What’s the quickest way to relax? It’s not a massage, a nap, a glass of wine, or any type of comfort food you can imagine…although those things all sound pretty amazing. No, the quickest way to calm yourself and relax your body is by doing one simple thing: clamping a clothespin on your ear lobe.
Sounds a little weird, we’ll be the first to admit it. But this kind of pressure on your ear has been proven help with health issues like bodily aches, pain and even addiction.
This is called reflexology, an alternative medicine technique involving the application of pressure to the body with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques. This method is based on a system of zones and reflex areas that purportedly effect various body parts, depending on which zone is being worked on.
In this case, we’re talking about applying pressure to the ear. Using the ears is kind of like an “all-purpose” reflexology session; there are six pressure points on the year and each one applies to a different part of your body, from your shoulders to your feet and everywhere in between.
If you don’t have time or the money to head to a professional to have them work your ears, you can perform some reflexology techniques on your own. Dr. Richard Randig, a board certified relexologist, has a great technique to help you ease into an at-home session.
To begin, sit in a comfortable chair. If necessary, pull any hair out of the way before gently pressing your ear lobes and pulling them downwards. Trace the outer edges of your ears several times.
Make sure to pay attention to your body, as well as your ears, and note any pain or irritation you feel when you squeeze various parts of your ear. Gently put pressure on each point of the outer ear (as shown in the above diagram) or focus on one problem area.
If you’re planning on hitting all pressure points, you should hold pressure for about five seconds in each spot before moving on. Repeat five times before moving on to your other ear. If you’re focusing on one area only, hold that gentle pressure for about 30 seconds.
Using a clothespin works the same way; clip the pin on each of the six pressure points on your outer ear for five seconds, or focus the pin on one specific area. Putting pressure on the lobe of your ear can ease headaches, while other pressure points on the outer ear can help with tummy troubles, sinus pressure and back and shoulder pain.
Now, reflexology hasn’t necessarily been proved to relieve any specific illnesses or make chronic pain disappear. While some might swear by the daily use of these pressure points, others say it doesn’t do much to help pain in the body. It should also be noted that some experts will disagree with one another on which pressure points work best to alleviate physical pain in various body parts.
However, we definitely suggest you give reflexology a try for yourself and see how it works for you!