If you haven't been sleeping, you're probably willing to try just about anything to fall asleep and stay there. Acupressure and massage points have the benefits of helping you sleep better and giving you more of what you need to feel rested and relaxed.
We're going to tell you right up front that it's not a miracle cure for insomnia – it's not going to force you to sleep. But, it will give you a better chance of naturally sleeping the way your body needs.
Here's How Massage and Acupressure Works To Help You Sleep
Traditional Chinese Medicine figured out good ways to help the body work with its more natural abilities. The whole system of chi is a little too much to go into here, and we'll expand on this in later articles.
For now, set aside 5 to 10 minutes before you lay down or sometime in the evening to start massaging these points we recommend. It doesn't take a particular technique, just use your thumb or a massage tool or even a tennis ball to rub these points gently. Don't use too much pressure, you're not digging into muscles, just stimulating certain nerve endings, connective tissue, and muscles to provide the effect.
Five Acupressure and Massage Points To Help You Sleep
Soles of the Feet
Foot cramps are the worst, and they originate from the numerous small tendons and muscles found in the foot. The large tendon that supports our feet and makes walking possible can get overly tight and spasm.
Gently rubbing a tennis ball with your foot is one of the best ways to relieve this pressure. If you're using your hand, follow the sole of your foot up to a point in the center where it meets the arch of the ball of your foot. Rub for a few minutes to relieve the tension in your feet.
Above the Ankles
As you move up your leg, there's a very tender place right above the ankle that does not have much protection between your skin and your bones. Since it's so sensitive, be very gentle massaging this.
Run your fingers from your ankle bones towards your knee, both on the inside and outside of your ankle. Come up with about three inches and then rub back down. This may feel very good as it relieves the tension, or if it's very tense, you might feel a little bit of pain. Repeating that rubbing action will help reduce the pain.
Like our feet and ankles, our wrists and hands are very complex and cause us many problems. There are numerous points in the wrist and the hand that can help relieve tension, especially if you start experiencing carpal tunnel.
Starting with the tips of your fingers, slowly move down the fingers and across the palm. Do the same thing over the thumb, spending a little bit extra time on the big fleshy portion of your thumb. Then, move up the wrist until you reach the large muscles of your forearm. You can use a tennis ball with this, as well.
Be sure to start at the tips of your fingers and move towards your arm. There are a few small lymphatic vessels in your hands and wrists. Starting at your fingertips, you push the wastes and fluid to the center of your body, where it can be eliminated. But, if you do it the opposite way, you're pushing all that waste and toxins into your fingertips, which can lead to pain and swelling.
Some of the most potent acupressure points are in the back of your neck. Because they're so close to your spine and control your face and neck, these can very quickly become inflamed and painful. Rubbing these points can help send relaxing waves down through your back to the rest of your body.
Start by finding the point right at the base of your skull on either side of your spine. This is a connection point for many ligaments and muscles and you can follow the fibers of your muscles down your neck into your shoulders. Using a tennis ball is easiest for this as you can create small gentle circles as you move downward.
You can literally rub the wrinkles off your face by gently massaging your face. Some research shows that how you carry yourself, whether you smile or frown, can affect how you feel. People who smile more often are happier. People who frown and wrinkle their forehead tend to be unhappy.
Starting between your eyes, go outwards across your eyebrows. Repeat this motion, slowly going up your forehead until you get your hairline. Your fingertips work best for this. You can also repeat under your eyes by starting on either side of your nose and rubbing outward.
We hope this helps give you a good night's sleep and let you relax a little bit.