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Acupuncturist shares his DIY tricks to help cure insomnia, sore backs and stiff necks

While many turn to western medicine when suffering from a mildly sore back, stiff neck or interrupted sleeping patterns, an Australian acupuncturist has revealed how these common problems may be relieved at home by massaging pressure points.

Brendan Smith, founder of the Sydney-based clinic Village Remedies, uses Chinese medicine practices to stimulate the body’s natural healing process and maintain optimal health.

‘In Chinese medicine, as the body is interconnected, there are specific areas which correspond to parts of the body – and so there’s usually a solution to most bodily problems people suffer from,’ Brendan told FEMAIL.

He said acupuncture can cause the body to dive into its own parasympathetic nervous state, known as ‘rest and digest’, where the body relaxes to heal and repair itself.

Brendan has also become a viral sensation on TikTok after sharing videos demonstrating the simple massaging tricks, which has attracted more than one million views and a following of over 100,000 people.

Brendan Smith (pictured), founder of the Sydney-based clinic Village Remedies, uses Chinese medicine practices to stimulate the body’s natural healing process and maintain optimal health

Identify the issue and the corresponding acupressure point  

Brendan said one of the easiest ways an individual can help treat pain themselves is by identifying the area that’s causing the issue and massaging the surrounding muscles or applying pressure to acupressure points. 

If the muscles are firmly massaged in the correct area, this can provide quick results.

In one of the TikTok videos, Brendan demonstrates how to ease a stiff neck by massaging two acupressure points and stretching.

On your opposing side to where the pain is in your neck, measure four fingers down from your hand and massage into your wrist while turning your head sideways. 

Although if symptoms or pain persists, Brendan recommends seeing a qualified professional. 

In one of the TikTok videos, Brendan demonstrates how to ease a stiff neck by massaging two acupressure points and stretching

On your opposing side where the pain is in your heck, measure four fingers down your arm from your hand and massage into your wrist while turning your head

In one of the TikTok videos, Brendan demonstrates how to ease a stiff neck by massaging two acupressure points and stretching 

How to cure insomnia and banish pain

INSOMNIA: 

1. With two or three fingers, slowly massage both sides of your neck in a circular motion one centimetre beneath your earlobes 

2. Gently pull your ears in a downwards motion ten times 

3. Repeat both as needed  

SORE NECK: 

1. On your opposing side to where the pain is in your neck, measure four fingers down from your hand and massage into your wrist while turning your head sideways 

2. In between your fourth and fifth toe, gently massage two centimetres down into the foot between the bone and muscle while turning your head sideways  

3. Massage your feet or give your feet a warm foot bath 

SORE BACK: 

1. Cross one leg onto your knee and gently lean forward while massaging one centimetre down between your fourth and fifth finger – do this for 30 seconds then switch your leg and do the same on the other hand 

2. While sitting on a chair, hold one side and lean in the opposite direction 

3. Massage your feet or give your feet a warm foot bath 

SINUS ISSUES:

1. Gently massage below your eyes, above your cheekbones and along your forehead in a circular motion with two or three fingers 

Source: Village Remedies TikTok

Switch the body from ‘fight or flight’ mode to ‘rest and digest’ mode

People suffer from insomnia for many reasons, and over the past few months an influx of people may have experienced interrupted sleep due to coronavirus-related stress, but Brendan says there are a few simple tricks anyone can do at home.

Brendan said when someone is stressed out and can’t get to sleep, this is known as the sympathetic nervous state as there is more cortisol and adrenalin in the body.

‘When we’re in this “fight or flight” state, your body tries to keep you awake and alert,’ he said. 

‘But the way to help someone improve their insomnia is to try get their body out of this sympathetic nervous state and move into the ‘rest and digest’ state.’ 

Brendan said the ‘best way’ to relax the body and calm the mind is through meditation and breathing exercises. 

He said for clients with insomnia, acupuncture helps reduce any pain, relax the chest muscles to encourage deeper breathing and stimulate the body’s digestive system. 

Brendan said for clients with insomnia, acupuncture helps reduce any pain, relax the chest muscles to encourage deeper breathing and stimulate the body's digestive system

Brendan said for clients with insomnia, acupuncture helps reduce any pain, relax the chest muscles to encourage deeper breathing and stimulate the body’s digestive system

Massage your hands and feet to help relax tight muscles

Brendan also said a number of upper and lower body pain can often be eased by rubbing your hands and feet – a process known as reflexology.  

‘Reflexology is a general practice part of Chinese medicine,’ Brandan said.

‘For example, if you have a sore neck or back you can use reflexology simply by massaging your hands to help relax the upper body.’

Brendan also said a number of upper and lower body pain can often be eased by rubbing your hands and feet - a process known as reflexology

'For example, if you have a stiff neck you can use reflexology simply by massaging your hands to help relax the neck and shoulders,' he said

Brendan also said a number of upper and lower body pain can often be eased by rubbing your hands and feet – a process known as reflexology 

The same method can also be applied to assist lower back strains by massaging pressure points in the feet or giving your feet a relaxing foot bath. 

According to research, reflexology may also reduce other pain and psychological symptoms including stress and anxiety.  

If you massage in the correct areas, this can ultimately stimulate a reaction from the nervous system to generate a healing response. 

To assist clients and customers with further, Village Remedies has published a simple, practical E-book to self-care acupressure that’s free to order off Kindle. 

WHAT IS REFLEXOLOGY? 

Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet (or the hands)

Reflexology is generally relaxing and may help alleviate stress

The theory behind reflexology is that areas of the foot correspond to organs and systems of the body

Pressure applied to the foot is believed to bring relaxation and healing to the corresponding area of the body 

Several studies indicate that reflexology may reduce pain and psychological symptoms, such as stress and anxiety, and enhance relaxation and sleep

Given that reflexology is also low risk, it can be a reasonable option if you’re seeking relaxation and stress relief  

Source: Mayoclinic

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