Self-Care for Holiday Stress: Surviving the 12 Days of Christmas

Looking for a cheap and easy way to cope with holiday stress that’s guaranteed not to leave you with a hangover—or added inches to your waistline? Then read on.

Acupressure, developed in Asia some 5,000 years ago, is a type of bodywork therapy. It involves pressing or massaging specific points on the body using a finger, knuckle, or the palm of your hand to stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities. As an effective and widely used practice for reducing stress, acupressure can relieve pain and promote overall good health.

Although frequently administered by qualified practitioners (see, you can also easily practice acupressure on yourself. It’s safe, effective, and requires minimal time. Best of all, it’s free. That makes it the perfect tool to add to your arsenal of current coping skills this holiday season. Quite literally, you can take your health back into your own hands.

Try these simple acupressure points when tackling the 12 Days of Christmas, and you just might find yourself getting through the holidays with less stress, pain, and fatigue and more peace, love, and dare I say it, joy. Massage each point with gentle but firm pressure for one to five minutes until symptoms begin to subside. Points will typically be tender to the touch, so when you hit a sensitive spot, you know you’re in the right place. Click here to download a free infographic showing which acupressure point corresponds with which holiday stressor.



Photo at top from iStock/JulNichols

Dr. Michael Gaeta

Dr. Michael Gaeta is an educator, clinician, and writer in the field of natural health care. His purpose is to create a world of vital, resilient people who find fulfillment through positive contribution, and who stay out of the medical system. Michael works with natural health professionals to improve patient care and practice success through his one-year clinicians’ mentoring program, live seminars and webinars, and distance learning programs. He holds licenses in acupuncture, dietetics-nutrition, and massage therapy, and he is a doctor of acupuncture in Rhode Island.

For seminar information and publications by Michael Gaeta, please visit Gaeta Communications.

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6 thoughts on “Self-Care for Holiday Stress: Surviving the 12 Days of Christmas

  1. B. Tucker, ND says:

    LOVE this cute article by Dr. Gaeta (sung to the 12 Days of Christmas). Just one small note: He suggests massaging various points but only “vaguely” tells us where the points are! “Massage this point on your ear” or “Massage this point on your inner arm,” just isn’t enough info to guide some of us (non-acupuncturists) to the correct point.

  2. Paula Widish says:

    This is a super simple suggestion to deal with the holidays. I plan to print off the pdf, which shows to points to focus on, and keep it with me as a reference all year round! Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Samantha Prust says:

    B. Tucker, I apologize for missing this comment and question. I just wanted to let you know that if you click on “Click here” in the sentence above in the article (“Click here to see illustrations showing the exact locations of acupressure points”), you’ll get more detailed illustrations of the pressure points. It’s also here in this link:

    Again, I apologize for not responding to your comment sooner.

  4. jane mirandette says:

    Thanks for printing this humerous and excellent instruction as to where to poke and prod and press to make it through till New Year’s Day and beyond..

  5. Phyllis Quinn says:

    Wonderful article by Dr. Gaeta…Great information to have on hand through all these stressful days and nights. Thank you so much.

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