Top Tips For How To Manage Anxiety at Shine Salons in Stoke Newington, London

SH Marian F photoAs an acupuncturist and advanced EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping practitioner, I was fortunate to have been able to continue working over the last two years of the pandemic, both in person and on-line. I worked with people individually and also offered group tapping sessions both for clients and practitioners. As well as developing a new area of clinical practice, namely treating people with Long Covid from the spring of 2020, working with people with anxiety became more prevalent.

We have all faced different challenges over the last two years and certainly more and unexpected uncertainties in many areas of our lives. Acupuncture and tapping has helped many people navigate their way through these times and as a holistic practitioner, I aim to give my clients resources and tools that they can use at home, to empower themselves and help calm the nervous system, when circumstances arise that trigger anxiety and the associated unpleasant physical sensations that accompany it.

I have gathered together some simple self-help tips to help manage those uncomfortable feelings of anxiety. We all know what it feels like when anxiety is affecting us – life can feel overwhelming; it’s hard to focus and to get things done; negative thoughts, usually involving fears about the future dominate and it is very hard to stay in the present moment.

Simple Techniques To Help Manage Anxiety...

Below are some simple techniques drawing from Qi gong practice, stimulating acupressure points and meridians and simple breathing techniques. They don’t take long to do and will hopefully help to shift your energy and to calm your nervous system.



  • Apply light pressure on acupuncture points on the upper chest using one to two fingers – with one or both hands, whichever is more comfortable for you. You can do this standing up or sitting down with eyes open or closed.
  • Start at the centre of your chest – level with the nipple line and move upwards on the midline in applying light circles in a clockwise direction.
  • You can also apply the sound associated with the Heart in Chinese medicine – a long deep Haaaaa sound which makes you feel the vibration in your chest. See if you can make one long sound as you move upwards to the top of the sternum (breast bone). The Heart is associated with the Shen or spirit in Chinese medicine and is related to a sense of calm and good quality sleep when things are in balance.
  • Move back down to the centre of your chest and this time, use both hands and apply the same circular pressure, but this time on either side of the breast bone, in the spaces between the ribs – using the same Haaaa sound.
  • If you have woken up in the night, you can do this but imagine making the sound silently if you don’t want to wake others!
  • You can also knock on the two areas mentioned above, lightly tapping with the tips of your fingers. It is not recommended to do this in the two hours before you go to sleep as it is too stimulating.
  • You decide what feels best for you.

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  • Gently tap down the inside of the arm from the armpit to the wrist on the inner arm, on the little finger side.
  • Squeeze the inner wrist gently with the other hand.
  • Sweep over the palm of the hand with the palm of the other hand as if you are brushing something off – like dust.
  • You can imagine brushing something off your body that is not helpful to you or that you would like to get rid off. You might have an image of this or a thought or just focus on the action.
  • As you brush off the palm of the hand, do a nice big exhale through the mouth at the same time as though you are letting go of something. You can choose to do this with the mouth open or as if you were blowing out candles.

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  • Place both palms over the left side of the chest - without actually touching.
  • Imagine glowing warm embers radiating from this area.
  • Focus on something that you are grateful for right now.
  • Send love and compassion to yourself.
  • Then send love and compassion to someone you know that could benefit from this right now.


  • Stand with your feet hip width apart and knees relaxed.
  • Start bouncing lightly on the spot whilst at the same time, with your arms by your sides, gently shake your arms and hands.
  • Each of the meridians also has an associated sound. You can make the sound Shhhhh – for the Liver. This encourages the Liver energy to move the Qi (energy) and helps to release any feelings of anger, frustration and depression.
  • The sound Haaaaa – like a long sigh – is the sound associated with the Heart and has a calming relaxing effect as mentioned above.


When we are feeling anxious, there is often a lot of activity going on in the upper body – uncomfortable sensations in the chest; crowded thoughts and a busy mind. This exercise, takes our focus of attention to the lower body and helps us to ground ourselves in the feet.

  • Stand with your feet close together
  • Circle your palms around the navel in a clockwise direction.
  • Breathe into your lower belly
  • If you are sitting at your desk and feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take your attention down to your feet – feeling the connection to the ground.
  • Focus your attention onto the area behind the balls of your feet. This point is called Kidney 1 and is the most yin point on the body being on the sole of the foot. With its connection to the ground, focussing on this point, encourages the Yin qualities of nourishing, stillness, downward and grounding energy.
  • If you have access to outside space – you can also do this standing with bare feet on the earth.


Rub a drop of lavender essential oil into both inner wrists on the little finger side, before bedtime.

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We hold a lot of tension in our jaw and also in the muscles of the face in general. Grinding teeth at night, with all the complications that arise from this, is very common.

  • Have fun with pulling lots of silly faces – to move, stretch & relax the muscles around the eyes, nose and mouth. In yoga, there is a pose called the Lion, that involves opening the mouth wide, stretching the tongue out and widening the eyes. You can also stretch your hands out at the same time.
  • Try yawning – even if you don’t think you feel like it – you’ll see many yawns will follow. Combine this with big sighs – it is a wonderful way to release tension from the jaw.
  • Circle around the jaw with three fingers. Find tight points and press in with small circles.


There are many breathing exercises that you can experiment with. One simple technique you can do when you are sitting at your desk or lying in bed.

  • Lightly place both hands on your lower belly below the navel.
  • As you breathe in, the belly will fill up with air and come up to meet your fingers.
  • As you breathe out, the belly will empty of air and go down.
  • Don’t force the breath; let it come and go naturally.
  • You can breathe in for 5 and out for 7 or any number that feels comfortable for you, but breathe out for longer than you breathe in.

There are many books out there on the power of breathing and different breathing techniques. Also take a look on You Tube for some breathing technique exericises. I came across this video for recovery breathing from Coronavirus by Patrick McKeown:

Sleep is often a big component of anxiety related conditions – both disrupted by it and also sleep disturbance leading to anxiety. This is a huge area and there has been a lot written about sleep hygiene. Acupuncture and tapping are also very helpful to aid improved sleep.


I came across Moonmilk a while ago and it is a delicious drink to have later in the evening. There are a number of recipes out there, so you can play around with the ingredients. In Ayurveda (one of the oldest systems of natural healing in the world), warm milk is a common remedy for sleeplessness. This recipe features nutmeg (a natural sleep aid) and ashwagandha (an adaptogen that helps your body deal with stress).

1 cup whole milk or any milk alternative eg unsweetened nut milk (such as almond, or cashew) or oat milk, rice milk or coconut milk.
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground ashwagandha (or another adaptogen, like shatavari or astralagus)
2 pinches of ground cardamom
Pinch of ground ginger (optional)
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil or ghee
1teaspoon honey, preferably raw

Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in cinnamon, turmeric, ashwagandha, cardamom, ginger, if using, and nutmeg; season with pepper. Whisk vigorously to incorporate any clumps. Add coconut oil, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook until warmed through, 5–10 minutes (the longer you go, the stronger the medicine). Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in honey (you want to avoid cooking honey or you’ll destroy its healing goodness). Pour into a mug & drink warm before bed.

For more information regarding the evidence of using acupuncture and/or EFT tapping for anxiety, please click here. Several reviews and meta-analyses have proven the positive effect of acupuncture on reducing state anxiety.

EFT has been extensively investigated for anxiety and depression. There is strong scientific support for the claim that EFT tapping works. This support comes from more than 100 peer-reviewed clinical studies, many of them related to the positive effects of EFT tapping on psychologically related conditions. EFT International is the main governing body for tapping. Visit the website for reference to numerous research studies.

In research studies, tapping has been shown to significantly reduce cortisol levels in just one hour:  See this article for more details: 'Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health'. Here is a short excerpt:

''In the first large-scale study of 5000 patients seeking treatment for anxiety across 11 clinics over a 5.5-year period, patients received either traditional anxiety treatment in the form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), with medication if needed, or acupoint tapping with no medication.26 An improvement was found in 90% of patients who received acupoint tapping therapy compared to 63% of the CBT participants. Only 3 acupoint tapping sessions were needed before an individual’s anxiety reduced, while an average of 15 was needed for CBT to show results. Complete relief of symptoms was seen in 76% of people in the acupoint taping group compared with 51% of people in the CBT group. One year later, the improvements seen were maintained by 78% of the acupoint group compared with 69% of the CBT group. Other studies also indicate equivalence or superiority to CBT.''

Take a look at the page about tapping on my website here. Check out what my clients have said about their experience of doing tapping with me. To book a session of acupuncture or tapping, please contact Shine on 020 7241 5033 or contact me directly on: Find out more about Marian here.