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Stress Release

Emotional Stress Release (ESR)

  • A powerful, simple technique for releasing emotional stress while recalling events from the past to the present.


This technique was developed within the “Touch for Health” system of physical and mental practices for well-being. It has its roots in chiropractic principles, kinesiology and neurological functioning. There is a certain aspect of suggestibility in following the process. It is beneficial for both the “subject” and the person assisting.

At its simplest the process involves putting your hand on somebody else’s forehead, helping them relax and go back in time to an event that they can acknowledge as being troublesome in their memory. With your hand on their forehead they take a deep breath and travel forward in time to the present. They are encouraged to think of any events that were related to the original traumatic issue that took place in the past. They should just reflect on the events, not judge them. Tell them that having your hand on their forehead helps relieve the emotional stress related to the incident.

Tell them to take a deep breath when they get to the present time. Then you tell them to go back once again and re-call any events related to the original incident. They can be the same events or different ones they re-call on the second pass. Do this a third time and when they get to the present have them imagine how they want the situation to resolve in the future.

The person assisting does not need to know the actual event that the person is re-calling ..... just being there and providing a calming hand is sufficient. The physical touch of the hand to the forehead is reminiscent of a mother calming a child when something happens to the child that caused tears, fears, and so on.

These are the points on the forehead, but the technique is not “point specific” in that a hand on the forehead accomplishes the purpose of calming, concentration and support.

I have used this technique for many people with very positive results. I even used it once, without the verbiage, by holding a construction worker’s forehead whose hand had been mangled in a saw shop accident. We were in the back of a jeep on the way to the hospital, his hand wrapped in a towel to staunch the flow of blood. I just kept my hand on his forehead to help keep him calm and reduce the extent of shock that he was experiencing.

Nuro-Vascular Holding Points.jpg


Hold the frontal eminence bilaterally, between the eyebrow and hairline.

Hold very lightly, as if you were

touching your eye lids.


Emotion can be a primary factor in muscle imbalances. It aggravates physical problems arising from other sources. Knowing how to take the emotional stress out of a situation promotes recovery.

ESR (Emotional Stress Release) is a great technique to get the mind/feelings back in control. It permits the intellect to go to work finding positive alternatives with which to handle trouble-some situations. ESR doesn’t solve problems, but it helps the person deal with stress more efficiently.

The following is a valuable what-to-do for those occasions when a person is angry, frustrated, in emotional pain or grief. It also works as a relaxation method while taking a nap.


(in simple English, put your hand on their forehead)

Use two or three fingers (or the palm of the hand) on the forehead to touch the neuro-vascular holding points. These points are the spots on the upper forehead, a little to the outside of the center. Apply only enough pressure to slightly stretch the skin.

Ask the person to: “Go to the beginning of the situation and go all the way through until you’ve come to the end of the incident, or up to the point where you are now within the incident. When you get to the end, tell me or just nod your head.”

Have them repeat this process at least three times. On the third time through tell them to imagine how they want the situation to resolve in the future. In talking through the process tell them to just reflect on the thoughts and events that come to mind; don’t judge them. They can be the same thoughts / events on each pass or they can be different. Tell them to be secure in the knowledge that having a hand on their forehead helps to relieve the emotional stress related to the incident. It is a part physiological, part psychological process.

ESR works well in getting relief from nightmares, fears, frustrations and other problems that affect personal – and professional – efficiency and creativity. It works just as well on one’s self as others. Use the same process holding your own frontal eminences while alone. (I will often just rest my hand on my forehead while laying down for a brief afternoon nap. It is a calming feeling.)

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