You’re sitting at your desk immersed in work when that dreaded familiar feeling hits: that stressed-out feeling that threatens to derail your efforts of getting anything done. While the middle of the work day may not be the ideal time to head out for a soothing massage, you do have options you can employ right at your desk.
Enter the wonderful power of self-massage. Even better, you won’t have to move from your desk or get out any strange props that will have your co-workers wondering. A simple ear massage can help you de-stress and get back to your day. Here’s how.
See Also: How to Use Stress Productively
When it comes to self-massage, you can’t really get it wrong. Whatever feels good to you can help you de-stress and feel better, but try the following methods for massaging the ear: Gently squeeze the skin of the ear and roll the skin slightly between your fingers. You can also grasp the ear between two fingers and pull outward a little, twisting the skin. You can also try unrolling the outer portion of the ear, where it tends to roll inward. Give yourself an ear massage a few times a day to help you minimize stress.
An upside down baby
Acupuncture or acupressure practitioners think of the ear as an upside-down fetus, and a "microsystem" for the whole body, suggests licensed acupuncturist Nicole Cutler of the Institute for Integrative Healthcare, a continuing education provider for acupuncturists and other practitioners. The bottom of the ear -- where the ear lobe is -- represents the head, and the feet are near the top of the ear. With that in mind, try targeting areas of the body that are bothering you.
Areas to target
If you have a tension headache from too much work or stress at work, or your eyes are strained from too much time spent looking at the computer, focus your gentle massage techniques on the acupressure point that benefits the eyes. To target the eyes, rub the loose skin at the bottom of the ear lobe, at the center of the lobe, and then continue massaging inward toward the jaw.
If you have pain in your temples, move your fingers up a little bit, away from the bottom of the ear lobe, and massage the skin where it meets the tougher ear cartilage.
If your feet are sore from walking around or standing for your job, gently massage the top of the ear near its top curve, on both the inner and outer parts of the ear. For stomach issues, meanwhile, gently massage the top portion of the ear, at its center. And as you’ll see from the above diagram, another key portion of the ear to target for stress relief is in the top portion, closer to where the ear meets the head.
When you massage any part of your ear, you’ll be activating your central nervous system and working to release endorphins, reminds Cutler, which can help you to minimize stress.
If you’re wearing earrings, remove them while you do the massage. Combine these ear massage techniques with other activities such as regular exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep to help you get through your days happier and healthier.
See Also: How to Fight Stress in 10 Easy Steps
Do you use any of these techniques? Would you recommend them?