We all know that feeling of dread, whether it’s from a looming meeting or just the pressure of too many tasks to complete. It can be hard to contain the rising feelings of anxiety on your own, but with these quick and simple DIY hand massages, you can create a moment of calm wherever you are.
It’s actually been scientifically proven that massages – or physical touch in particular – can help relieve stress and anxiety. And by learning these five routines, focusing on key pressure points, you can restore balance whenever and wherever you need to, no appointment required. Whether you use them individually or together, they’re quick, discreet and soothing. No-one will notice a thing, apart from you.
1. Activate your body’s natural relaxation response, with the Union Valley pressure point. With your index finger and thumb, apply firm pressure to the webbing between the thumb and index finger of your other hand, for four to five seconds. Breathe deep and feel the pressure melting off.
2. Hold your left hand up, palm facing you, fingers together. Use your right thumb to massage the fleshy spot between your left thumb and index finger for a slow count of 15. Switch hands and repeat to slow your breathing and heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and bring your body and mind back into balance.
3. With your hand in a similar position to number 2, use the thumb of your other hand to massage small circles over the base of each finger. About five seconds each, repeat three to five times.
4. If stress has been tiring you out, pinch just below the first joint of your pinkie with the thumb and index finger of the opposite hand. Remember that this is still a light pressure, it shouldn’t hurt. Increase the pressure slightly and make small counterclockwise circular movements for about 20 seconds. Release. Wait for ten seconds and repeat up to five times. Switch hands.
5. Clasp your fingers together and rub the heels of your palms together in a circular motion. Without unclasping your hands, use your thumb to massage underneath the thumb of the opposite hand. Work towards the centre of your palm in circular motions, then repeat on the other hand. Pull your hands apart, rotate your wrists and knead your hands all over. Gently tug each finger one by one, and finish by pinching the webbing between each finger.