A form of touch therapy that adopts the principles of acupuncture and Chinese medicine to restore optimal health and balance to the body.
As one of the oldest branches of traditional Chinese medicine, acupressure therapy has been practiced for approximately 5,000 years. With its primary goal being to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities through a variety of acupoints, acupressure is similar to the work of acupuncture, except this form of alternative therapy does not use needles. Instead, an acupressure practitioner applies deep, firm pressure to specific points of a person's body. The placements of their fingers along the body's meridians is known for helping restore the flow of energy. It’s when the flow of energy, or qi, is disrupted that causes illness and other health problems. The practitioner will work to restore the flow of energy along the meridians as these areas act as a form of communication with vital bodily organs. Acupressure techniques promote a healthier, more permanent relief to pain and they continue to be practiced all around the world today.
The very old and widely practiced alternative therapy of acupressure is utilized by people all over the world to release energy blockages, which are known to cause discomfort, pain, and even disease. So, how does it work exactly? Concentrated pressure is applied to certain areas of the body (or acupoints) by an acupressure practitioner, releasing neurochemicals called endorphins. When that happens, energy flow enhances, lower back pain and tension headaches disappear, and other painful sensations are prevented. In addition, that same pressure can help reduce fatigue, stress, chemical imbalances, and poor circulation, ultimately boosting overall health, happiness, and well-being.
Tui Na massage: A hands-on body treatment, Tui Na massage is similar to acupressure in that it affects the flow of energy by applying pressure at certain points along the body. Also used in conjunction with acupuncture, tai chi, and qigong, Tui Na massage works with the body at a deeper level. It employs a variety of techniques that manipulate joints and establish a harmonious flow of qi, which maintains overall health and keeps the body’s energy in balance.
Shiatsu massage: A form of Japanese bodywork and massage therapy, Shiatsu involves applying pressure to specific points on the body, similar to acupressure. Its techniques include massaging the body with fingers, thumbs, and palms, which helps promote the flow of vital energy, or qi, while calming the nervous system. Shiatsu can also help stimulate circulation, increase energy, alleviate fatigue, and protect against stress-related health issues. It's a beneficial therapy that's practiced around the world.
SuJok: Developed by Prof. Park Jae Woo, SuJok comes from two words: Su, which means hands, and Jok, which means feet. So, together, they create a form of acupressure that solely focuses on the hands and feet. And similar to the basics of regular acupressure, SuJok stimulates various spots to treat a list of health problems and discomfort, including joint pain, backache, and tension headaches. It's acknowledged as an effective healing therapy without the use of medication.
Starting with Gallbladder 20, or Feng Chi, this common acupressure point is favored for headaches, migraines, fatigue, and flu symptoms. Continuing on, Gallbladder 21, or Jian Jing, is commonly used for stress, toothaches, and neck pain, while the Large Intestine 4, or He Gu, is ideal for headaches, facial pain, and neck pain. Liver 3, or Tai Chong, is known for helping insomnia and reducing stress, lower back pain, and high blood pressure. Pericardium 6, or Nei Guan, helps relieve nausea, upset stomach, anxiety, and headaches at the same time that Spleen 6, or San Yin Jiao, helps fight insomnia and fatigue, as well as a variety of urological and pelvic disorders. Another common acupressure point is Stomach 36, or Zu San Li, which is known for relieving a wide range of ailments and health problems, including knee pain, gastrointestinal discomfort, fatigue, and depression. Last but not least, Triple Energizer 3, or Zhong Zhu, is commonly used for headaches, as well as shoulder, neck, and upper back pain.
The ancient healing therapy of acupressure involves applying firm but gentle pressure to various acupressure points, and as they are stimulated, the body experiences a wide range of health benefits. They include the release of tension, the restored flow of vital energy, and reduced stress and anxiety. If you feel like stress and anxiety are taking over your daily tasks and disrupting your productivity, then acupressure can help. Stimulating certain areas can increase concentration, encourage deep breathing, support immune function, balance circulation of energy throughout the body, and ultimately relieve the mind from any worries. That's not all! Since acupressure is proven as an effective treatment for muscular pain, tension, and discomfort in the neck, back, and shoulder region, another health benefit is relieved muscular tension and tightness. Acupressure also increases blood circulation, helps heal mental, physical, and emotional pain, strengthens resistance to disease, and develops long-lasting health and well-being.
Through the application of pressure on meridians, acupressure works to relieve an assortment of ailments and pains. Although more research and medical studies need to be conducted to prove the validity of claims and results, many people still seek the treatment of acupressure to help with pains after surgery or chemotherapy, during spinal anesthesia, when they experience motion sickness, or any other symptoms relating to nausea and vomiting. In addition, acupressure has been reported to help cure headaches and mediate lower back pain by restoring the body’s natural flow of qi. As for other sickness, acupressure works to relieve organ-related ailments, such as bronchitis or other common cold afflictions by restoring the body’s balance and opening up channels to allow for organs to communicate properly with each other. Acupressure has also been tried on patients suffering from depression and/or anxiety. The therapy increases the fluidity of qi in a patient’s body, restoring their energy and improving their mood.
If you're wondering what an acupressure session is like, then you've come to the right place! The patient is asked to lay on a massage table as acupressure treatment is performed. Often combined with some form of massage therapy, an acupressure practitioner stimulates the patient's acupressure points using their fingers, hands, arms, and elbows. The practitioner will also encourage the patient to carry out slow, deep breaths, especially when pressure is being applied to various points. Keep in mind that you will feel a great sense of relaxation, so take your time when you rise from the table into standing position. And when it comes to attire, the patient should wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes as if you were about to practice yoga. Typical sessions can last between 45 to 90 minutes, and afterward, the practitioner may ask for feedback from the patient, and even suggest home exercises for added self-care.
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