Acupressure is an ancient art of healing by applying good pressure to healing points on the body. In other words we can also say that acupressure is a type of touch therapy. This healing technique was developed around 5000 years ago. Need not to mention that acupressure shares the same pressure points with acupuncture. The only difference between them is acupressure treatment is applied through the fingers or special tools while in acupuncture the treatment is done through the insertion of needles. Also, acupressure can be self-performed, that too, anytime and anywhere.
Acupressure deals with applying pressure to the prescribed healing points of the body. The aim of applying pressure on particular point is to stimulate the body’s natural healing capabilities. Pressure is mainly applied through fingers, palms, elbows, feet and various acupressure tools and devices.
A human body has thousands of acupressure points. These pressure points are very sensitive to pressure. It can be in the form of nerve clusters, tendons, ligaments, veins and blood vessels. Pressure applied on one point can also provide relief in other areas of the body.
Meridians is also an essential element of acupressure. Meridians are place where ‘chi’ i.e. the vital life energy travels in the body. Acupressure here unblocks the circulation of ‘chi’ by putting pressure on particular point – ‘acupoints’. Meridians nearest to skin is used in acupressure to stimulate as these are very easy to aggravate through the pressure of finger.
As already told, fingers are the main tool used in acupressure. Along with fingers, there are many other devices and tools which are used to provide aid in acupressure.
Magnets, shaped into heads of stars and bolts are placed on various acupoints and tucked with surgical tapes. Magnets can then be comfortably pressed to activate the effect.
Acupressure mats, foot rollers, hand rollers and acupressure balls are those essential objects that can be used for fast acupressure treatment.
Acupressure wristbands and bracelets have buttons tucked to bands. When they are worn, the button is positioned on acupoint. Pressing the button aggravates the point which work in relieving nausea and motion sickness.
We can also use tennis ball as a tool in acupressure. Rolling tennis ball under the foot can also make you relax. In this method, you need to place the ball under the arch of your foot and move it in circular motion. It will be a massage using smooth strokes.
Benefits of Acupressure
In initial stage, acupressure is performed to alleviate ailments and pains in the body. Aggravating the pressure points causes the body’s natural self-cure abilities to wake up. This therapy boosts our immune system. Acupressure is also proved effective for stress relief. It releases tension, minimizes pain and stiffness and increases circulation. After knowing correct pressure points, you can perform it yourself.
Health conditions where acupressure can be beneficial are – Relieving stress, improving sleep, minimizing muscles and joints pain, reducing digestive issues, relieving headaches, alleviating chronic pain, solving arthritis problem, nausea, nerve and muscle tension and many more. List of benefits is endless.
Relief in pain – Pain can be of many types like, chronic headaches, lower back pain, labor pains etc. Acupressure has proved to be effective for relieving various varieties of pain caused in different situations. Several health care institutions have incorporated acupressure in their practice as a best alternative therapy for relaxing the patients suffering from pain.
Popular acupressure point for pain and tension is “joining valley” or hand valley point. This point is located in the firm skin between thumb and index finger. It is easy to put pressure with fingers of your other hand.
Minimizes the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) – PMS is a tough thing to deal for several women.
Acupressure point to get relief from PMS is located on your foot about two fingers width above the place where the skin of big toe and next toe joins.
Nausea – Acupressure is effective in calming nausea too. Nausea problem is common for some patients who went for surgery.
Acupressure points used for nausea and vomiting is located on your inner arm near your wrist. Few more acupressure point for nausea and vomiting are named as stomach 44, S36 and CV22.
Keeps you calm – Practicing acupressure helps your mind function better. It unblocks all your meridians which ultimately makes you calm because now your body is ready to handle your stress.
Tones our facial muscles – Acupressure process tones the facial muscles, stimulates the proper flow of blood and helps in collagen production. All this tone our face and reduces the signs of ageing.
Blood circulation – Acupressure plays important role in promoting the blood circulation. Applying pressure at a particular point helps in activating and opening the flow of blood in blood vessels. Proper blood circulation helps our organs to regenerate and perform optimally.
Depression and anxiety – Several studies have proved that mood and fatigue may improve by the use of acupressure. Best techniques certainly should be used to get proper result.
Foot pain – Acupressure has an ability to relieve all types of pain associated with feet and legs. It reduces pain of ankle, thigh, joints of the foot etc.
Acupressure point used for relieving foot pain is located in the depression between your ankle bone and Achilles tendon.
Precautions with Acupressure
Usually acupressure is very safe but if you have arthritis, heart disease or any chronic condition, you need to discuss with doctor before opting acupressure therapy. Better go for certified and licensed acupressure practitioner. You should also avoid acupressure or need doctor’s advice if you are pregnant or have varicose veins, rheumatoid arthritis, bleeding disorder, diabetes etc.
Acupressure should never be painful. If you are feeling pain while practicing, you need to consult the therapist.
Keep in mind that, acupressure is not a substitute for necessary medical prescriptions and methods.