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Name: Hara or Sea of Energy (Conception Vessel 6)

Location: Directly between the belly button, two finger width down.

To Hold: You can place your three middle fingers of either hand, on the point area, and press down an inch or two until you reach a firm spot. Or, you can use a more relaxed hold and place the palm of one hand gently on your belly, below your belly button, right over the point.

You can use one hand, or both, with one hand over the other. Remember to relax your hands and arms and shoulders. You can hold this while standing (evenly on both feet), sitting (with both feet flat on the ground, back straight), or lying down.

Hold for one or two minutes, while taking slow deep breaths.

This is a point that is your Center. It’s the center of our energy–as reflected in the name “Sea of Energy”. It is effective for relieving discomforts that affect the lower abdomen area: digestive issues, constipation, gas, chronic diarrhea, menstrual pain . Also helps strengthen the lower back, and addressing energy-related issues like chronic fatigue syndrome.

** You are encouraged you to seek the advice of a qualified health care provider for questions about a medical condition. **

This recent article in the LA Times, Acupressure bands for that sickening feeling, by the aptly named “Healthy Skeptic”, talks about the wristbands that hit the P6 acupressure point and help address nausea.

It cites a couple of studies that focus on the efficacy of this acu-point, which attest to how well it works, with the wristband, and with the thumb.

In a study published in 2001, for example, [Robert Stern, a professor of psychology at Penn State University who studies motion sickness and nausea] and colleagues tested Acuband wristbands on subjects who had endured a session in a stomach-churning machine that uses spinning images to trigger motion sickness. As advertised, the bands helped fend off queasiness.

That study said the benefit of the wristband is that it won’t slip and can help focus the pressure. But the pressure of a thumb can work, too.

In July of this year, researchers published a study showing that hands-on acupressure — without wristbands — reduced nausea in women receiving hard-core chemotherapy for breast cancer. The technique didn’t make a difference immediately after the chemo, but the benefits became apparent in the 10 days that followed. A control group of women who were taught to perform acupressure on a spot away from P6 didn’t enjoy any such respite.

I’ve had clients and students tell me that they’ve used these while traveling on all kinds of transportation: cars, buses, boats and planes. Some tour operators have them on hand for their bus travelers. You might want to consider getting a set for your next vacation or trip.

Reference: Post on the acu-point: Inner Gate (P6), includes instructions and photos. Click here to purchase.

LOVE YOUR TOES! 

I say this to my clients and students often.  Why? Because our feet work so hard for us, and are often neglected, as so much swirls around our heads.  Love your toes and ground yourself.

If you’re having a hard time sleeping because your mind’s racing, spend some time rubbing, squeezing and massaging your toes and feet before you go to sleep.  Do this yourself, or ask your partner to do this for you.  Even a few minutes will feel wonderful.

I haven’t liked my toes or my feet much; my feet are flat and not cute in the dance shoes that I wish I could wear.  But that changed with yoga.  Now I spend a lot of time looking at my toes, and they’re kind of cute! 

So, one way I love my toes is to dress them up once in a while with nail polish.  But I’ve been reluctant to do this too much because the nail polish and nail polish removers are gross.  They smell like chemicals and unhealthy.  Forget about going into a nail salon! 

I finally did something about this. 

Yesterday, I bought non-toxic biodegradable nailpolish remover ($9.99) and a water-based nail polish–desert sunset color ($8.99) from Sun Coat.  (Bought at Real Food Co. in San Francisco, on Polk Street.)  No chemical solvents such as toluene, acetates and alcohol; no pthalates; no formaldehyde.  And no smell!  The conventional nail polish I had on my toenails came off well.  I’ll say it again, No Smell!  I’ll paint my nails again later and will report back.  (My friend told me about another line of healthier nail polish: No Miss Nail Polish.)

PS: Back to a busy mind.  One way to deal with this is to turn it upside down.  Try legs-up-the-wall yoga pose.