Traditionally practiced in China for relaxation and health promotion, Acupressure therapy has gained popularity across the world. The Acupressure therapy uses electromagnetic forces that surround us. It is based on principles of Acupuncture. Electromagnetic forces travel through different parts of our bodies. In acupressure therapy, needles are pricked or pressure is applied through hands at different acupressure points, that lie along meridians of the body. The electromagnetic energy of environment flows between these points of pressure taking these points as antennae/ receptors.
Twelve major meridians exist in the body. When any of these meridians is out of balance or is obstructed, ailments may occur. Acupressure helps in restoring and balancing these meridians. Therefore, Acupressure therapy is effective for treatment of many diseases and is also useful in prevention. Acupressure facilitates bodies' functions and is holistic in nature.
Acupressure technique involves pressure application, rubbing, stretching, rolling, kneading, wiping, grasping and exercises. Intensity of pressure varies during the process, it mostly begins with application of light pressure which gradually increases to pressure of higher intensity. Depending on the condition of an individual, intensity of pressure at different points may vary.
The Acupressure therapy Process: The session of Acupressure begins with the receiver lying on a massage table. The Acupressure practitioner gently applies pressure on various acupressure points on body's meridians using fingers, elbows, palms or other devices. One session takes around 60 minutes to complete. A receiver may require several sessions for best results.
The Acupressure therapy Purpose: The Acupressure therapy helps in maintaining health by balancing energy channels of the body. The therapy also regulates negative/positive energy known as Yen/Yan forces. Acupressure is known to not only balance various energy forces in the body but also has positive effects on mind, spirit and emotions.
Some practitioners attribute positive effects of Acupressure to improvement in blood circulation, lowering of muscle tension and endorphin simulation. They question existence of any meridians in the body.
Common Acupressure points in Acupressure therapy: Of several acupressure points which exist in the body, we will enlist three most popular pressure points which one can massage on his own:
Acupressure for common ailments:
- The flesh between thumb and forefinger. This point stimulates large intestine.
- The tender area that you reach when you move up around three fingers ( widthwise) above your inner ankle bone. This point stimulates the spleen.
- The flesh between big toe and second toes. This stimulates the liver.
Acupressure for Nausea: Nausea related to pregnancy, post-surgery, spinal anesthesia, motion sickness, post-chemotherapy are reportedly treated with acupressure point on the wrist. Index finger and middle fingers can be used to firmly press between two big tendons inside wrists.
Acupressure for Arthritis: Acupressure is known to create anti-inflammatory effect and release endophrins which help in condition of Arthritis.
Acupressure for inducing labor: It is known to have benefits during pregnancy - its helps in relieving back pain, it eases morning sickness, and helps in inducing labor pains. Therefore it is advisable that acupressure at certain acupressure points is avoided so that premature labor pains are not induced.
Acupressure for Back pain: Studies have shown positive effects of Acupressure therapy in conditions of back pain.
Acupressure for weight loss: There are acupressure points in body which are directly connected to hunger centre of the brain. These points when stimulated by fingertip massaging could bring down urge for food. Four tips for losing weight through Acupressure:
- Between nose and upper lip there exists pressure point which could help in lowering appetite. Before taking meal, gently massage at the pressure point by holding lip using thumb from inside and index finger from outside. Massage up and down at the pressure point, continue for 10 seconds.
- Many of us overeat under stress, and as a result gain weight. To lose those extra pounds, massage the acupressure point just below nail of little finger of left hand whenever you feel like eating out of stress.
- For immediately subsiding hunger pangs, massage pressure point lying between navel and breastbone in a circular manner.
- Massage your little finger starting inside ( towards ring finger) and move on to the finger tip. Do this for 10 seconds.To subside hunger arising out of stress, massage at the pressure point which lies two finger widths below the base (knuckle) of index finger and half finger width towards the thumb. Do this for both the hands, you could use your thumb for this. Acupressure techniques are very useful in subsiding hunger and improving metabolic rate. Following these techniques you could lose weight in a healthy way.
Acupressure for lifestyle diseases: It is effective in treatment of metabolic disorders, inflammation, nervous system related problems and heart disorders. Most of these diseases arise due to insufficient physical activity, inappropriate food habits, genetic makeup, and disturbance in normal healthy body routine.
Acupressure for Depression and Anxiety: Studies have shown that acupressure helps in depression and anxiety.
Acupressure Therapy Precautions: People with conditions of Arthritis, Heart ailments, or Cancer must consult with their doctors before trying the Acupressure therapy. Although Acupressure therapy is very safe, one must seek approval from doctors in such conditions.
Acupressure must be avoided in the following conditions:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Spinal Injury
- Cancerous tumor in the area
- Bone Disease
- Pregnancy ( some pressure points may induce labour)
- Varicose Veins