Our minds are bombarded with thoughts all day. What will my boss think? What time do I pick up the kids? How bad will traffic be? What should I make for dinner? In addition to these daily thoughts, we worry about the past, the future, people we love, and even people we barely know. Judgments of self and others, negative thoughts of different shapes and sizes also flood our minds.
Our thoughts and sleep
According to Chinese medicine, overthinkingprevents a relaxed state, which in turn affects our sleep. Sometimes it means we cannot fall asleep easily. Other times it means that we wake in the middle of the night and our thoughts start racing. Label it what you will – insomnia, restlessness, difficulty falling asleep – our minds cannot settle and allow us to get the rest we need.
In previous articles, we explain how imbalances in Yin and Yang prevent us from calming and having a good night’s sleep. These imbalances also lead to overthinking. Specific foods can help bring the body back into balance (links to articles on food at the bottom of the page). Chinesemassage can also help bring the body into balance, ANDcalm the mind. A calm mind and balanced body can help you sleep better and stay healthy.
Chinese Massage for Sleep
When you massage, you are massaging the outer body. However, according to Chinese medicine and meridian theory, you also affect how Qi and Blood flow throughout the entire body, including internal organs and the brain.
You can feel an immediate sense of calm and release when massaging specific points, because you are releasing blocked energy. This sense of calm can help slow the chatterin your mind, preparing you for sleep. Not only do you calm the mind, you calm the spirit, leading to better well being.
Step-by-Step Guide to Chinese Self-Massage Techniques
Perform the following Chinese massage techniques before bed. You might want to practice during the day a few times, so you are familiar with each technique.
Bend fingers on both hands
Place the bent knuckle of the index finger on the inside of each eyebrow (left on left and right on right)
Swipe from the center of the brow to the outside of the brow
Repeat 30 times
Place right thumb on right temple
Massage in a clockwise circle 30 times
Repeat on the left side
Place fingertips on your forehead (left thumb on right temple, and right thumb on right temple)
Knead for 2 seconds
Sweep fingers of both hands upward to the top of the head
Repeat 30 times
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Dr. Juli Kramer received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, with a cognate in Counseling Psychology, has her M.A. in Psychology, and her B.A. in History and Political Science. Most of her professional career has been in education. Motivated by the deteriorating health conditions she sees in the United States, which are in direct contrast to the abundant health she saw while living in Shanghai, China, Juli wants to use her skills as an educator to teach people about the life-saving benefits of Chinese medicine.
View all posts by Juli at Radiant Shenti