For thousands of years in China, acupressure has used the same principles as acupuncture to better relaxation and wellness and treat disease. Sometimes called pressure acupuncture, acupressure is usually thought of as just acupuncture without the needles. But what is acupressure, and how does it work?
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Theory behind acupressure
Acupressure is one of several Asian bodywork therapies with roots in traditional Chinese medicine. Examples of other Asian therapies are medical qigong and Tuina. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of acupressure.
Traditional Chinese medical theory explains special acupoints or acupressure points that extend along meridians or channels in the body.
These are the energy meridians and acupoints as targeted with acupuncture. It is believed that through these hidden channels flows vital energy — or a life force called qi (ch’i).
It is also believed that these 12 meridians connect specific organs or networks of organs, organizing a system of communication throughout the body. For example, the meridians begin at your fingertips, connect to your brain, and connect to an organ associated with a certain meridian.
According to this theory, illness occurs when these meridians are blocked or out of balance. On the other hand, acupressure and acupuncture are types of TCM that are thought to help restore balance.
How many times be acupressure done in a day?
Acupressure point 2–3 times a day for most benefits.
1. Find the point on the midline of your wrist, four fingerbreadths over the wrist, and the fold between the two midline tendons.
2. Press on the point in a round motion.
3. Massage for 15–20 seconds
How does acupressure work?
Acupressure practitioners use their palms, fingers, elbows or feet, or special devices to apply pressure to acupoints on the body’s meridians. Sometimes, acupressure involves stretching or acupressure massage and other methods.
You lie clothed on a soft massage table during an acupressure session. The practitioner lightly presses on acupressure points on your body. A session lasts about one hour. However, you may need several sessions for the best results.
Acupressure or other Asian bodywork aims to restore health and balance to the body’s energy channels and manage opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy).
Some proponents claim acupressure treats the energy fields and body and the emotions, mind, and spirit. Some also believe that therapists can transmit vital energy to another person.
What are common acupuncture points?
There are several acupuncture points on the body — too many to name. Here are three that are used by acupressure and acupuncturists practitioners:
- LI 4 (Large intestine): This is in the soft, fleshy web between your forefinger and thumb.
- LR-3 (Liver 3): Located on the top of your foot up from the space between your big toe and next toe.
- SP-6 (Spleen 6): This is about three finger-widths over your inner ankle bone.
Which health problems benefit from acupressure?
A study into the health benefits of acupressure is in its infancy. Nevertheless, several patient reports support its use for some health concerns. More well-designed research is needed, though. Here are several health problems that appear to improve with acupressure:
Some studies support the use of wrist acupressure to stop and treat nausea and vomiting:
- After surgery
- From motion sickness
- After chemotherapy
- Related to pregnancy
- During spinal anesthesia
The PC 6 acupressure point is found in the groove between the two large muscles on the center of your wrist that start at the bottom of your palm. There are specific wristbands that are sold over the counter. These press on related pressure points and work for some people.
Can acupressure be harmful?
In general, acupressure is safe. However, if you have arthritis, cancer, heart disease, or a chronic condition, discuss with the doctor before trying therapy that involves moving joints and muscles, such as acupressure. And make sure the acupressure practitioner is licensed and certified.
Deep tissue work such as acupressure need to be avoided if any of the following conditions:
- Cancer has spread to the bones.
- You have rheumatoid arthritis, a bone, or a spinal injury disease that could worsen by physical manipulation.
- You have varicose veins.
- You are pregnant.
Frequently asked question
What is acupressure massage?
Acupressure practitioners use their fingers, palms, elbows or feet, or special devices to apply pressure to acupoints on the body’s meridians. Sometimes, acupressure also involves stretching or acupressure massage, as well as other methods. During an acupressure session, you lie fully clothed on a soft massage table.
What is an acupressure massage like?
Acupressure is a manual treatment that is used to relieve pain and muscle tension. Acupressure is performed using fingers gradually pressing onto key points around the body to simulate pain relief and muscle relaxa.
Can acupressure be harmful?
Are There Any Precautions With Acupressure? In general, acupressure is very safe. If you have cancer, arthritis, heart disease, or a chronic condition, be sure to have a discussion with your doctor before trying any therapy that involves moving joints and muscles, such as acupressure.
What are benefits of acupressure?
It helps relieve stress and anxiety, improves sleep, relaxes your muscles and joints, regulates digestive issues, minimises headaches and migraines, and is also beneficial for back pains and menstrual cramps.
Acupressure helps relieve stress and anxiety, relaxes your muscles and joints, regulates digestive issues, improves sleep, minimizes headaches and migraines, and benefits back pains and menstrual cramps. Positive results from acupressure seen within one session or may need multiple, depending on the cruelty of your concern, differ from case to case.
Acupressure can be a useful strategy for managing many symptoms in various patient populations, but rigorous trials are needed. Nevertheless, the inclusion of acupressure as an intervention improves patient outcomes.
Still have any questions about Disease Acupressure? Ask in the comments section!
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