Grounding Exercise: Small Circles

This exercise is very effective for grounding.  I use it most often with people who are self injurious.  It is a way of retraining the mind and body to nurture itself.  Very often self injurious behavior becomes linked to a cycle of compulsions.  A compulsion, craving, or however you want to categorize it is a small cycle that lasts three to five seconds.  You can have many back to back, but if you can interrupt the brain pattern then you can begin breaking down the brains need for that rhythm and create a new, healthier one.  This is great as a general meditative grounding exercise for anyone as well.  It feels great and it is a wonderful way to treat yourself kindly.

Get a nice rich lotion that has some slide to it rather than stickiness.  It is best if it has a smell to it, but really whatever your preference is will work.  I usually go for straight coco butter lotion, coconut oil or even olive oils.  For something a bit more emotionally based a lavender, cedar, sandalwood, or rose is very effective.  The aroma adds to interrupting the brains signals and breaks the cycle.  I use natural products for their healing qualities and vibrations rather than perfumed lotions.  TIP:  If it says FRAGRANCE, it means it is a chemical perfume.

Ground yourself, drop a grounding cord and lock it into place in the center of the earth.

Apply a generous amount of lotion on your hand.

If you self harm or are working with someone who is, use the hand that usually abuses the body to begin at the pinky top and while applying even gentle pressure make small circles in a counterclockwise motion.

Continue massaging the pinky finger slowly moving downward toward the palm, focusing only on the pressure and the small circles, think of nothing else.

When you reach the base of the palm begin with the same pressure working back up the palm toward the ring finger.

When you reach the top, start to move back down. Continue this until the entire hand, all the fingers and the thumb have been done.

The key is the even pressure and the circular motion blended with the healing characteristics of a quality lotion to interrupt brain signals, relax the body and retrain the abusing hand to become self nourishing instead.

Whenever you combine an action movement with an intention it creates new neuro-pathways in the brain.

Also, remember to breathe during the exercise.  Deep breathing increases blood flow, circulation and oxygen to the brain.  Most of us are generally shallow breathers.  Increasing oxygen in the brain and body will help you to feel more alert and calm.

As with any exercise that involves the body, it is important to work both the left and the right side equally.  Balance is key here.  In reflexology, when you massage, the ears, hands or feet, it is equivalent to a full body massage. You will be surprised at how effective this exercise is in grounding and relaxing.

2016 copyright by Katie Pifer available at

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