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Instant Cure: Massage Your Fingers to Relieve Pain

Instant Cure: Massage Your Fingers to Relieve Pain

finger

    Self administered reflexology and acupressure are great ways to provide quick discrete relief for a variety of pain and symptoms without having to wait for an appointment, further impeding your routine, or touching sensitive areas where you are experiencing pain.

    Acupressure & reflexology

    You’re right! Acupressure sounds a lot like Acupuncture. It actually works on the same principles without the intimidation factor. Replace the needles with fingers providing moderate pressure and that’s it!

    Reflexology specifically is the use of therapeutic pressure massage in specific areas of our hands and feet to facilitate functional flow of energy, pain relief and optimal health. There are areas on our hands and feet called reflexes that correspond to specific areas of our bodies and even organ systems within our bodies. Often in areas that we feel pain there is a blockage of energy preventing health and wellness.

    Below are combined approaches of these two practices that you can use, at home or on the go.

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    Headaches & Migraines

    Valley of Harmony

      The tips of all four fingers, especially focusing on the area at the base of the fingernails, can help relieve head pain. Focus on the index finder (positivemed) and the webbing between thumb and index finger, often referred to as the Valley of Harmony (as shown).

      Sinus Pressure & Pain

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        With your palm facing you, bring your thumb to the pad of your finger (the part that touches keys when typing) and forefinger to the opposite side close to your cuticle. Squeeze and hold the tip of each finger 1-3 minutes with comfortably firm pressure. Lightly massage the area when done. Repeat on all fingers.

        For relief from symptoms of sinus pain, headache, dizziness, pressure, stuffy nose, and congestion. Have a tissue handy.

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        Neck Pain/Tension

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          Massage the middle part of each of your fingers between your furthest knuckle toward the base of your finger. Do this for each finger on each hand. Look at your hand and think of the tips of your fingers as your head, and as your work down your fingers you are working your neck and shoulders. Use a professional reflexology chart for reference if needed.

          Stomach Upset

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            Massage and warm up the whole thumb, as this responds to the stomach and spleen meridians. You can also apply direct pressure to hold in the center of your palm.

            Cold/Sore Throat

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              Warm up and massage the whole thumb. Extended pressure may be used on the meaty part of the web of your hand. Also apply specific pressure to the thumb on the tissue to the inside by the nail, as shown.

              Fatigue

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                Lightly massage the whole hand, followed by direct pressure of the point on your middle finger just below and on the side of your nail on the side closest toward the index finger.

                Menstrual Cramps/Abdominal Pain

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                  Lightly massage the whole hand, followed by direct pressure on the point on your index finger just below and on the side of your nail on the side closest toward the thumb. The second location for direct pressure is a point on your pinky just away from the nail on the cuticle line toward the outside (away from the rest of your fingers).

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                  Additional tips

                  1. General area warm-up:

                  RELAX. Then start by rubbing your hands together for a minute to increase the energy and sensitivity of your hands. Next, use the fingers and thumb of your opposite hand to gently massage and warm-up the skin and general area to be worked on.

                  2. Area of focus:

                  In the area of interest to work use your opposite thumb & fingers to provide comfortably firm pressure. (Caution: this area may be sensitive.) Hold the area for 1-5 minutes and repeat 1-5 times as needed, or daily for prevention.

                  *For more tender areas: Hold for 3-5 seconds. While maintaining pressure begin to slowly massage in small clockwise circles up to five times, then give the area a small break. This massaging should be moving the tissue, not merely rubbing the skin. Provide firm but comfortable pressure again for up to a minute then give the area a break. Repeat this process up to five times.

                  3. Stay hydrated

                  This is probably one of the most recommended and underutilized tips from massage therapists and bodyworkers, and it cannot be stated enough. Proper hydration allows for optimal tissue health, quality circulation, and to help facilitate the elimination of toxins released into the bloodstream post massage and otherwise. After all, our bodies are made up mostly of water.

                  Precaution

                  *If you are pregnant there are areas that can assist in stimulating uterine contractions, and unless in labor and supervised by a professional MT or doula, should be avoided. During pregnancy avoid deep pressure to the web of the hand. 

                  Featured photo credit: Healthy Food House via healthyfoodhouse.com

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                  Last Updated on September 17, 2018

                  10 Reasons Why You Should Get Naked More Often

                  10 Reasons Why You Should Get Naked More Often

                  Getting naked is often thought of as an act that should only be reserved for intimacy—and even then some get squirmy! Many people are more comfortable believing that the more clothes you are wearing the better. However, getting naked more often can have great benefits for you. Here are 10 great reasons to get naked more often:

                  1. It burns more fat.

                  Your body’s main supply of brown adipose tissue (BAT), or good fat cells, are located around your shoulder blades and neck. When your body is exposed to the elements and is cooler, the BAT proliferates and essentially kills the white adipose tissue, aka bad fat cells. So, not wearing any clothes helps promote this and makes you healthier.

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                  2. You’ll become comfortable with who you are.

                  Self-acceptance is hard to come by today. Ask anyone you know and see if they are happy with themselves. Chances are they will say they are too fat, not pretty, and find all of the flaws that they can. In reality, others do not see this. They see that you are beautiful. When you begin to get naked, you learn to appreciate your body and realize how beautiful you really are.

                  3. It saves you money.

                  Being naked more often saves on buying new clothing since you are wearing nothing a lot of the time. Be careful when you are in public, though—you may have to put on some clothes!

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                  4. It increases your immune system.

                  Being naked and getting exposure to the sun’s rays actually increases your body’s vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is directly related to your immune system. When you have optimal levels of vitamin D, your body’s immune system is impeccable, and you will be better equipped to ward off viruses, including the common cold and flu. So go lay outside naked on your private balcony or in your yard.

                  5. It makes you face your fears head on.

                  People cringe today when you mention the words “get naked.” They are so afraid of it—and today’s children are so ingrained with this—that they must wear layer upon layer to deal with their body image. However, when you are naked, you face your fears of body image and self-acceptance, experiencing some of the best moments of your life.

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                  6. You will feel better in your clothes.

                  When you do wear clothes (because not everyone has yet accepted being naked in public), you will start to choose clothing that accentuates the parts of your body that you love. You will begin to notice that maybe that muumuu does not flatter your beautiful curves and start wearing clothes that you love.

                  7. You will embrace vulnerability.

                  When you put yourself out there, it is a natural reaction to have fear and worry. However, this is an opportunity to embrace being vulnerable. It allows you to think and get down to the core of what really matters and what is of importance to you. When you strip away all of the excess, you are 100% you and willing to take on anything that comes your way.

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                  8. You will show the world the real you.

                  Today, we have many ways of altering our appearance from our true body image when we wear clothing. Some people alter their image so much that they fear getting naked with the person they love. It seems crazy that this could even happen; however, the rise in use of breast-enhancing bras and Spanx products has put this idea into people’s minds. This all goes back to being comfortable with your true body image. If a person really does love you, then they should not love you based upon your image. If they do, then you may even decide that the ever-so-uncomfortable leggings that go up above your waist to hold in all of the imperfections may not be worth it after all.

                  9. You will have fun.

                  Well, this could go in all sorts of directions. But when you are comfortable with your naked body and see it as being flattering, then life is more fun. You start realizing that you are beautiful and are willing to do more things that you probably would not have done otherwise—with and without your clothes on.

                  10. You can have intercourse with the lights on.

                  Many people are self-conscious about the way they look and decide that the less lighting the better when they are intimate with their partner. It’s nothing new. If you survey your best friends, you will probably come to this conclusion too. They may say that it even gets awkward, because they are more concerned with what their partner thinks of their body than just having and enjoying amazing intercourse. When you love the way you look naked, you will also want to have your partner see you at your best.

                  What are you waiting for? Start spending more time in the buff today and begin to change the way you think about your body.

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