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.
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.