Our thoughts and sleepAccording to Chinese medicine, overthinking prevents 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). Chinese massage can also help bring the body into balance, AND calm the mind. A calm mind and balanced body can help you sleep better and stay healthy.
Chinese Massage for SleepWhen 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 chatter in 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 TechniquesPerform 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