Acupressure has been around for thousands of years. It is a common healing protocol used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. (TCM). It involves “turning on” your body's natural healing mechanisms through the manipulation of energy pathways called meridians. All it takes is pressure. Not the kind of pressure that causes pain, but the kind that relaxes.
Acupressure is like acupuncture only without needles
It is very simple to practice on yourself, or someone else, once you know the basics. It involves applying pressure over specific acupoints on your body. These points are part assigned to different parts of your body. There are two types of points; local and trigger.
Local points are the areas where the pain exists. For example, if you apply pressure to the crease found on the back of your knee, this can alleviate lower back pain and release tension from your lower vertebrae.
The theory behind this ancient Chinese treatment is that these chosen points stimulate the meridians, which are pathways through which our life energy or ‘chi' flow. There are about 14 meridians running throughout your body. When your vital energy becomes blocked the result is pain and sickness.
When these pathways are energized through pressure, it brings relaxation and calmness. It also enhances circulation and flexibility by activating the body's hormonal, lymphatic, and circulatory systems, as well as boosting the immune system.
Acupressure Points For
Headache and Stomachache Relief
How Acupressure is Done
The basic way to apply pressure is by using your index finger, thumb, or side of your hand. Once you've located the acupoint, the press down for a good 1-3 minutes. When you press down you should feel a good type of pain. There may be a bit of tenderness, but you'll also feel relaxation starting to happen.
A Big Part of Acupressure is Breathing
Aim to control your breath using full and deep breaths. This helps release tension and pain by unclenching muscle knots and stimulate healing energy to allow the free flow throughout your body.
Acupressure Safety Measures
While it's easy to use Acupressure on yourself or someone else, there are several precautions you should be aware of before starting.
- Avoid applying pressure in a jerky or bouncy way.
- Avoid applying pressure on the abdomen, thigh or leg in pregnant women.
- Avoid applying pressure on areas where there may be recent scars or broken skin.
What you could do, however, is apply pressure on the opposite side of the body which may result in what experts refer to as “reflex effect'. This is when applying pressure to one side affects the same area but on the other side because they're both affected by the same set of nerves from the spinal cord.
There are specific pressure points to ease headache and stomachache. These points are called acupoints and they are easy to locate and apply pressure to.
Applying Pressure on These Points can Ease a Headache
Union Valley Points
This point is located on the web between the index finger and thumb. This is an acupoint is related to tension and it's effective for easing both headache and stomachache.
- Using your thumb, start pinching or apply pressure with your opposite hand for 10 seconds
- After applying pressure, make small circles on the area in one direction for 10 seconds
- Repeat these steps with the opposite hand.
Nose Bridge Point
This point is found on either side of the nose bridge near your eyebrows. Applying pressure on this part can relieve headaches caused by eyestrain and sinus pain.
- Start by using your index finger to massage the points
- Hold for 10 seconds, then release
This point is located on the base of the skull on either side of the hollow portion at the back of the neck. Massaging this part can help relieve headaches caused by neck tension.
- Apply pressure using the index fingers on the pressure points
- Do an upward stroke manner on these points for 10 seconds, then release
Applying Pressure on these Points Can Ease Stomachache
Elbow Crease Point
You can find this point on the top of the elbow crease at the edge of the joint. Applying pressure here can relieve diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.
- Massage a circular motion while applying pressure
This point is located three fingers above the wrist crease aligned with the palm. Massaging here can ease digestion, vomiting, anxiety, and tension.
- Hold firmly for 10 seconds, then release
This acupoint is found on the web portion between the big toe and second toe. Applying pressure here can help with nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
- Apply pressure using your thumb
- Hold for 10 seconds then release
Applying pressure to these points is not necessarily meant to be a cure for an illness. It is meant to relieve pain. It is a good thing to know these kinds of techniques to reduce pain and improve circulation.
Benefits of Using Acupressure
Acupressure includes advantages like:
- Improved sleep
- Relaxing muscles and joints
- Reducing digestive issues
- Alleviating chronic pain
- Improves circulation and lymphatic health
- Hormonal health
Acupressure can help you ease your pain in the short-term. But your overall health will still be determined by diet and lifestyle. Prevention is always better than the cure, as they say. Acupressure is a preventive measure rather than a cure; You are helping the flow of life flow in every vein of your body for a better life. Plus, it is all-natural! Acupressure only needs manual pressure on the right points, not more pills.