Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing art wherein healing is brought about by massaging key points on the body surface with the help of fingers, thumbs, etc.. The pressure on the key points helps to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative ability, which aids in releasing muscular tension, opening the blocked channels and thereby improving blood circulation. In a way, acupressure is one of the best ways to cure chronic diseases, and is accepted worldwide for its quick results, which are achieved without any side-effects.
Although acupressure is very effective, it cannot substitute for medical care. However, once you have been given medical care for a particular ailment or disease, it can be used as a complimentary treatment to speed up the healing process.
‘Acupressure points’ are those points on the body that are highly sensitive to bio-electric impulses in the body and are good conductors of these impulses. When these points are stimulated, epinephrines are released, which relieve pain. There are two ways in which acupressure points are manipulated.
- Pressing at the points- In this method pressure is applied on the points with the help of a finger, fingernail, a pencil etc. to increase the energy in the areas that the point influences.
- Reducing the points- In this method of manipulation the finger is turned over in counter-clockwise direction to remove the blockage of energy.
The pressure points in acupressure and acupuncture are the same, however, the technique differs slightly. Acupuncture used needles, while acupressure uses blunt objects like fingers or the back of the pencil to give pressure.
There are around 365 pressure points in the entire body. Some points are underneath major muscles, and they lie within the muscular cord, while some are near a bone structure, and usually lie in an indentation.
Acupressure can treat various diseases and conditions if given by a person, who has good knowledge about the technique. It can prove to be effective in treating:
- Emotional pain: Acupressure not only releases muscular tensions and physical pain, but it can heal a person who is feeling low and going through emotional pain. In today’s busy lives, you hardly have time to vent out your emotions. As a result, the negative feelings and thoughts stay in your mind resulting into emotional imbalances. During this time, acupressure helps to release the emotional tension and restore the flow of vital energy.
- Backache: Acupressure helps in releasing muscular tension caused in the back, which is mostly due to an injury or improper posture. If there is no one available to give you acupressure, you can try it for yourself. The important points are mainly located on either side of the spine. So, whenever you suffer from lower-back pain or upper-back pain, try this out. Put tennis balls into sock and arrange them in a line. Lie down on this for a few minutes. The more balls the better for you. This will definitely release the muscular tension and relieve your back pain.
- Beauty treatments: Besides being a healing technique, acupressure is also used in beauty and skin treatments. For thousands of years, the Chinese have been using this technique quite successfully. The pressure, when given on the right points, helps to tone and relax the facial muscles. It can also improve the texture of the skin by reducing marks and wrinkles without any medication.
- Sexual problems: If you are suffering from any sexual problems like premature ejaculation, impotency etc., acupressure can solve your troubles to a certain extent. It can improve your sex life by fortifying arousal, sexual endurance and fertility.
Besides these ailments or conditions, a skilled acupressurist can treat various health problems like cervical pain, constipation, frozen shoulder, eye problems, heart problems, urinary problems, acidity, gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, joint pain, leg pain, cramps, high cholesterol, etc.
Is acupressure really working for you?
- Press on the affected area with your finger. Don’t press too hard, at the same time don’t press too lightly.
- Apply pressure for a few minutes – one to two minutes.
- All the points when pressed will show some effect on the face. So, if the therapy is working for you, you may feel a tingling sensation on your face. This is a sign that the acupressure point on which the pressure is being applied is accurate.
- If you do not feel the pressure or pain by pressing, chances are high that the therapist is not pressing the right point. The points are about 0.5mm in diameter, so the therapist should have a good knowledge of the exact location of the point to make the treatment effective.
The therapists should practice caution and follow these guidelines:
- If you are ill or suffering from diseases like cancer or tuberculosis, avoid putting pressure on points in the abdominal area.
- Acupressure should be avoided in case of expectant mothers.
- Only slight pressure should be applied on sensitive areas like the groin, armpits, outer area of breasts, ears and throat.
- Do not take treatment on any area with scars, burns, injuries, skin infections or ulcers.
Although it does not have any side-effects, it is necessary to observe caution while practising it. Also, acupressure, as far as possible, should be given by a skilled professional.