In Part One and Part Two of the Sanctuary of Sleep, I explained some basics to working with chakras and meridians for insight into why you are not sleeping well.
The next step is using simple techniques to help your mind, body and spirit release blocks in your energy system and allow sleep to follow. Here are some of my favourite acupressure points, chakra balances and massages and how they can help you enjoy better and more effective sleep.
Acupressure is the gentle pressure of your hand or finger tips on acupoints – the points that lie along Traditional Chinese Medicine meridians. Never forget that one of the most powerful healing tools are your own hands! Each of the following techniques can be performed alone or by another person.
Calming and grounding after stress
If you find it difficult to wind down at the end of the day due to stress, or are in your head too much, then this is the technique for you. It is important to relax and tell your adrenal glands to switch off. By working with the Base chakra, which penetrates the adrenal glands, and the Kidney meridian, which connects you to your source and clears anxiety, your body is able to de-stress. There are a few ways to achieve this:
- Place your hands on the soles of your feet for 5-10 minutes
- Massage your feet
- Place two fingers or one thumb on the point below for 5-10 minutes.
This brings your energy down to Earth which has a grounding and calming effect. Make sure you are breathing slowly.
Emotional stress release and visual memory
Events may trigger a range of emotions and it is important to let go of these emotions and events each day. Storing emotions and thoughts in our energy system has an accumulative effect. As a result, a minor emotional response can quickly become an over-reaction as your body draws from the stored emotion. By placing your hand over your forehead for 5-10 minutes each evening, you encourage your body to release and rebalance. If you couple this with placing your other hand on the base of your skull, you will be clearing the mind and the visual memories of stress from the day. This technique balances meridians responsible for the mind and the Brow chakra responsible for our perceptions. It is incredibly calming and is best done lying down.
Settling the spirit in the body
As you lie down for sleep, your spirit will gently reside in your body for rest. Occasionally, our spirit does not settle and this can result in a restless body, mental loops, nightmares, wakefulness and insomnia. The 'Spirit Settlers' technique can be used to balance the Heart meridian, where our spirit resides. Place four fingers down your wrist, in line with your little finger. If you push into your wrist, you will feel a depression between two tendons. In the image below, you are using acupressure on points 4, 5, 6 and 7. It's nice to hold these points for 5-10 minutes in bed and if you wake up during the night.
Helping children to sleep
The lovely aspect of working with children is I find their energy systems clear more quickly than adults! This is most likely due to their lower amounts of 'baggage'. The first two techniques are best for children as you will find they enjoy massage and holding their head feels very comforting and supportive. You will only need to balance them for 1-3 minutes. You can try the Spirit Settler points on older children and teach them to do it for themselves. It's very empowering to know they can help themselves. Adding an essential oil such as lavender, chamomile, lime or sage to a carrier oil such as almond oil will add another layer of healing and enjoyment for your child.
As we re-wire our mind, body and spirit and teach ourselves to be calm and relax, sleep will naturally follow. There are many more techniques that you can try, so start with these and see how you go! Remember to rate your quality of sleep on a scale of 1-10. Each morning, record your night and evaluate your quality of sleep in a week's time. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know how you go!