Relieve Worry (and Fear) FAST

Confession time: I often fall asleep holding my index finger. Why? Because energy pathways that relate to fear pass through this finger…and this pandemic keeps stirring up my ancient fear ghosts. Holding that finger helps.

Let me explain.

One branch of Japanese bodywork called Jin Shin Jyutsu involves holding parts of the body to move energy. It’s based on energy pathways, similar to acupuncture meridians, many of which pass through the fingers. Each finger corresponds to a different painful emotion or attitude, and holding the finger can help relieve it.

Thumb = Worry
Index finger = Fear
Middle finger = Anger
Ring finger = Sadness
Pinky finger = Trying to be something you’re not

An easy acronym for remembering the order is “Relieve Worry FAST.”

The technique is simple. When you notice one of these emotions, hold that finger (on either hand, doesn’t matter) with your other hand. Then tune in to your body and wait until you feel a shift.

What kind of shift? You might start to feel a pulse in your finger—like a heartbeat. Or, if you feel a pulse at once, it might fade or even out. A shift could also be heat building and dissipating in your finger. Or it might be a whole-body experience, like easing of the emotion or descending calm. Be patient…this could take 1–10 minutes.

I’ve been holding my index finger for weeks. Here’s what I felt last month…

I’d gotten triggered and panicky. So I held my finger and breathed. Slowly, very slowly, my breathing calmed. At some point, I realized my fears were still there…but they felt smaller and more distant. I was no longer lost in them.

Here’s last week…

I slowly became sleepy and dreamy. After a while, I remembered a childhood situation I’d been trapped in and how frightened I’d been. Then I felt a pulling line between my torso and finger—like a taut bow. The bow “sprang” and something whooshed down the line to my finger. My whole body relaxed.

And here’s a couple nights ago…

After a minute, electricity and heat began buzzing along my arms. My finger became hot and started to pulse. My whole body grew uncomfortable, like a balloon waiting to burst. It stayed that way a long time. Finally, the balloon “burst” and cold energy drained off my finger. After that, I slept well.

Just be patient and don’t discount anything you sense. The body’s healing mechanisms often emerge gently. So just breathe, watch, and wait. Something will shift.

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