Your natural health

Acupressure - the cost-free alternative

Acupressure seems to work best when you have the benefit of someone else's energy to apply the pressure - but even if you're alone, try these methods to gain relief. They don't cost a dime, and even if they don't work perfectly for you, they feel good! Practice makes perfect, so keep trying them.

Hold each point for one to two minutes.

Headache: reach one hand across your chest and rest your fingers on the highest point of your opposite shoulder. Breathe in deeply, expanding your shoulder into your fingers.

Pinch your middle finger, just at and behind the nail line. Do this on both hands - if one feels sore, keep working on it until the soreness dissipates. You can get little adhesive "bullets" from an acupuncturist to apply to these points when the headache is severe.

Press and massage the "fat part" at the base of your thumb. Again, sore spots need the most attention.

Massage your feet, working out sore spots especially along the arch and on the heels.

Neck stiffness: Placing both thumbs at the back of your neck, find the dip at the base of your skull. Tilt your head back and let its weight press into your thumbs.

Insomnia: While sitting, rest your right ankle on your left thigh. Press your right thumb about 3 inches up from your ankle.

Sinus Congestion: Many find relief by firmly massaging their toes, especially the ends of the toes.

Flagging Energy: Massage the ears by gentle pinching and pulling. Start at the top and work your way down to your jaw line. Your ears have pressure points that affect your whole body, so this exercise is good for you in ways you might not even feel at the time.