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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 January 11, 2021

                  11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

                  11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

                  Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

                  Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

                  1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

                  Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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                  2. Stress Relief

                  Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

                  3. Improved Sleep

                  Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

                  4. Appetite Control

                  Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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                  5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

                  When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

                  6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

                  Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

                  7. Mosquito Repellant

                  Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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                  8. Pain Relief

                  While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

                  9. The New Anti-Viral

                  Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

                  10. Improved Cognitive Function

                  Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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                  11. Money Saving

                  With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

                  Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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