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Curb Your Cravings with Acupressure
By: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM

Yum...The first satisfying bite of a lovely piece of chocolate cake! There's nothing wrong with enjoying a nice dessert and delighting in the sweetness of it. However, when one piece leads to eating more than your stomach can handle, or when a sugar craving becomes a constant factor in your daily life, it may be time to take action and curb the cravings. By applying self-massage, also known as acupressure, it may be possible to nip certain cravings for food or other substances before they become too big to handle.

There is a simple technique that can help stop unhealthy food cravings, and it may also prevent overeating. Have a seat and take a couple deep breaths with your eyes closed. Next, place four fingers underneath your rib cage. Your pointer finger should be against the bottom of your ribs. The fingers should line up vertically with the nipple line. Without lifting your fingers, use moderate pressure to press and slowly make small circles. Keeping pressing for up to five minutes or until your appetite is under control.

Sometimes cravings for unhealthy things can cause guilt, anxiety, or any number of negative emotions. If this happens, try acupressure at a point called Yin Tang. Yin Tang is located on the forehead, between the eyebrows. In mystical terms, it is known as the 'third eye' and is believed to be the source of intuitive abilities. This technique requires a gentle touch. Simply place the pad of one your fingers to the point and let it rest, without force. It may help strengthen your resolve and willpower, if you can concentrate on relaxing for the duration of this exercise. There is no time limit for how long you can do this.

If your craving is strong and you need to get hold of yourself quickly, you can literally do that with this next technique. Give yourself a hug by placing your left palm on the top of your right shoulder, and placing your right palm over your left shoulder. Your thumbs should be resting against your neck. Hold tight and apply pressure with your hands at your shoulders, and simultaneously press your elbows into your chest. This acupressure technique provides a double treatment for the body and mind.

While the area being pressed upon by the hands has the function of helping to calm the mind, the pressure from your elbows gently, but firmly squeezing against your chest may assist in curbing your appetite. This may be the case even if your 'appetite' is for non-food items, such as cigarettes or cigars. However, if your cravings are difficult to resist, it may be prudent to make an appointment with your acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioner to determine the best course of treatment.

Contact a practitioner near you to learn how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist with managing cravings!

Learn more about acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for addiction and weight management!

About the Author:   Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.