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Grounding Yourself with Acupressure

by Dr. Elizabeth Langer

When your life is in transition, and everything seems like it's spiraling out of control, getting yourself to a more grounded state is essential to restore your peace and sense of security.

But how do you ground yourself? And what does it mean exactly?

To be grounded means you have an overall feeling of stability, safety, and assurance that everything will be okay. When you are grounded, you function better as you feel more centered and secure. However, this can be a difficult state to achieve, especially when the turmoil is coming from outside factors (i.e. a pandemic) as well as from within yourself (fear, anxiety, worry).

Understanding the connection between the mind and body can help you to achieve a grounded state. When you work on your body, you are working on your mind, and when you heal your mind, you can heal your body. Physical practices such as Yoga and Taiji (Tai Chi) are powerful tools to facilitate grounding as they help connect and integrate your mind and body.

Walking in your bare feet and getting out into nature are other ways to ground yourself. You literally establish a direct connection with the Earth. While not everyone has access to nature, if you are fortunate enough to surround yourself with the natural world… take off your shoes... take a breath… and take it all in.

Another way to ground yourself is through meditation. Not only does meditation clear your mind, but it also resets your nervous system, reduces your heart rate, and improves clarity and focus.

But what if you can't practice Yoga or Taiji, get outside, or are having problems meditating? Acupressure is a simple yet powerful tool for grounding yourself. Examples of grounding acupressure points are Kidney 3, Stomach 36, and Kidney 1.

  • Kidney 3 (Taixi) brings awareness back to your body, calms your emotions, and nourishes you from the inside out. It is located in the depression between your Achille's tendon and your inside ankle bone. Be gentle when applying pressure to this tender point... try using your ring finger to start.
  • Stomach 36 (Zusanli) can help ground you by stimulating the production of Qi and Blood that provide the energy and nutrients to nourish your entire body. It is located on your shin below the kneecap, about a finger's width lateral to the tibial tuberosity – that little bump on the kneecap.
  • Another acupressure point that is wonderful for grounding is Kidney 1 (Yong Quan). Perhaps, the ultimate grounding point, Kidney 1 establishes both a physical and energetic connection to the Earth. It is located on the ball of your foot, in between your first and second toes. On a personal note, if I am overwhelmed and stressed out, I imagine sending waves of energy to the souls of my feet, specially to Kidney 1. I find that I feel much calmer and am better able to focus.

Returning to center and remaining in a state of peace can seem impossible when life is spinning out of your control.  And I am still learning how to stay grounded when things get a little crazy.  A lot of times I feel scattered and overwhelmed.  Tools such as Yoga, Taiji, mediation, and acupressure have helped me along my journey back to center.  Perhaps you will find that they help you as well.  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and I would be happy to chat.