In this humble offering before the next longer post, I wanted to share this simple but calming tool to soothe your nervous system. It’s especially useful if feelings of stress, fear, or anxiety are taking over, and worsening pain.
2-Minute Healing Technique To Relax Your Nervous System
This deceptively simple, two-minute technique can offer you a moment’s healing respite when stress is high, and symptoms consequently increasing. It relaxes your entire nervous system. It’s soothing to your body, calming to your mind, helping to quieten overthinking, and in activating the calming parasympathetic wing of your CNS* — it also helps lessen some of the pain.
When you live with an oversensitive nervous system that can flare at the slightest stimuli, having techniques such as this one become invaluable coping tools. A healing acupressure pairing to know are the GB 20 (Gall Bladder 20), also called the ‘Gates of Consciousness’ points. Using this technique also helps ease headaches that are caused or worsened by the stress of living with pain and illness.
Find the GB 20 (also named the ‘Gates of Consciousness’) acupressure points, below the base of the skull and between the two vertical neck muscles. These are the green points in the image below.
Feel for the two hollows on either side (below the occipital ridge and between the trapezius and other neck muscles), about three or four finger widths apart (scroll down for image).
Press in these hollows, underneath the base of your skull and on both sides, while breathing smoothly, deeply, and evenly. You may feel a subtle pulse on these points.
Next, gradually apply a little more pressure, and then — only if it is not contraindicated for you and your condition — carefully tilt your head back so that you direct this pressure by leaning onto your thumbs or fingers.
Relax into this, and keep breathing deeply, staying in this position for about two minutes.
Disclaimer: Not being one to omit the disclaimer for the hard of thinking, nor to doubt your own inherent wisdom, obviously do not try this if it is in any way contraindicated for your condition, pain, or cause of pain. If in doubt, always check with your doctor.
Read the extended post on coping with anxiety — complete with many more calming, and healing techniques — here: How to Cope When Chronic Pain Increases Anxiety—With Tools to Calm & Soothe
*Central Nervous System
This two minute acupressure exercise helped loosen my jaw muscles and I felt a sense of calming relaxation.
Thank you, Cindy. So lovely to read your comment, and see that it helped you. I find acupressure invaluable, especially as it’s available, free, and so soothing, calming, and effective. Gentle hug x
Lucy Phillips says
I only managed this for about 10 seconds but had a pleasant floaty calm feeling afterwards. I will try it when I’m in more pain. Thanks for tip.
You’re welcome, Lucy. Really lovely to hear and hope it increases in calm. <3 x
Helen Hopkins says
Is PT helpful with RSD.
Very much so, Helen, essential in fact but go VERY GENTLE & SLOWLY. You may like to read this post with lots more info on managing RSD/CRPS, and this with a guide to the condition itself. Good luck & the greatest strength. ♥ x
Can you please explain the picture? I understand where the points are from the words, but the splayed hands have me confused. Isn’t this pressure supposed to be applied at a single point below the occipital area? Help!
It is, Lori, and sure. Ignore where the model’s hands are, just see the points marked in green circles. In looking for an image with a clear view of the neck, seem to have made it a little confusing! I’ll edit this now. Let me know if you enjoy this practice as I have many more I can share. Gentle hugs ?
I will try your technique since my anxiety level is high !!!’ Thank you I hope it works !!!
Grateful Nervous Nelly says
Thank you for this technique! It’s helpful. You may be happy to know you rank on the first page of Google for “how to calm your nervous system as reciprocation for sharing this technique. Good vibes, good karma. Much love to all. 🤗
Jamie Hyde says
As a massage therapist I use this move on my clients at the beginning of every massage. It is very relaxing pain-relieving and gives the client a feeling of well-being.
Humayun Kabir says
Thank you very much!
It really works…awesome.
davinder bhagat says
As a reflexologist i use this feel good point for my patients, really it gives calm feeling to the patients.