In use for over a few centuries in China, the principles of acupressure follow the same course of action as acupuncture. However, the only difference is that acupressure involves applying pressure on the meridians instead of inserting needles. Both these ancient methods of healing are used for promoting overall wellness, relaxation and treat illnesses. Also known as pressure acupuncture, this form of pressure is very effective for unblocking the meridians and for the flow of qi in the body.
Acupressure – The Theory
Acupressure is another class of Asian Bodywork Therapies (ABT). Its roots are the same as Traditional Chinese Medicine, just like other methods Tuina and qigong.
According to the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are some special acu-points in the body, also called acupressure points, which lie along the channels or meridians in the body. These are basically the same meridians of energy and acu-points targeted with the techniques of acupuncture. Acupressure specialists believe that it is through these channels that the vital life force flows also called qi or energy. There are supposedly 12 major channels connecting specific networks or organs of the body, thus organizing the communication system throughout the body. These meridians start at fingertips, connect to the brain and to one particular organ with one meridian.
Based on this theory, when a particular meridian is blocked or imbalanced, diseases can occur. Acupuncture and acupressure are two of the most vital therapies of TCM, which are believed to be helpful in restoring the overall balance of the body.
How does Acupressure Help?
Acupressure practitioners are trained to use their palms, elbows, fingers and other special devices for applying pressure to the acupoints on the meridians of the body. Sometimes, the procedure also involves stretching or massage too.
During the session, a patient will lie on a comfortable massage table, fully clothed. The practitioner will start by applying gentle pressure on the acu-points. Each session lasts for about an hour.
The primary goal of this method of treatment is to restore balance and health to the channels or meridians of energy of the body, while regulating opposite forces of negative energy (yin) and positive energy (yang). Some proponents allege that acupressure is not just effective in treating the field of energy and body, but also affects a person at a spiritual and emotional level.
Benefits from Acupressure
Research shows that there are tremendous health benefits of this method of treatment. Many patients have reported remarkable improvement in their health condition. It has been found that acupressure is very effective in treating nausea – after surgery, after chemotherapy, in case of motion sickness, pregnancy related and for spinal anesthesia.
Besides relieving nausea, it is also effective in patients with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. Acupressure helps cancer patients by reducing stress, relieving pain, improving energy level and lessening other signs of cancer and its treatment.
Primarily, acupressure works against all kinds of pains, such as postoperative pain, lower back pain, headache and others. It is also extremely effective in reducing arthritic pain because acupressure allows endorphins to be released in the body and even promotes anti-inflammatory properties.
Most importantly, acupressure is a great aid for the mind and soul – it improves anxiety and depression in people with ease.