Acupressure is an alternative therapy that includes applying manual pressure to certain body locations. It is based on traditional Chinese medicine and is considered to help balance the flow of qi (also spelled “chee”) via the body’s meridians or energy channels.
The purpose of acupressure is to facilitate the free passage of energy in the channel(s) by applying pressure to the acupuncture sites. Acupressure is like acupuncture, but instead of needles, the practitioner uses their fingertips to stimulate the point. A person will feel minor pain when the appropriate acupuncture point is pushed during treatment or self-treatment.
Here are some of the most important components of acupressure:
What is Acupressure? Principles:
- Meridians: Meridians are pathways via which qi travels in the body, according to traditional Chinese medicine. Along these paths, there are 12 major meridians and 365 acupoints.
- Qi: The vital energy that travels through the meridians is known as qi. Illness and pain are believed to happen when the flow of qi is interrupted or impeded.
- Acupoints: Acupoints are particular body locations where the meridians can be accessed for therapeutic purposes.
- Pressure: It includes applying consistent pressure to certain acupoints using the fingers, thumbs, palms, elbows, or specialized equipment. Depending on the desired result, the pressure might be deep or light.
- Massage: To increase the therapeutic effects of massage, acupressure can also be used with other massage modalities. Kneading, tapping, or rotating motions may be used during a massage.
What does acupressure treat?
Back discomfort, headaches, weariness, stress and tension, sad feelings, and immune system inadequacies are a few conditions that can benefit from acupressure.
Its therapy is not age-specific, but pregnant women and individuals with high blood pressure should avoid it. Specific acupressure spots can induce labor or miscarriage. It cannot be used to heal open wounds, scar tissue, varicose veins, or areas of inflammation or edema.
Poor posture is frequently the simple cause of back and joint pain. The neck is particularly vulnerable because of the range of motion in the head and neck. Damage to soft tissues can result from trauma. When acupressure is used to treat certain acupoints between the cervical spine (neck) and the top of the shoulder, pain can be reduced. When blood flow is improved, toxins are removed and oxygen and nutrients for healing are supplied.
Uses and Benefits
- Pain relief: It is often used to treat several pains, such as headaches, cramps from the menstrual cycle, lower back pain, and tight muscles.
- Stress reduction: Relaxation brought on by acupressure can help lessen tension and anxiety while enhancing general well-being.
- Vomiting and nausea: Its points have been known for reducing nausea and vomiting symptoms, especially in cases of chemotherapy-induced nausea or morning sickness.
- Improved circulation: It can increase the flow of energy throughout the body and boost blood circulation.
- Digestive health: Digestive issues like indigestion, bloating, and constipation tend to be relieved by acupressure, which is also believed to assist good digestion. (Source)
Safety and Considerations
- Non-invasive: When performed properly, acupressure is non-invasive and typically harmless. But it’s crucial to learn the right methods or get help from a qualified acupressure practitioner.
- Not a substitute for medical care: Acupressure shouldn’t take the place of traditional medical care. It can be used in conjunction with conventional medical care as a complementary therapy.
- Pregnancy: Some acupressure sites are contraindicated during pregnancy, therefore consult with a healthcare physician or a competent acupressure practitioner who specializes in prenatal care.
It’s significant to emphasize that there is just limited scientific evidence in favour of acupressure, and its mechanisms of action are still poorly understood. Before trying any alternative therapy, including acupressure, it is always advisable to speak with a healthcare provider, especially if you have any underlying medical concerns or are taking medication. (Source) (Source)