I'll take credit if credit is due, but I will also admit that it's very possible that this technique I'm about to describe originated from someone else. It came to me just before a telehealth session when a patient conveyed to me that lately he'd been feeling a lot of stress in his hands. During a moment of stillness, I thought of a few acupressure points to teach him, but then something came to mind—crystals.
Normally these tumbled rose quartz crystals sit on my dresser, but something inside me told me to go get them and to try holding them in a specific way during a meditation to see how it felt.
Between meditating daily, maintaining a regular yoga practice, doing my best to eat healthy foods, getting outside as much as possible, avoiding the news, learning how to play the ukulele (you read that right) and snuggling with my cats, I thought I'd been doing a great job at keeping my stress levels at bay during the pandemic. Holding these crystals was a game changer!
If you don't have rose quartz or any small tumbled crystals, go outside and find rounded stones that feel good when you hold them. A friend of mine lives near the beach in Connecticut and found two stones on the beach, and she told me they worked really well for her using this technique during her meditation. My crystals are about 3/4" in size, but anything around that size should work. Likely you don't want them to be too small.
Place each stone in the center of your palm.
In the center of your palm is an acupuncture point that can have a significant calming effect. Additionally, in East Asian medicine stress and anxiety tend to increase Yang (in the form of heat) in the body. It has been my experience as well as the experience of those I have taught this technique that sitting in meditation with a stone on this point has a relaxing, cooling effect.
To help secure the stone during meditation, curl your middle finger on top of the stone so that you're holding it in place with that finger and your palm.
Using your middle finger helps create a nice circuit of energy. The meridian where the acupressure point is located continues down the middle finger, so using this finger seems to create a better result. Once you've secured the stone in your hand, relax the rest of your fingers so you can place them in your lap for meditation.
I find resting the back of my hands on my knees or lap during meditation to be most comfortable. Feel free to add this to your practice.