Today a patient and I were brainstorming calming techniques you can take with you anywhere. Where ever you find yourself, be it in a challenging meeting, in a claustrophobia-inducing plane, talking to a difficult someone, facing disturbing news or just feeling anxious, this technique is discreet and easy but very effective.
First, gently cup your hands and look at your palms. Look for the deepest part of the “cup”; if you touch it with a finger it should feel like the center of your hand. You are going to create a circle of circulating qi (pronounced “chee”, a.k.a your life- force energy) between this point on your left hand and the same point on your right. These points are well-known to acupuncturists as calming points. Take your right thumb and use it to gently press this point on your left hand. While not breaking the connection of your right thumb and the point on your left hand, use your left hand’s middle finger, or whichever finger on your left hand works best, to gently press the point in the middle of your right palm. Gentle pressure is enough but you can try other pressures to see what feels best. More pressure does not necessarily equal better technique. Many of my patients who try this report feeling tingling at the points. That’s a good sign that you have a strong connection. If you don’t feel this don’t worry; just have fun with trying.
If done properly, it should look like you are just holding your hands together. If you feel change but it isn’t enough, try combining this technique with a breathing technique. A great breathing technique is to exhale slightly longer than you inhale. This too is unobtrusive but highly effective as a calming technique.