The penultimate article (Part 5) in the series about coping skills to control anger will consider:
- Acupressure and Emotional Freedom Technique
- Controlled diet
21. Acupressure and Emotional Freedom Technique
The ancient healing technique of acupressure uses the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. It may involve also tapping or rubbing the body and may provide a person with another option regarding how to control their anger. Where acupuncture employs needles, acupressure uses the same points but with gentle yet firm hand or foot pressure. A skilled practitioner will produce changes and movement in energy flow to treat a variety of conditions including stress and anger. It is very difficult to remain angry when your body is relaxed!
An anger management technique known as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – an ‘energy psychology’ that is based on the concept of Chi, meridians and ‘life-force’ – can be combined with acupressure to fight negative emotions. This works by balancing the brain hemispheres and helps an individual admit to their problems and find forgiveness. It is said to be beneficial in helping a person release feelings of anger and to help them relax.
However, although advocates of energy psychology therapies and EFT claim their effectiveness for treating various physical and psychological disorders e.g. Feinstein 2012, skeptics – which includes mainstream clinical psychology – tend to dismiss them as being nothing more than a placebo effect or even a pseudoscience e.g. Bakker 2013.
Acupuncture has been used for treating stress, mental and emotional problems, irritability and anger for millennia by the Chinese. In fact, anger is viewed as one of the seven emotions which also include joy, sadness, worry, grief, fright and fear. They believe these emotions are intimately linked to the body’s organs, and understanding their interaction and resulting disease is a significant component of Chinese medicine.
Although it is recommended and preferable to be treated by a professional acupuncturist, interestingly, ‘micro-acupuncture point stimulators’, which are designed for self-treatment, can be purchased online. These reportedly replicate professional acupuncture treatments and have been used for anger-related issues.
The sense of smell is linked to the oldest and most primitive part of the brain and is intimately associated with our emotions. Aromatherapy can be defined as, “the process of using volatile plant oils in order to treat not only the physical well being of a person but also their psychological and mental health.” Aromatherapy has been practiced in some form for thousands of years and includes a rich history dating from the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans and Persians. The term itself is relatively modern having started in the 20th century.
Depending on the fragrant oil/herb being used, aromatherapy has the ability to alter our mood significantly, whether it is uplifted and invigorated or soothed and relaxed. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions such as sleep issues, headaches and migraines, skin problems, depression, back pain, hair loss and stress or anger. A range of approaches can be used, for example burning plant material, extracting and burning essential oils, massaging oils mixed with a carrier e.g. almond oil on to the body, or incorporating essential oils into various products such as soaps and bath oils.
Examples of aromas that can be beneficial regarding anger and stress include: Benzoin, Beragmot, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Orange Blossom, Patchouli, Rose, Sage, Vetiver and Ylang Ylang.
A hydrotherapist is someone who practices hydrotherapy or hydropathy in order to treat illness and offer pain relief. The therapy can be dated to ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations.
On a basic level, taking a long relaxing bath or having a refreshing shower could be thought of as a form of hydrotherapy. However, this field utilizes various types of underwater massage, jet treatments and equipment of variable designs including baths, tubs and Jacuzzi’s. An integral component of the treatment is the use and manipulation of water pressure and temperature to produce a positive outcome.
25. Controlled Diet
Maintaining a healthy balanced diet is essential to our well-being. It is also important to have a diet that avoids excessive artificial colorings, preservatives, flavorings, additives and stimulants. Certain food additives not only pose physical health risks e.g. the preservative Sodium Nitrate (commonly found in processed meats and bacon) and the additive Potassium Bromate (volume enhancer for flour, rolls and bread) have been linked to cancer in some studies, but they can also affect the mood of people significantly. For example, studies have shown that the dye Red #40, which can occur in sodas and snacks including tortilla chips, cereals, children’s drinks and even fresh fruit (via agricultural sprays), is associated with memory disturbances, hyperactivity, irritability and anger including violent behavior in sensitive children and adults.
The final article, Part 6, in the series of how to control anger will address the following points:
- Music therapy
- Pet therapy
- Herbs, herbal medicines and teas