
the area or by massaging the points between a thumb and forefinger. 50%
of the students in the study used the stimulation technique one day
followed by two days of the relaxation point massage while the other
half reversed the method.
All students reported feeling more alert on
the days they activated their stimulation points with pressure.
I believe the lesson here is while using stimulation points to get you
alert you during the day like a jolt of caffeine is fine on a
reasonable basis; you should not rely on that method as a routine for
If you are always feeling tired, worn away and
stressed-out, you should actually use relaxation points to naturally
dampen your anxiety and bring yourself into a calm place where you can
think clearly and get some sleep. Using relaxation as a pathway to
being alert allows you to be clear the next day without active point
stimulation. I would be wary of over-stimulating the alert points
because, like the fight or flight response, the body is not meant to
always be on edge and active. Using any sort of manual or artificial
stimulation to call up an alert response should be sparingly used.
mind-body connection works best when both extremes are consciously
maintained at neutral because having two opposite responses available
to recall at will — the alert and the relaxed — without having to
forever live at either end, is the true meaning of being centered.