What Is Acupressure?

What is acupressure?

Acupressure is a modality that’s used within Asian bodywork therapies with its origins from traditional Chinese medicine.

Acupressure is utilized to restore balance within the body to prevent illness if a meridian is blocked or out of balance.

Meridians are channels or pathways in the body that energy flows through or follows. The energy is the body’s ‘vital life force’ called Chi. There are14 Meridians and acupoints along theses meridians that can be accessed for treatment.

How is acupressure used?

Gentle but firm finger pressure is used on acupoints to release any blocked energy within the meridian or to promote energy flow to a certain area of the body.

Pressure can be applied with fingers, thumbs, knuckles, palms, elbows, feet and tools.

Pressure can vary in intensity and duration. Acupressure treatment can be applied once or several times.

By stimulating the acupoints, they can trigger the release of endorphins, (the chemical produced by the body that relieves pain) to the problem area(s) blocking the pain – which will allow blood and oxygen to flow more freely – which will then cause the muscles to relax and in-turn promote healing.

Benefits of Acupressure

  • Acupressure can
  • release tension
  • increase circulation of blood
  • heighten the body’s life force energy to aid in healing
  • strengthen resistance to disease

By integrating massage and acupressure therapy some of the following ailments can be relieved

  • pain
  • trauma
  • backaches
  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • chronic fatigue
  • fibromyalgia
  • chronic muscular pain
  • mental stress
  • addiction recovery
  • learning disorders
  • emotional imbalances

Lately studies have been conducted that suggest acupressure has helped prevent nausea and vomiting and alleviate some symptoms related to cancer.

Safety aspect

Overall acupressure is safe. The only precautions are

  • to make sure your practitioner is licensed and certified
  • if you have cancer, arthritis, heart disease, or a chronic condition consult your doctor before trying any therapy that involves moving joints and muscles

In addition, deep tissue work needs to be avoided if any of the following conditions apply:

  • The treatment is in the area of a cancerous tumor or if the cancer has spread to bones
  • You have rheumatoid arthritis, a spinal injury, or a bone disease that could be made worse by physical manipulation
  • You have varicose veins
  • You are pregnant (because certain points can induce contractions)

What Are Common Acupuncture Points?
There are literally hundreds of acupuncture points on the body — too many to name. Here are three that are commonly used by acupressure practitioners:

  • Large intestine 4 (L14): This is in the soft, fleshy web between your thumb and forefinger.
  • Liver 3 (LR-3): This is in the soft flesh that sits between your big and 2nd toes. It’s an area similar to L14.
  • Spleen 6 (SP-6): This is about three finger widths above your inner anklebone. It is a tender area of the lower calf muscle.

Sources

Acupressure Points and Massage Treatment
http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/acupressure-points-and-massage-treatment?page=2

Official Acupressure site
http://www.acupressure.com/

How stuff works site
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/alternative/question654.htm

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