WHAT IS ACUPRESSURE?
Acupressure is often thought of as acupuncture without needles. Yet few still have any idea of what happens to the body with acupressure or acupuncture. How does it work? Do they do the same thing? What is the theory or science behind the protocol? Most importantly, how can it help you?
HOW DOES ACUPRESSURE WORK?
Acupressure works in a similar way as acupuncture, but rather then inserting fine needles, pressure is applied to the same acupuncture point locations to create a desired effect for the health of the individual. Acupuncture points are nodal sites or points of juncture between nerves and blood vessels, and therefore any treatment will have some effect on the nervous system, blood flow, and the organs or tissues they service. Ultimately these techniques work because they deliver blood flow to the desired organ or tissue. The blood is a carrier for oxygen, pain killing substances like endorphin and enkephalins, nutrients, and anti inflammatory substances as well. This coupled with acupressure’s effects of either stimulating or sedating the nervous system creates an extremely effective mode of treatment for many conditions.
What is fascinating about both acupressure and acupuncture is that in almost all cases you can create a healing response by applying pressure to a distal or remote site. That is, if someone has a headache you can apply pressure to certain points on the hands or feet, or if one has nausea you can apply pressure to an area just proximal to the wrist. These distal points are the genius behind real acupressure channel theory and yet are highly under used and misunderstood even by some practitioners.
WHO IS A CANDIDATE ACUPRESSURE?
Acupressure is great for young and old alike, and I use it my clinic as a tool to give to my patients to continue their care at home. It can be very helpful for certain types of pain, including musculo-skeletal pain, headaches, and digestive pain to name a few. Along with being “life saving“ for women suffering from morning sickness during pregnancy. Just as the channel system is vast, so too are its applications towards healing.
HOW TO APPLY ACUPRESSURE:
Using your thumb apply pressure onto the locations described below, keep pressure on the point for a number of minutes to attain a marked change in your condition. Feel free to “massage” into the point, creating a gentle wave of pressure, and make sure to apply pressure on both sides.
A SELECTION OF ACUPRESSURE POINTS:
I would like to share some common points that can be of help to you at home if you need quick intervention for your health. The following is just a taste of a much greater system of medicine.
Large Intestine 4-Hegu (Gathering Valley)
On the dorsum of the hand between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones, approximately in the middle of the 2nd metacarpal bone on the radial side.
Pericardium 6-Neiguan (Inner Gate)
Approximately 2 inches above the crease of the wrist, between the tendons of the muscle palmaris longus and the muscle flexor radialis.
Stomach 36- Zusanli (Leg 3 Miles)
Measure approximately 3 inches below the depression lateral to the patella ligament, one finger-breadth from the anterior border of the tibia.
Liver 3- Taichong (Great Surge)
On the dorsum of the foot in the depression distal to the junction of the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones.
Stomach 25- Tianshu (Celestial Pivot)
Approximately 2 inches lateral to the center of the umbilicus.
Ear-Shen Men- (Ear- Spirit Gate)
At bifurcating point between superior and inferior antihelix crus, at the lateral 1/3 of triangular fossa.
These acu-points are just a few out of hundreds, and in the clinic I give much more specific advice when it comes to applying acupressure on yourself, but try these out for yourself and see the benefits. It is truly amazing that the body has built within itself the ability to heal, sometimes all it needs is a little help and coaxing to do so.