THE BLOG
10/06/2015 02:19 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Three Acu-points to Stop Worry

Worry. It's the force behind that knot in your stomach, the clenching of your jaw, your trouble falling asleep, and the furrow in your brow. You know it's not accomplishing anything, but your mind resists getting off the hamster wheel.

How can you change the channel? Turns out, there are points for that. In Chinese Medicine, the stomach and spleen are responsible for digesting not only our food, but our lives: absorbing what's useful, letting that nourish us, and passing on the not-so-useful stuff to the Large Intestine so we can let it go. Worry is the mental equivalent of sluggish digestion, or chewing on the same thing over and over again without swallowing. Just as there are points to aid digestion, there are points to help dissolve the mental knots. Here are three:

Spleen 5


Spleen 5 is the point to use when your compassionate heart leads to a worried mind and you can't stop thinking about the problems your friend (or your kid, or co-worker) is facing, even though you know there's nothing you can do to change their situation. This is empathy gone astray. So first, summon some compassion for yourself -- it's tough to watch someone you love go through something hard. Then, find the Spleen 5 point on the inner foot, just below and in front of the bony bump on the ankle. Press this point firmly with your thumb, and massage in circles for a minute while thinking to yourself "I let go."

Lung 7


Lung 7 is the go-to point to help clear your mind of worry. Like the breath itself, this point helps anchor us to the present moment rather than projecting into a future that may never come to pass. Make a "thumbs up" and locate the point about an inch towards your elbow from the thumb/wrist crease. Massage it while taking a long, slow breath.

Heart 5


Tap Heart 5 when you're worried about what you're going to say. This point helps you express what's in your heart, so it's especially useful for speaking your truth, confronting someone, or having to say "no." It's located on the inner wrist, one thumb-width up from the crease, just inside the tendon that leads to the pinky finger. Tap this point gently for 30-60 seconds, visualizing raindrops striking and bouncing up from a puddle at the point.