"I would eat meals too quickly. I would not concentrate. I'd be doing something else," said Connolly.
For eight years, she dealt with a serious case of acid reflux.
"I thought, you know, I should really do something about this," said Connolly.
Lifestyle change is the most effective remedy. She went to see Dr. Lawrence Taw at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine. With the use of acupuncture, he helped her change how she thought about food and how her body digested it.
"Acupuncture has a very calming effect that tends to relax the muscles and promote digestion," said Dr. Taw.
The key acupressure point in dealing with acid reflux is called Pericardium-6 or P6. It is located directly above the wrist. Dr. Taw it stimulates the meridian that goes directly to digestion.
"When you stimulate the point along the meridian it helps to send signals of energy to this part of the body," said Dr. Taw. "It helps this part relax."
The P6 point along with another one between the thumb and forefinger both help with stress relief and digestion.
A recent Harvard study suggests that the meridians that run through our bodies are real.
Scientists took real time MRI brain images while stimulating the acupressure point near the thumb. Researchers saw activity in the limbic system, the part that regulates stress and emotion.
"That showed a real measurable effect of how acupuncture can help treat stress. So you can treat stress through this acupoint," said Dr. Taw.
Connolly says she's seen her own measurable effect. She slows down when it comes to eating and she uses acupressure on herself to keep herself centered.
"The point is to focus on it and make it another part of what you're doing," said Connolly.
Dr. Taw advises his patients not to start out their meals with ice cold drinks and raw foods like salad. He says it can tighten your muscles. He says ease into your meals with a warm drink like chamomile tea or a warm soup. Also try incorporating ginger and basil into your diet.
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