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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 March 13, 2019

                  How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                  How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                  Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                  You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                  Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                  1. Work on the small tasks.

                  When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                  Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                  2. Take a break from your work desk.

                  Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                  Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                  3. Upgrade yourself

                  Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                  The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                  4. Talk to a friend.

                  Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                  Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                  5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                  If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                  Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                  Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                  6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                  If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                  Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                  Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                  7. Read a book (or blog).

                  The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                  Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                  Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                  8. Have a quick nap.

                  If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                  9. Remember why you are doing this.

                  Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                  What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                  10. Find some competition.

                  Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                  Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                  11. Go exercise.

                  Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                  Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                  As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                  Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                  12. Take a good break.

                  Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                  Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                  Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                  Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                  More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                  Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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