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For years, some people scoffed at traditional Chinese medicine, but today, this 2,500-year-old practice of traditional Chinese medicine is a globally accepted method of treatment for many health problems, including for alleviating stress and anxiety. In fact, Dr. W. Kenneth Riland, personal physician to former President Richard Nixon, believed that acupuncture would be “one of the greatest contributions that any group of people has made to the future of all medicine.”
Traditional Chinese medicine follows the belief that every person has specific acupressure points all across the body that lie along what’s called energy meridians. A person’s life force, or qi, flows through these energy points and acupressure will help stimulate them if they aren’t functioning up to par. Chinese theory identifies 12 of these energy meridians that connect major organs and keep the body balanced. When one of these energy points aren’t working properly, your body won’t work properly either.
By applying pressure to certain parts of the body, a person can ease the side effects of stress and anxiety. Commonly called acupressure, which is similar to acupuncture but without the needles, pressure applied to an area called CV 17 provides immediate relief. CV 17 stands for conception vessel 17, the chest center. If you are feeling stressed or anxious, this area will be sore when you apply pressure to it. The CV 17 area feeds into the pericardium energy center of the body, which protects the heart. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the heart is the seat of a body’s emotions and when a person is stressed, this area becomes sore and is out of sync.
It’s also been explained that because of its location in the center of the upper torso, the CV 17 also balances the levels of yin (reflective, quiet) and yang (action-oriented, energetic) energy levels of the body and will bring your body and emotion and physical sense back in balance. Accupressure believers say that any imbalances in a person’s nervous system can be remedied by applying pressure to the CV 17, even boosting the immune system.
How To Find CV 17
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- The CV 17 area is located four finger-widths up from the base of the breastbone, almost at the center of the chest. It’s also known as the sea of tranquility in Chinese medicine.
- Place your fingertips in the small indent in this area and gently, slowly, rub up and down the center of the breastbone to find the spot.
- Then sit so your spine is straight and upright, palms placed together with the fingers pointing upward. This is called the prayer pose.
What To Do With CV 17
- Once seated in the prayer pose position, use the back of the knuckles of your thumb to gently press into the center of the CV 17 area for two to three minutes.
- Be sure to close your eyes.
- Continue to inhale and exhale deeply and regularly.
- Keep your head upright, but not tense.
- Another effective way to do this is to gingerly place the middle fingertip on top of the CV 17, resting your index and ring fingertips just above and below that point.
- You also can gently tap this area with your fingers, which some say is a helpful manner in which to fall asleep at night.
How CV 17 Offers Stress and Anxiety Relief
- First of all, the deep breathing used in this treatment encourages the body to relax.
- Pressure applied to the CV 17 aids in stress and anxiety relief.
Not only does manipulating the CV 17 pressure area help in alleviating stress and anxiety, it also helps relax those who have depression, chronic fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder, hormonal imbalances and during the recovery phase after an injury or surgery.
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Author: Kristin is a veteran award-winning journalist proficient in creating social media content (blogs, posts, websites, articles) and print pieces. She also has years of experience not just on the news desk, but also with a public relations firm where she worked with national and global clients garnering them placements in print and on the air.