With its roots in traditional Chinese medicine, acupressure is a form of acupuncture. It is also very commonly referred to as pressure acupuncture. Acupuncture involved the use of needles. However, acupressure just involves the use of pressure.
Acupressure is a form of Asian Bodyworks Therapy (ABT). Medical qigong is also a type of ABT. Acupressure points lie around meridians in our body. These meridians are pathways through which vital energy flows throughout our body.
There are at least 12 major meridians in our body which are thought to connect our organs together. Meridians are thought to be a passageway for communication between these organs. According to the meridian theory, if one of the meridians is blocked then a person can fall ill.
How Acupressure Works In Restoring The Body To Its Healthy State
Acupressure can involve pressure being applied on the meridians to give them comfort. Acupressure practitioners use their hands or elbows to apply that pressure. Acupressure can also involve a full body massage or just plain stretching.
Acupressure is thought not only to be beneficial to the body but also our mind. It induces a state of comfort which can help our meridians relax. However, not many practitioners think that meridians exist.
The benefits of acupressure are not visible after just one session. Repeated acupressure sessions can overtime make its benefits obvious.
- The PC 6 acupressure point, located at the base of the palm near the two large tendons, is thought to relieve of nausea. Researches have also been carried out which show that pressure applied on the PC 6 point is known to relieve of stress, nervousness, pain and the pain and nausea associated with chemotherapy as well!
- Acupressure is also known to relieve of common pains such as headaches or backaches. The LI 4 acupressure point can help in relieving such pains. It can even help with arthritis symptoms. This is because acupressure encourages anti-inflammatory effects.
- The most common benefit of acupressure is thought to be relief from depression and anxiety. It induces and balance the chemicals in the brain and makes it relax, thus relieving of depression.
Common Precautions When Using Acupressure
Although many acupressure patients have said that acupressure can relieve of cancerous pain, not much research has been done in this area. Acupressure is thought to be very safe but you should still consult with your doctor if you have a chronic disease, cancer or any heart disease.
Acupressure should be avoided if:
- The acupressure point has cancer or the treatment directly relates to the area with cancer
- If you are pregnant
- If you have a spinal injury. Physical pressure can make such injuries worse
- If you have varicose veins.
- If you have rheumatoid arthritis
Acupressure During Pregnancy
As already said, acupressure is thought to be generally safe. Even during pregnancy, it is safe to use. However, always err on the side of caution because there are some points which can induce contractions.
The safe acupressure points to use during pregnancy are:
- Zhubin K 9. It is located above the inner ankle bone. This point can help relax the mind. It gets rid of fear, anxiety, depression or nightmares
- Zusanli St 39. It is located just on the outer edge of the tibia, below the knee cap. This point helps control the meridians involves with the digestive process and can help with your overall constitution. Including blood building. This point is great for constipation or diarrhea and can help increase the energy levels in your body.
- Neiguan P 6. This point is the common point to help relieve of nausea. Located just above the inner wrist, it helps calm the mind and your stomach.
Points that induce contractions are the points on the sacrum, lower back, lower abdomen, SP 6 and LI4. Avoid these points unless you are overdue pregnant.
Acupressure and PMS
Post-menstrual syndrome has been a pain for women. They have unwarranted mood swings or irritability, even depression! Physical changes such as tender breasts or acne or cramps are also common.
Acupressure is a great way to help relieve of PMS symptoms. Some common points are:
- Valley of Harmony (Li4)
- The Great Surge (LIV3)
- Mansion Cottage (abdomen)
- Rushing Door (abdomen)
- Sacral Points (back)
- Three-Yin Crossing (leg)
- Union Valley Point (arm)
Use acupressure with caution. Your doctor or licensed acupressure practitioner may be able to advise you wisely.