- Vincent Mendes
Tapping Relaxation Technique
Today, I wanted to talk about a relaxation technique for a couple of reasons. Back over the summer, a friend of mine shared with me that she had been having tremendous anxiety, and apparently at night when she couldn’t sleep, she would search my Facebook page and would do some of the neck and back exercises that I have here on the page and she found that calming. I thought, “Well, gosh! If that helped maybe I can put some more information on there that can help people relax when they are stressed.” During the holidays, I had another patient ask me if there were any adjustments that could help her feel less stressed at this time of year. Reminding me again that I do have some simple techniques that can help those anxious feelings, so this will be the first in a series I would like to put out about relaxation techniques.
In the first sense, a chiropractic adjustment often does help with stress relief because if you imagine two bones are misaligned and they are irritating the nerve that comes out in between them that does present an irritation to the nervous system. It’s not necessarily going to rise to the level of something that is stressing you out, but even if you are subconsciously unaware of it, it can still be creating an overall increase in the base level of stressors.
I like to make a comparison. Imagine if you are driving in some bad traffic. And imagine that there is also a noise issue, let’s say there are some sirens going on and people honking around you. Imagine also there is a tag on the back of your shirt that’s digging into you. And you’re late for something…and you’ve just realized there is a wasp inside your car buzzing around. Maybe any one of those things would not trouble you too much, but if all of those are going on at once you’re almost certain to be rather stressed. Likewise, if there is a misalignment, or what we call a subluxation in chiropractic, causing irritation in your nervous system that means your base level of stress is already going to be somewhat higher. Getting that corrected means you are going to be lowering that level of stress. There is lots of research going all of the way back to the 1930s on how much chiropractic care can help mental health, so there is good reason for that we don’t need to get into here.
In addition to getting yourself adjusted, a technique that can help with destressing is a simple tapping technique. Now there are many more involved ways of tapping than I am going to talk about here. If you would like to look into Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) they have very extensive ways of tapping to help reduce stress and help stress.
I learned this tapping technique from Dr. Wally Schmidt out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina and he was able to teach some things within chiropractic that could be benefited from tapping and one of them was this stress-reducing technique.
This technique utilized two points on your cheekbones directly under where the pupils of your eyes are. Gently tap that area with the tips of your fingers for at least 20 seconds or at most a couple of minutes. While you are doing this, think about the thing that is stressing you out. Let’s say I am stressing about a homework assignment (back in the day I was always stressing about homework assignments!). So, you would tap while thinking about the assignment itself. Think about what chair you are going to be sitting in while doing it, think about how your fingers feel on the keyboard. Think about what worries you about it. Is it because you hate the subject you are working on? Think about how it feels in the pit of your stomach when that happens. Think about the worst homework assignment you ever had. Then think about your best homework assignment.
Accessing these different parts of your brain by thinking about things in the different aspects of stress and the way you physically feel. The pit of your stomach, tightness in your chest, tightness in the back and neck muscles. Think about those things, feel those things while you are tapping and that is able to get your body to stop reacting in a visceral way to the stressor.
I hope that helps you! It works for a lot of people. If it doesn't help you, well it didn’t cost anything and it only took a few minutes. Let me know how it works for you!