All exercise classes end with a cool-down session of some kind. Next time you are working out, why not finish with a little acupressure and self-massage? Both of these techniques, though they may not be so relaxing as when performed by someone else, can be an efficient way to reduce tension and stress, increase qi flow, and tone and relax muscles after exercise.
Using any of the following acupoints will help relax muscles of the facethat may have been stressed during exercise, and restore calmness to mind and body:Yintang (ex pt) , GV 19, GV 16. Rub the palms of your hands together briskly until they are warm. Place over closed eyes and hold for about 30 seconds. Then press one or more acupoints and hold for 30 seconds. Circle the whole face with your fingertips, gently massage the neck upwards, and finish by rubbing your ears thoroughly as if you were washing them.
Massaging the shoulders and arms will help reduce tension, and bring fresh blood to the surface of the skin, firming and toning the arms. Rub your hands with a washing motion to massage the hands and fingers until warm. Press one or more acupoints, holding for 30 seconds: GB 20, TW 15, LI 14, TW 4, P 7, P 6. Stroke the palm of the right hand, the inside of the right arm and over the shoulder, then back down the outside of the arm and the back of the hand. Repeat this massaging motion on both sides 3 times.
For abdomen, hips and lower back choose acupoints B 23, B 47, B 48 and CV 6 to strengthen and alleviate any soreness. Massage your hips and lower back using circular motions and firm pressure.
Use the following acupoints to strengthen, stimulate circulation and relieve muscle aches in legs and knees: ST 36, B 54, K 6. Using both hands at the same time, left on left leg, right on right leg, massage down the outside of the legs to the ankles, and back up the inside of the legs. Then massage down the backs of the legs and up the insides. Repeat 3 times. Finish by massaging the kneecaps with a circular motion to help promote production of synovial fluid for increased flexibility. Next, rotate ankles and feet in both directions, and wriggle the toes.
This yoga facelift increases circulation in face and head for a clearer mind, improved skin tone and a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. From a seated position on a chair, bend over from the hips so that your head hangs between your knees. Relax the arms and let them dangle by your sides. Relax all muscles of face and neck and let the mouth open slightly. Breathing is light and through the nose. Remain in this position for about a minute. NB If you feel dizzy or lightheaded at any time, slowly and gently raise your head and discontinue. Next day try again, reducing the time to 10 seconds and gradually increasing, if and when it becomes more comfortable. When you come out of the position, do so by rolling yourself upward until your back is straight, at the same time breathing in.
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