Healing with Acupressure
History of Acupressure
Tibetan Monks developed Acupressure at least 5000 thousand years ago, and it involves simple techniques, it’s easy to do, and it is cost effective. This is the most popular method around the world for treating pain and pressure in the body. The acupressure health system has been documented for use in treating over 3000 conditions.
This self-care method is proven, natural and cost effect. You can improve the quality of your life by relieving pain and lessening other symptoms of illness, while promoting health by pressing their fingers on strategic points on the body. The philosophy is based on the same principles as acupuncture, except you are using pressure rather than needles. Reflex sites are stimulated with pressure along the lines of energy running through the body called meridians.
In China you are never too young to learn the techniques of acupressure, and children are using acupressure techniques at the start of their school day. They start by pressing the index fingers between their eyes, pull their fingers down below their cheekbones and press. With the middle three fingers of each hand, they press between their rows, pull out to their temples and press once more.
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Basics of Acupressure
Acupressure is widely practiced by acupuncturists, massage therapists and other health professionals, including physicians. One qualification to look for in a practitioner is membership in the American Oriental Bodywork Therapy Association (AOBTA) which is helpful but not required. Acupressure philosophy and acupoint stimulation is based on the same principles as acupuncture.
For acupressure, pressure, electric stimulation or laser light may be used instead of needles. Each method has a natural source of healing power. When the healing power is activated, it triggers a series of intricate internal processes, which produces a healing response. Pain, injury or stimulation to your body is what alerts your mind that your body needs help.
This is where the healing response begins by the unleashing of endorphins into your blood to help heal the affected area. The heart rate and blood pressure is altered and the endorphins and nutrients required for repair is accelerated. This action in the body speeds up the elimination of toxins from the damaged area, which promotes healing.
There are 14 main meridian lines; each one corresponds to an individual organ of the body. When the vital energies, know as Chi, are able to flow through the meridians in a balanced and even way the result is improved health. When you experience pain or illness it is an indication that there is a block or leak in the Chi (energy flow) within your body.
According to a practitioner's training, they will put gentle but steady pressure on different pressure points in the body for various lengths of time and may even lead you through a visualization exercise.
They emphasize the interrelationship of mental, emotional and physical health, so treatment may include counseling. Long standing chronic problems require more sessions.
For chronic conditions, practitioners may begin with frequent sessions; once a week or more, then, taper off once symptoms lessen. A typical session lasts about an hour. A session will leave you in a very relaxed state, so it is beneficial to take a nap afterwards if possible to heighten the result.
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Pressure Points on the Body
The Healing Response
The goal with acupressure is to assist the body in healing itself. There are no side effects, and it is something the patient can learn to do on their own. Through repetitive acupressure treatments, the body learns a new way to activate healing.
Depending on which philosophy you were taught there are different therapeutic techniques of treatment. You can use holding pressure, rubbing, kneading or vibrating points for different time periods. Typically you would rub, knead or hold the pressure point for a minimum of a full minute.
You can use a combination of the above techniques for different periods of time. You many hold pressure on the point for five seconds on then five seconds off. Use gentle but firm pressure. You can repeat as often as necessary to achieve relief.
The effects of acupressure are cumulative so using it frequently at the first sign of a problem is the most effective use of acupressure. Treatment three times daily for five to ten minutes is typical. You can use acupressure every two hours as necessary, until you start feeling relief. Some people report immediate results, and others may need a few weeks to get lasting results.
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Summary of Other Acupressure Techniques
Shiatsu is another form of acupressure where you press and stretch to release blocked energy. It is very helpful with childbirth. And, it can be done during labor. There are several types of Shiatsu, some incorporating visualization, deep breathing, stretching, meditation and dietary advice.
The specific shiatsu stretches use the body’s own weight, applying pressure to the meridians as you lean different ways. Stimulating the meridians with these stretches may assist in freeing up blocked energy and drawing it toward the area of weakness. This releases tensions and limbers you up for yoga or aerobic exercise.
Then, there is the Five Element shiatsu which has its own diagnostic techniques that recommend a Makko-Ho daily, a 5 step routine that takes 5-10 minutes.
In addition, there is another form, called Ohashiatsu, which is designed to benefit both the person giving the shiatsu and the person to whom it’s given. The ideal is to let the body work so that you don’t have to strain it.
The best documented benefit of acupressure is the relief from nausea and dizziness. A number of studies are under way, but like much of alternative medicine the results are not well documented in double blind studies. However, practitioners of these methods swear by their effectiveness.
In summary, there are numerous benefits to acupressure, including pain relief, treatment of medical problems and, it promotes an over all sense of well being. The fact is acupressure is easy to do, very effective, as well as, cost effective.
The copyright, renewed in 2019, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.