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Overview of Acupressure Message Therapy
Acupressure is a physical treatment used for thousands of years in China. Acupressure applies the same principles as that of acupuncture in order to promote relaxation and wellness and to treat disease. It is often called pressure Acupuncture as it is simply acupuncture without the needles.
In our earlier article Acupressure Massage Therapy Guide for Beginners, you can find “How to administer acupressure.” But to know what exactly is Acupressure and how does it work? Read this!!
What is Acupressure?
Acupressure is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory based massage therapy technique that uses finger pressure to mobilize chi — or life force energy — at specific spots on the body called acupressure points.
These points also known as acupuncture points or acupoints are the physical locations where chi can be accessed to release blocked or congested energy centers in the body, promoting unobstructed chi flow for health and well-being.
Acupressure massage therapy provides notable benefits such as pain, headaches, insomnia, poor circulation, sinus problems, arthritis, shoulder and neck tension. It can be effective in preventative health care maintenance.
It is often used as a complementary treatment along with other health care modalities. Many chiropractors also offer massage therapy in their offices as it can also be an effective adjunct to chiropractic treatment. Acupressure Massage Therapy is often thought of as simply Acupuncture without the needles.
Benefits of Acupressure Massage Therapy:
Acupressure includes many advantages and suitable for all age groups. However, a few notable advantages of Acupressure Massage Therapy have been listed below:
- Relieving stress, tension, and anxiety
- Improving sleep
- Relaxing muscles and joints
- Soothing the pain and discomfort of a sports or other injury
- Reducing digestive issues
- Minimizing headaches
- Alleviating chronic pain
- Increases circulation
- Enhances the immune system
- Promotes nervous system functioning
- Reduces blood pressure
- Relieves pain and muscle tension
- Improves mood, intellectual reasoning, and job performance
- Positive effect on conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, diabetes and migraine headaches.
- Stimulate the nervous system to help reduce muscle atrophy
- Increase muscle tone
- Stimulate the functions of the skin or an organ deep inside the body;
- Sedate the nervous system to help ease muscle tension, spasticity, stress-related symptoms, and headaches;
- Boost the functioning of the immune system and maintains health when done regularly;
- Stimulate sluggish circulation or slow down the circulation of someone who has just run a marathon when using friction massage techniques;
- Allow a better range of motion and support the connective tissue and muscles in becoming strong and healthy when doing simple joint movements and joint stretching.
How does Acupressure Work?
- In acupressure it is believed that there are twelve channels in our body; all related to each part of the body. These channels finally connect to the nervous system.
- When there is any kind of blockage in any part of the body, force is exerted via acupressure to remove that hindrance and to ensure proper flow of blood, oxygen and positive energy.
- For acupressure, a skilled practitioner is required.
- Acupressure not only relieves pain but also ensures a good and stable life.
- It helps in the toning of muscles and is also used as a beauty treatment to improve the texture of the skin.
- Acupressure can be used simultaneously with your other medical treatment. The two frames of reference in acupressure massage therapy are the focal point and the trigger point. The focal point is used to exert pressure on a particular point and trigger point is used to put pressure on a nearby point.
- Each point heals many ailments.
- Qi is called the vital energy and there are many factors (both internal and external) which impact the body negatively and hamper the flow of Qi.
- Acupressure can release Qi and ensure proper functioning of the body.
What Is the Theory Behind Acupressure?
Acupressure is one of a number of Asian bodywork therapies (ABT) with its roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Examples of other Asian bodywork therapies include medical qigong, Tuina and Shiatsu
Traditional Chinese medical theory describes special acupoints or acupressure points which lie along with the meridians or channels in your body. These are the same energy meridians and acupoints which are targeted with acupuncture.
It is believed that these invisible channels facilitate the flow of vital energy or a life force called qi (ch’i). These 12 major meridians connect specific organs or networks of organs, organizing a system of communication throughout your body and these meridians begin at your fingertips, connect to your brain, and are then connected to an organ associated with a certain meridian.
According to this theory, when one of the meridians is blocked or out of balance severe illness can occur. Acupressure and acupuncture are the types of Traditional Chinese Meridian that are thought to help restore balance.
What Happens During an Acupressure Massage?
An acupressure massage begins with a consultation. The practitioner will ask you what you are seeking relief from. Stress is often felt only vaguely in the body but manifests itself psychologically as irritability, anxiety, mild depression and a number of other symptoms.
In the body, stress has been shown to result in a number of disorders, including high blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, gastric problems, localized pain (particularly in the back, shoulders, and neck) and other disorders that if not dealt with can become chronic and lead to very serious health problems.
When the therapist knows what you are seeking relief from, he can then locate the appropriate points on your body to focus on. In most cases, he will work in several areas.
You may be surprised to find that if you are seeking relief from a stress-related headache, for example, your massage may include work on a specific point between the toes or someplace else on the body far away from where you are feeling pain.
This is because a blockage at one point along a meridian may be causing pain or discomfort in another area along the same meridian.
What are the Uses of Acupressure Massage Therapy?
Most people try acupressure in order to manage the following symptoms:
- Cancer-related fatigue
- Menstrual cramps
- Motion sickness
- Muscle tension and pain
- Nausea or vomiting after surgery or chemotherapy
- Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and morning sickness
- Stress management
Acupressure Points Chart – Acupressure Massage Points
Points to be noted for Acupressure Massage Therapy (Notable Points to be remembered)
- Acupressure should never be painful. If you experience any such pain intimate your therapist immediately.
- After an acupressure session, some people may feel soreness or bruising at acupressure points. You may also feel temporarily lightheaded.
- Pressure should be gentle over fragile or sensitive areas, such as the face.
- If you have a condition such as osteoporosis, recent fracture or injury, cancer, easy bruising, a bleeding disorder, heart disease, uncontrolled blood pressure, diabetes, or are using anticoagulant
- If you are pregnant, you should speak to your care provider before trying acupressure. However, it isn’t done on the abdomen or certain points on the leg or low back during pregnancy.
- Acupressure shouldn’t be done over open wounds, bruises, varicose veins, or any area that is bruised or swollen.
Acupressure – General Directions
- Use deep firm pressure to massage every point.
- Usually, acupressure points are more sensitive than the surrounding area.
- The massage duration indicated with point description is only an approximation. Massage every point until the numbing feeling is produced.
- You do not need to massage all active points included in the exercise. Some active points produce a stronger effect than others.
- You can repeat active points massage as often as you want because there is no limit on the number of exercises per day.
- When applying deep pressure the active point is expected hurt initially.
- Reduce the pressure to a “comfortably” painful level and persist with the active massaging point.
- Increase the pressure as the initial painful sensation begins to subside and it continues the massage until the numbing feeling is produced
- When massaging acupressure points sit comfortably or lie down, close your eyes and breathe deeply.
- It is not necessary to massage points on your own, you can ask somebody else to massage your active points.
- An example of stimulation of active point Li4 is applying the firm deep strokes of pressure in the upward direction as Point Li4 is located between thumb and index finger.
What are the recommended preparations before the session?
Before the session, the following preparations are highly recommended.
Food: Avoid having heaving meal as it will be unpleasant to lie on your stomach with a full stomach. Avoid fasting as well as skipping the meal.
Alcohol: A person who has been drinking should not receive any type of massage because alcohol is a stimulant. If Acupressure is done then it can result in vomiting or nausea.
Perfume: Don’t spray perfume on your body before the acupressure session because it can disrupt the sensitivity of the practitioner and this sensitivity is essential for a reliable diagnosis.
Clothing: Wear clothes made of natural fibres instead of synthetic fibres because synthetic fibres produce static elasticity, and interfere with touch.
Acupressure Massage therapy – FAQS
What is acupressure best used for?
Acupressure Massage therapy is best used for following health issues
- Nausea after surgery
- Headache relief
- Motion sickness
- Pregnancy morning sickness
- Muscle tension and pain
- Menstrual cramping
- Cancer fatigue
- Nausea from chemotherapy
What are the drawbacks of Acupressure Massage therapy?
The following are the various other drawbacks of Acupressure Massage Therapy
- People having a fractured bone should avoid acupressure.
- Acupressure cannot treat cold effectively.
- Patients with diarrhoea and high fever should not go for acupressure massage therapy.
- Acupressure is less effective in soft pressure points such as stomach.
- Acupressure is not the right choice for patients having osteoporosis.
What are the different types of massages?
The following are the different types of massages
- Pregnancy prenatal massage
- Swedish massage
- Neuromuscular therapy
- Sports massage
Why Acupressure therapy is done?
Acupressure Massage Therapy is done to cure
- Chemotherapy-induced and postoperative nausea and vomiting
- Dental pain
- Headaches, including tension headaches and migraines
- Labor pain
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Menstrual cramps
- Respiratory disorders, such as allergic rhinitis
What are the Conditions Treated by Acupressure Massage Therapy?
Acupressure strengthens the resistance to disease and promotes wellness. The following are the various conditions treated by acupressure massage are:
What is the difference between Acupressure and Acupuncture?
Acupressure and Acupuncture are the five branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which are based on same knowledge and same approach. Both work with the same goal that is to balance the vital energy.
The only difference is one uses the needles (Acupuncture) and the other is done with the practitioner’s hands (Acupressure).
How do I locate points?
In order to be able to use information from other sources for locating points, first, you will need to know what the “cun” is.
- The “cun” is the standard unit of measurement for the body used in acupuncture. It is defined according to the person whose body is to be treated because everyone’s body has different dimensions.
- 1 cun= width of the thumb, in the middle, at the crease.
- 3 cun= combined the breadth of the 4 fingers, at the level of the pinky finger’s first joint above the palm of the hand.
- 12 cun= the distance from the elbow crease to the wrist crease
What treatments are useful for an entrepreneur?
The following Acupressure treatments useful for the entrepreneur
- Use Brain Trainer Acupressure for Best Concentration.
- Use Sport and Fitness Acupressure to build up Endurance.
- In addition, use Travel, Headache, Everyday Health Acupressure on demand
What are the various acupressure treatments?
Acupressure Points also exists for better concentration, tiredness reduction, memory improvement, stress reduction, vision improvement, sleep improvement, breathe improvement and many more!