We Tried It: Virtual Acupressure
Stress, anxiety, and restricted movement are compounding as we shelter in place, but this DIY version of an ancient remedy can offer some comfort and relief
Adjusting to life at home during the COVID-19 pandemic is certainly a challenge, but businesses are coming together in beautiful ways to help us through. From online workouts to virtual hangouts with friends, we're able to practice self-care in some remarkable ways.
More time sitting and being hunched over my less-than-desirable home "office" (aka my laptop perched on my kitchen table with a too-low mismatched chair) combined with general stress about work, loved ones, and the world has left me with some serious shoulder and neck tension; last week I couldn't' even turn my head to the right. So when a representative from Area 25, an acupuncture studio based in NYC, reached out to alert me about their new virtual acupressure sessions, I was enthusiastic for some DIY bodywork.
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, but it uses touch instead of needles to activate points said to move blood and energy (knows as "qi") throughout the body. It can help alleviate stress and muscle ailments such as "tech neck" and can also boost immunity. The effects don't go as deep as using the needles, but it's easier to do and can be performed on yourself regularly, offering relief right when you need it.
I logged on to my session and met Jess, an Area 25 practitioner who guided me through a few different pressure points. We started with the spot where my third eye would be; I simply touched and massaged between my eyes, which is supposed to relieve nasal congestion and stress. The repetitive motion was certainly comforting. Next was a pressure point in my neck. I put my hands behind my head and used my thumbs to rub two areas at the base of my skull where I could feel tendons so tough they felt as if they could snap. This one was for the gallbladder, and while I have no idea if that organ needed any help, I can tell you my neck was immediately thanking me for the tender loving care. We moved on to a few more points on my hands, knees, and feet. After the 15-minute session, I couldn't deny feeling more refreshed than when I started. Now that I have these tips in my self-care arsenal, I'll be using them every day as needed to give me that mid day pick me up.
DIY Accupressure Tips
Area 25 will be starting donation-based virtual acupressure sessions starting April 7, 2020. Click here to book an appointment (the suggested donation is $25). In honor of World Health Day, also falling on April 7, 100 percent of the day's proceeds will go to A Million Masks, and Area 25 will match every donation (up to $25 per session) for the day. For the rest of April, they'll donate a mask to health care workers on the frontlines for every session booked.