Getting medical advice on social media is getting easier with more creators sharing wellness tips with their followers regularly.
Scrolling through TikTok or Instagram and seeing content from a mental health professional is no longer unusual.
Wellness influencers have become more popular for sharing information and sparking conversations around mental health and emotional fitness.
Bradley Littlefair, who refers to himself as a ‘spiritualist’ has shared a simple trick that he claims will relieve anxiety in seconds.
Since anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, viewers were interested in his stress-relieving trick.
In a video, Littlefair claimed that we have a nerve in our middle finger called the ‘panic reset button’ which ‘connects to the heart’ and reduces feelings of stress when stimulated.
He said that this point is located just below the third knuckle and that pressing your thump in this spot reduces anxiety ‘almost instantly’.
“It’s normal to feel a little tingle when you first do it,” Littlefair said in the TikTok video.
He recommended using the trick to calm yourself down during panic attacks, ahead of public speaking or any other time to relieve stress.
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However, it is not clear whether this trick truly works.
According to the Daily Mail, there is limited research on the benefits of hand reflexology, a massage technique that puts pressure on various reflex points around your hands to relieve health complaints in other parts of the body.
A 2017 study by Healthline showed that hand reflexology reduced anxiety in patients who were about to undergo coronary angiography, a routine procedure that helps to diagnose heart conditions, the publication states.
But that study was based on applying one minute of pressure to the Heart 7 (HT7) point, just below the crease of your wrist on your outer hand – which differs from Littefair’s claim that it works by pressing the third knuckle of the middle finger.
But the author and business psychologist Sharon Melnick agrees with Littlefair in her book Success Under Stress.
Melnick, who uses Eastern medicine techniques such as stretching and meditation to reground herself, wrote that you can ‘reset’ yourself during an anxiety attack by applying pressure to a point between your second and third knuckles.
The author says if you move your thumb down your middle finger toward your palm, you will be able to feel a soft, slightly indented spot on the inside of your finger if your palm is facing up.
She claims applying pressure to this point will ‘activate a nerve that loosens the area around the heart’, ridding you of the jittery butterflies that take over your body when you’re feeling stressed.
With the video getting over 1 million views, people have thanked Littlefair for sharing the tip.
“Thank you. With being locked up now for five weeks and another four ahead of living alone, the panic attacks have been overwhelming,” one user commented.
Another wrote, “Crazy – I felt my shoulders instantly drop down. Need to remember this!”
But others shared that the trick had not worked for them but Littefair encouraged them to keep trying until they found the right spot.