Calm Junior's Jitters

By Jessica Downey

That small space between your kids’ eyebrows may save them—and you—from some high-stress freak-outs. A recent study by UC Irvine anesthesiologists with collaboration from Yale doctors found that applying pressure there (it’s called the Extra-1 acupoint) lowered presurgery anxiety enough to reduce the amount of sedative needed prior to going under the knife. Less anesthesia means less nausea and a shorter, safer sedation.

Acupressure’s anxiety-reducing effect is not limited to presurgery jitters. It can also help kids who get nervous for other reasons—a trip to the doctor’s office or the dentist, says Shu-Ming Wang, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology at Yale University. You can even teach your kids to treat themselves: Have them press gently, using a circular motion, midway between their eyebrows for as long as they can. Wang says the benefits don’t last as long as acupuncture—only about 10 minutes after you release the pressure—but anyone can do it anywhere, anytim