This 3-Minute Acupressure Routine Will Help Clear Your Brain Fog — Stat

Photo: Nabi Tang

Paige Bourassa is a licensed acupuncturist with a thriving practice in the heart of New York City. Paige has joined mbg to create a new class that gives you the tools you need to relieve pain with acupressure, a simple technique that you can do sitting at your desk or lying down at home. Sign up here for her exclusive live webinar on February 13 to get your personal acupressure questions answered! 

Ever felt like you’re moving underwater? Or maybe just your brain is? It can hit you in the middle of the day, after the morning coffee has worn off and your lunch is happily sitting in your stomach—productivity slows and brain fog rolls in. Or maybe you’re a Monday morning brain fog person, where you just aren’t moving as quickly as the day and people around you.

Either way, it can be frustrating and overwhelming when your brain isn’t firing the way it should be. When I have patients complain of brain fog (which is different from headaches), I immediately look into diet, as there are many things hidden in our daily meals that can contribute to slower-than-usual thinking. The main culprits are typically dairy, gluten, sugar, and many other additives to foods we ingest. The best way to alleviate brain fog with diet is to consume mostly whole foods, fresh produce, and to buy from local farms and gardens. That way you can be sure your food isn’t traveling from far and wide, which typically requires preservatives that make their way into your system. Once your diet is cleaned up, and even if it’s on its way to being clean, these quick acupressure techniques can help excite and clear your brain fog on the spot.

To help lift your brain fog, stimulate each of those points for 60 to 90 seconds with moderate pressure, then move to the next one in the cycle. You can do this cycle two to three times when you are feeling tired and sluggish and then get up, move around the room, and take some deep breaths. Moving chi (or energy) with acupressure and then oxygenating yourself is a sure way to liven up your body and get the brain juices flowing again! These three acupressure hot spots will help you clear your mind and fight brain fog:

1. Si Shen Cong, 4 Extraordinary Points on the top of your head.

Si Shen Cong are a group of four acupuncture points located on top of the head. They belong to a group of points, called "Extraordinary Points." The Si Shen Cong points have a strong stimulating effect on all aspects of the mind and spirit or "Shen." They are also used for headache, vertigo, insomnia, epilepsy, and of course, brain fog. They also help to clear the mind and calm the Shen, which can help with decision making in stressful situations.

Locate these points: You can locate these points by locating the vertex of the head, finding the midpoint (this location is the acupoint DU20 below), then finding a group of four points, about one inch respectively anterior, posterior, and two points lateral to the midpoint DU20.

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2. DU20, the vertex of your head.

DU20 is also a powerful point for the brain and has a calming effect on the Shen. It has a very strong raising function, which makes it excellent for stirring up the mind and bringing your attention back. It can increase yang energy in the body, which leaves you feeling warm and invigorated. It is located at the vertex of the head, or very top of it.

Locate these points: The easiest way to find DU20 is to gently fold over the ears back to front and from the top where they come to a point when you have folded them, connect that line to the top of the head and that where you will find DU20. The DU meridian starts below the tip of the tailbone and runs up the midline of the body, over the head and ends on the inside of the upper lip where the frenulum joins the upper lip and gum.

It’s an incredibly powerful meridian for brain fog and all cognitive functions as it is said to innervate the brain.

3. KI 1, or Kidney 1, on the bottom of your foot.

Kidney 1 is the lowest and most grounding point on the body. The kidney meridian begins on the bottom of the foot at kidney 1 and innervates the kidneys, the reproductive organs, runs all the way up the body and terminates under the clavicle at Kidney 27.

Locate these points: You’ll find Kidney 1 on the sole of the foot, between the second and third metatarsal (foot bones), approximately one-third of the distance between the base of the second toe and the heel, in a depression formed when the foot is plantar flexed, like when you make a step-down motion.

Applying pressure with your fingers is an excellent way to stimulate this point. Stimulating Kidney 1 floods the body with kidney energy that has many beneficial effects including improving memory, strengthening focus, and improving hearing.

Stay tuned—Paige's acupressure class launches next week!

Paige Bourassa, MSTOM, L.Ac., RHN

Acupuncturist, Herbologist & Founder Of Shen
Paige Bourassa is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbologist, Holistic Nutritionist and sushi fanatic who runs her private practice in the heart of Manhattan. After studying Holistic Nutrition and Psychology, Paige became fascinated with the psyches link to illness and went on to pursue her Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine focusing on treating psycho-emotional disorders and pain. She prides herself on blending ancient Chinese Medicine with modern science then adding humor and reality to treat regular people who don't know how to pronounce quinoa. Originally a gypsy wild child from Vancouver, Canada, Paige has a passion for healing and adventure which she found happily go hand in hand while treating patients in New York City. For more information or to see how non-threatening the needles are in person, you can contact her here paige@shenmedicine.com, visit her website or her Instagram and Twitter for health tips and general randomness @theacuchick.
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Paige Bourassa, MSTOM, L.Ac., RHN

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