From: Kindo Integrated Health Center
890 Elm Grove Rd.
Elm Grove, WI
Contact: Dr. Arthur Rapkin,
or Jordan Fox, (414) 352-2645
(Milwaukee, Sept. 28, 2010) Anxiety, headaches, depression, difficulty in breathing, insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, fatigue…All of these conditions are rippling throughout the fabric of our lives here in the Milwaukee area and elsewhere.
“We’ve been hit in recent years by the significant downturn in our economy and the resultant unemployment, stock market uncertainty, the potential of terrorism, and stressful feelings of uncertainty, fear, worry and anger. These factors are negatively affecting the health of the workplace and our personal health,” says Dr. Arthur Rapkin, long-time Milwaukee area health and wellness expert.
To strengthen the body’s ability to withstand stress and to reduce those harmful effects of stress, Dr. Rapkin, who practices oriental medicine at his Kindo Integrated Health Center, Elm Grove, suggests these acupressure, breathing and visualization techniques:
Acupressure Points: You can find specific acupressure points on the inside aspect of each of your arms, approximately two inches above the wrist and between the two tendons. These points have an energetic influence on your body, and when pressed deeply with the thumb of your opposite hand for 20 to 60 seconds, they will reduce the stress present in your body and relaxation will occur. If you then switch to the other arm, you’ll increase that effect.
Breathing: Coupled with the acupressure is a breathing technique that involves expanding your belly as you are inhaling deeply. Most people don’t do this because they are shallow breathers. Done correctly this has a strong effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, the system that causes relaxation. It releases the energy that has built up. And typically, it’s built up in the chest, neck and head, possibly causing significant pain.
Visualization: Closing your eyes and visualizing the most calming, peaceful place you’ve ever seen can also help relax you. For example, visualize the sun glittering on the waters of Lake Michigan as it rises in the eastern horizon. Whatever you can do each day to enrich your inner spirit is important. The rest of that day, whatever curve balls that may come your way, you can remember and visualize that magic place. That inner vision can help you get through a tough day.
Another type of visualization can be helpful to alleviate the pain of headaches or tense muscles, says Rapkin. “By closing your eyes for a moment and expanding your belly upon inhalation, you can visualize breathing in fresh, clean, vibrant air that is removing the stress from your system. With every exhalation, imagine that you are letting go of the tension and the toxic feelings within you. If you do this correctly you’ll find that you are both relaxing and invigorating your body and diminishing the pain caused by stress.”
Rapkin explains that utilizing self-administered acupressure points, proper breathing and positive visualization “is very effective” in alleviating stress..
“Stress-caused conditions can’t help but reduce the performance levels of individuals at home or in the workforce. Their concentration and focus diminish. Low productivity, absenteeism, poor decision-making result. The affects of stress cost our companies in the form of spiraling health claims, and workmen’s comp claims.”
Oriental medicine techniques can reduce these costs that affect our personal and business bottom lines, he says. “Today’s oriental medicine is an energy medicine that unblocks the flow of chi, the life force in the human body. It is derived from ancient but effective methods and is based on a principle called energetics. Chi supports anatomical and physiological functioning; by balancing chi you promote health and well-being.”
(Please note: Dr. Rapkin is available to speak on wellness topics (at no charge) to employee and community groups. For more information or to schedule a presentation, contact Jordan Fox, 414-352-2645 or [email protected].)