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When Western medicine fails (which occurs more than you think) more and more of us are turning to alternative kinds of treatment. Today I want to talk about Acupressure as an alternative therapy to treat pain and disease. Keep reading to learn “what is Acupressure therapy”?
What is Acupressure Therapy?
Based in Traditional Chinese medicine, Acupressure Therapy identifies specific acupressure points to “turn on” your own self-healing power.
The whole idea behind acupressure is to active chi, i.e. life force energy by applying pressure using your hands . You have over 400 pressure-points called ‘acupoints. Acupoints are basically physical locations in which chi circulates through pathways called meridians.
If your chi is blocked or congested you will likely feel body pain. This is a consequence of the inability of energy to flow obstructed through your body. Activating these energy centers is like pushing a ‘reset button' – especially for pain. Hundreds of diseases have a known sequence to restore health and well-being.
Much like you use your opponent’s energy against him/her in taekwondo so does acupressure therapy use the body’s own healing power to alleviate pain and prevent illness. For instance, if you are feeling discomfort in the shoulder region, massaging specific points restores the natural flow of energy and helps you to recuperate quickly.
Types of Acupoints
Typical acupressure massage therapy training methods focus on two main types of points on the body: local and trigger points. Local acupressure points target the specific area of the body where pain and tension are present. It is then the therapist’s job to stimulate these points to relieve the discomfort or painful sensation.
Trigger points, are located at another part of the body that is seemingly healthy and unconnected with the affected area. Essentially, these points are far away from the painful area but are still connected to them alongside meridians.
What are Meridians in Acupressure?
Meridians on the human body are pathways that connect acupressure points to one another, as well as major internal organs. Thus, it is useful to know how to locate not only acupoints but meridians as well.
Frequently Used in Chinese Hospitals
Although acupressure therapy is highly effective, it is seldom used in the West. But in Chinese hospitals before surgery, patients have a choice between anesthesia or electro-acupuncture. And you know what? 40-60% of people choose electro-acupuncture – being less invasive and expensive!
These are not minor operations either! Patients routinely undertake cardio-thoracic and abdominal surgeries while they are wide awake!
American Hospitals are Opening to Natural Therapies
As more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of natural therapies, Western hospitals are beginning to offer electro-acupuncture as an alternative of anesthesia.
So when you wonder if “this stuff works” – consider the millions of people who have went under the knife using electro-acupuncture and didn't feel any pain.
Acupressure therapy benefits a wide range of health conditions, ranging from:
- Addiction: Food, nicotine, alcohol, opioids, cocaine
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- High blood pressure
- Acid reflux
- Skin issues like psoriasis, eczema and acne
- Chronic and acute pain
- Sinus issues
- Poor blood circulation
- Muscle tension
- Fertility issues
- Also, acupressure therapy is an effective disease prevention method
- And many more
The Difference Between Acupuncture and Acupressure
You may have heard about the miraculous effects of Acupuncture, but not so much about Acupressure.
Both therapies are based on the same ancient healing principle. The only difference is Acupuncture uses sharp needles and Acupressure uses finger pressure.
Historically, Acupressure pre-dates Acupuncture. Which totally makes sense since thousands of years ago, they didn't have the technology to make needles. Rather, they used their fingers, bones or stones to apply pressure to specific acupoints.
The Most Common Acupuncture Points
You are probably wondering by now where exactly these acupoints are located.
There are hundreds of them scattered across the entire body. But, the three most commonly activated are the large intestine, liver, and spleen. All the acupoints are marked using a combination of letters (the organ) and numerals (individual points). The three mentioned organs would have their pivotal acupoints marked as LI-4, LR-3, and SP-6.
The large intestine is activated through the soft, fleshy web lying between your thumb and forefinger.
The liver acupoints, sits at top of the foot above the space between the big toe and the adjacent toe.
The spleen pressure point lies three-fingers widths above the inner anklebone.
Acupressure and Cancer
Most chemotherapy patients use acupressure to relieve nausea after chemo. Acupressure therapy helps to:
- Reduce stress
- Increase the energy level in the body
- Relieve pain
- Mitigate many more symptoms of cancer and, unfortunately, its various treatments
Apart from helping chemo patients recover, acupressure is a great way to relieve pain in general.
It is especially helpful with:
- Relieving lower back pain
- Headaches like migraines, and postoperative pain
- Easing muscle pain after intense physical activity
The Fight against Depression and Anxiety
What is really surprising about acupressure therapy is the fact that more and more healthy people are taking it up. They might not be in pain or ailing in any other way but they love the prospect of feeling invigorated.
But, the benefits of learning Acupressure are many. Many people report that not only do they feel energized after using Acupressure, but their mental health is improved as well. Modern mental epidemics of depression and anxiety are hard to cure using conventional medicine… So Acupressure therapy is filling the gap. In this sense, it is better to lie on a massage table and give acupressure a shot than to gulp down one antidepressant after the other.
In general, acupressure is harmless if you know what you're doing. If you are a beginner learn how to apply pressure to the acupressure points. If you want to do acupressure, you need to know where to press.
If you just don't have the interest to learn Acupressure therapy, but still need the benefits, check out this multi-functional chairs that have the ability to penetrate deep into the muscle tissue.
In the end, acupressure therapy has a lot of benefits conventional medicine simply lacks. You won’t lose anything if you try this type of massage but you stand to gain much general health improvement.