Do Acupressure Points Really Work?
Acupressure is an amazing alternative medicine technique that releases stress, anxiety, negative energy and built-up tension in your body. It’s very simple to practice on yourself, or someone else, once you know the basics because it depends only on applying pressure to specific points on your body. Of course you can also visit a qualified therapist who can perform the procedure for you.
Each of these points, aptly referred to as ‘pressure points’, are assigned to different parts of your body. There are two types of points; local and trigger. Local points are the area where there is actual pain or discomfort. Trigger points are connected to the area where the pain exists. For example, if you apply pressure to the crease found on the back of your knee, this can alleviate lower back pain and release tension from your lower vertebrae.
The theory behind this ancient Chinese treatment is that these chosen points stimulate the meridians, which are pathways through which our life-energy, or ‘chi’, flows. There are about 14 meridians running throughout our bodies.
When these pathways are energized through pressure, it brings relaxation and calmness. It also enhances circulation and flexibility by activating the body’s hormonal, lymphatic, and circulatory systems, as well as boosting the immune system.
Acupressure can help treat and prevent many types of illnesses. Through its relaxing technique, acupressure can bring relief from the following:
• Stress and anxiety
• Achy joints and muscles
• Digestive problems
• Chronic pains and illnesses
Acupressure How it’s Done
The basic way to apply pressure is by using your index finger, thumb, or side of your hand. Certain types of tools can also be used such as, for example, the acuball, the energy roller, the foot roller, the power (or ‘pyramid’) mat, and the spine roller.
Once you’ve chosen your application method, locate the pressure point, then press down for a good 1 – 3 minutes. When you press down, you, or the person you’re applying pressure to, should a feel a good type of pain where there’s a bit of tenderness, but also a feeling of relaxation starting to emanate.
A big part of acupressure is breathing. Both the person applying the pressure and the one receiving it should control their breathing using full and deep breaths. This helps unleash tension and pain, unclench muscle knots and stimulate healing energy allowing to flow throughout your body. It also allows the person receiving acupressure to help regulate the amount of pressure being used with each inhale and exhale. On the other hand, the person applying pressure should also use controlled, deep breathing to enhance their focus on the task at hand.
Acupressure Safety measures
While it’s easy to try out acupressure on yourself or someone else, there are several precautions you should be aware of before starting.
• Avoid applying pressure in a jerky or bouncy way.
• Avoid applying pressure on the abdomen, thigh or leg in pregnant women.
• Avoid applying pressure on areas where are recent scars or broken skin. What you could do, however, is apply pressure on the opposite side of the body which may result in what experts refer to as ‘reflex effect’. This is when applying pressure to one side affects the same area but on the other side because they’re both affected by the same set of nerves from the spinal cord.
Acupressure has been practiced for thousands of years and has proven its ability to energize and stimulate your body, mind, and soul resulting in a calmer, stronger you. Talk with your doctor about trying acupressure, and, as with everything, start slow, take your time and enjoy the process.