Anxiety disorders run prevalently on both sides of my toddler’s family, so I wasn’t surprised that she began displaying severe anxiety symptoms early in her development. Although her tendency toward anxiety was fairly significant for her age group, I didn’t want to force conventional, medicalized treatments on her. Instead, I decided to consult my friend, who is a massage therapist and specialist in acupressure.
My friend taught me several acupuncture points for anxiety in toddlers. If a toddler in your care experiences anxiety or panic, use these simple, low-risk techniques to tame the tantrum and help him reach a state of inner peace.
Wrist Acupressure for Anxiety in Toddlers
Find this acupressure point for anxiety in toddlers by locating the pont where toddler’s hand meets his wrist– right at the crease that appears just below the toddler’s palm. The acupressure point is just below the bone on the pinky-side of the toddler’s hand.
Use your thumb to locate the point, then place firm but gentle pressure on the area. Hold this acupressure point for about one minute, or as long as the toddler will allow you to place pressure on it. It works best if you use it during a time of emotional tension, before it’s escalated to a full panic attack or tantrum in the anxious toddler.
Scalp Acupressure Point for Anxious Toddlers
If your toddler is in the midst of a full-fledged, nightmarish tantrum, this acupressure point may be the key to pacifying him. Find the highest point of the back of the toddler’s head. It can be found at a near right-angle between the toddler’s neck and forehead. This acupressure point for anxious toddlers may be slightly raised.
Right in the center of this area, place a firm amount of pressure using your thumb or forefinger. Hold it for as long as you can. If you have it on hand, try using a dab of diulted lavender oil to enhance the effects of the technique. Use this as often as needed to help a child feel calm during a crisis or melt-down.
Ear Acupressure for Anxiety in Toddlers
If your toddler is calm enough that you can safely massage his ears, try using this technique. The ears are full of meridians similar to those found in the palm, scalp and feet. As strange as it sounds, a full ear massage can help to facilitate relaxation in anxious toddlers.
Use both hands to rub your toddler’s ears thoroughly. Be gentle, as pulling too hard can cause a significant amount of pain. Do this for about two minutes to help your toddler feel restful, particularly before bed or before a nap. This is most useful to toddlers who are hyperactive or suffer from sleep disturbances.
If you ever have any questions about your toddler’s health, consult a qualified practitioner who is familiar with integrative medicine.