It goes without saying that 2020 has been a year full of stress and anxiety. And, as we approach the holidays, more stress is on the horizon. We all know that stress is bad for our health–but it’s an inevitable part of life on this earth. So, how can we combat stress?
The trick to moderating mental stress is to make time for healthy habits, reflection, and self-care. But sometimes, even when you’re addressing mental stress, it can be difficult to address the physical component.
Tight muscles, fatigue and exhaustion, digestive distress and chronic pain could all be signs of physical stress. When left unchecked, these pesky ailments can become debilitating. Luckily, there are ways to prevent this kind of physical stress, and there are ways to ease it when it hits!
If you’re dealing with stress or anxiety, the most important thing to recognize is that you’re not alone. And the second most important thing to recognize is, this doesn’t have to be your new normal. This doesn’t have to be your future! And it’s certainly not your identity. There are so many safe, natural and powerful ways to address physical and mental stress and reduce anxiety. Some of them will take some work and effort, while others are very relaxing and simple. We compiled five of our very favorites here.
5 Holistic Techniques for Combatting Stress and Anxiety
1. Heat Therapy
When you think about techniques to combat stress and anxiety, heat therapy may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But, it’s increasingly being recognized for its anxiety-reducing and relaxation-promoting effects. The first thing to recognize is that heat is not always a good solution for anxiety–but it can be in the right situations.
Far infrared heat specifically penetrates deeply into the muscles and tissues to promote a relaxation response in the body, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.
This is the kind of heat that you’d find in an infrared sauna. It’s less of a surface heat and more of a penetrating, deeply warming heat.
Our favorite source of far infrared heat is the Jade Vitality Far Infrared Heating Pad. It’s affordable, accessible, easy to use, quick to heat up, AND free of harmful EMF radiation. It’s an excellent go-to stress relief tool for the end of a busy day! And, as a bonus, it may also relieve pain and inflammation associated with sore muscles or an overworked body. You can learn more about Jade Vitality below.
Massage is another fantastic method to combat stress in both the body and the mind. Often, we hold tension in our muscles – especially the muscles in our necks and shoulders. The physical release of tense muscles is deeply therapeutic both physical and mentally, and may make it easier to release mental and emotional pain and trauma, too.
Massage promotes relaxation, which can reset the nervous system and take the body away from “fight or flight” zone, back into “rest and digest” mode. It’s therefore excellent for both stress and anxiety!
Many holistic practitioners believe that smothered emotions and trauma can actually be stored in the muscles and tissues. According to this theory, when painful emotions arise, sometimes the nervous system’s best response is to hide the pain away physically into the body, to prevent the mind and heart from feeling the intense pain. Body work and massage may help to clear those trapped emotions and traumas, providing relief of physical pain and emotional release at the same time.
Our favorite massage tool on the market is the Rapid Release Vibrational Therapy Device for acupuncture. It uses the same frequency as the body’s fascia system for deeply restorative yet painless release of tension, knots, and stress.
Auriculotherapy is a fantastic option for stress and anxiety, and many practitioners herald auriculotherapy’s unique ability to halt a panic attack in its tracks. The ears are full of powerful acupoints which are wired directly into the nervous system. There are dozens of ear points that have been specifically used to promote a relaxation response and reset the nervous system.
Auriculotherapy has also shown promise in treating insomnia, which often occurs alongside chronic stress or anxiety. Auriculotherapy treatment is fast, safe, and very effective. It’s often more accessible and universal than acupuncture because it doesn’t require the patient to disrobe or even lay down, and because the ear can be stimulated in many ways–not just with needles. Therefore, it’s perfect for tense situations in which the patient needs immediate support and relief. Microcurrent may be particularly effective and may produce results more quickly than manual stimulation.
Our favorite microcurrent tool for beginners is the Stimplus Pro Microcurrent Stimulator. It’s simple, quick and effective–and truly powerful! It’s handy because it both locates points, and treat points. You can learn more about the Stimplus Pro for auriculotherapy treatment below.
If you’re going to treat the ear, it’s really helpful to know what points you’re treating! That’s why thousands of practitioners worldwide use and love the Auriculo 3D Auriculotherapy Reference Software. With both 2D charts and a 3D, moveable ear, it helps you locate specific points on the ear and find specific protocols that will be helpful for the condition you’re experiencing or treating. It’s the most complete auriculotherapy database out there, and an essential companion to the Stimplus Pro.
4. Acupuncture & Acupressure
Here’s the obvious one! Acupuncture and acupressure are both fantastic tools to ease anxiety and combat stress. Acupuncture stimulates the body’s release of endorphins, which are natural “feel good” chemicals that encourage a sense of calm and wellbeing. Furthermore, acupoints themselves have been used specifically to restore nervous system balance, reduce anxiety, relieve stress and pain, and induce relaxation.
Many specific acupoints are powerful tools for in-the-moment anxiety and panic. Some of our favorite points for acute anxiety are Heart 7, Pericardium 6, and Yin Tang. Spleen 6 is fantastic for day-to-day balance and maintenance. You can easily treat these points at home with acupressure or see an acupuncturist for a full treatment.
If you’re treating at home, we’d recommend investing in a database of acupuncture points. Our favorite is the Points Acupuncture Reference Software, available for Mac and Windows computers, and for iOS devices on the Apple App Store. With Points, you can look up points for specific symptoms and conditions, learn protocols, and easily locate points for treatment. You can order Points software for your computer at www.Points-PC.com.
Laser is also a fantastic alternative to acupuncture needles. Laser acupuncture is safe, powerful, noninvasive, and very simple for at-home users to employ. You can purchase a professional laser pen at www.AcuBeam.com
5. Grounding, Journaling & Meditating
When’s the last time you walked barefoot on the earth? Did you know that the earth carries and emits a specific magnetic field that is grounding, healing and restoring to our bodies? Unfortunately, because we walk around 99% of of the time on synthetic floors or wearing rubber-soled shoes, we don’t reap the benefits of this grounding force. But walking barefoot in nature can be soothing, relaxing, rejuvenating and grounding! Try it on the beach if you can, or in grass or dirt. Just make sure you know there are no harmful chemicals on the grass.
Journaling is a fantastic tool for those prone to stress and anxiety. Sometimes dumping out those negative feelings onto paper can help you release them, express them, and move onto something better. Many people talk about “letting go of what no longer serves you” when it comes to journaling. This is a fantastic approach.
Journaling allows you to feel and experience your feelings and emotions, then express them in a healthy way, and then give them away to the Universe. Journaling may also help you recognize harmful and untrue thought patterns and replace them with true and healing thoughts, and it also helps a scattered or disorganized brain work through its thoughts and bring a level of organization and structure that can be deeply soothing.
Finally, meditation and prayer are excellent tools for an anxious or stressed out mind. Whatever your religion or creed, taking time to connect with that higher power–whether it’s God, the Universe, or just your higher self, can make all the difference. Find and focus on your inner strength, and realize that the power to heal and thrive is likely deep within you, and always has been!
Need Some Extra Help?
If you’re struggling right now, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many resources out there. You can seek help from a family member or friend, a licensed counselor, your acupuncturist, or even your doctor. Never submit to suffering alone.
Here at Miridia Technology, we think of you often! We’re so aware of both practitioners and patients during these difficult times. Know that you’re in our thoughts–and please reach out if we can do anything to assist you.
Dr. Adrian Larsen & Team