Have you ever wondered, what is acupressure?
Did you know that acupressure has been around for more than 4000 years? The fact that it is still popular today is a testament to its effectiveness. While modern prescription medicines aim to relieve the symptoms of an illness, acupressure sends signals to the body to turn on its own self-healing mechanisms. The concept behind this is that vital energy, also known as Qi, circulates throughout the human body through pathways known as meridians. If the flow of this energy is blocked, a person may experience discomfort or disease.
Acupressure focuses on prevention of diseases by restoring the flow of vital energy and correcting any functional imbalances. This helps restore the body to its natural state of well-being. Acupressure is also a very effective form of stimulation, as it helps relax your body’s muscles. If done regularly, it can help reduce the recurrence of symptoms.
There are a number of acupressure points throughout the body, and the simplest way to stimulate them is to press firmly with your finger in a rotary movement for several minutes. You can also use an up-and-down movement.
How to administer acupressure
Use firm and deep pressure to try and stimulate the different pressure points.
When massaging a particular point, try to stay relaxed and in a comfortable position.
Repeat the acupressure massage as often as you like. There is no limit to the number of times you can do this in a day.
You can massage the various points by yourself, or you can ask someone else to massage the acupoints for you. You can also get yourself an acupressure mat, which is a lightweight mat that helps stimulate the release of endorphins to soothe your mind and body.
Common acupressure points for beginners to learn
Some of the most commonly used acupressure points include:
a) Feng Chi: Gallbladder 20 (GB20)
This pressure point is located by pressing on the mastoid, or ear, bone, and following that groove back to the point where the neck muscles connect to the skull. It is recommended for relieving:
- Cold and flu symptoms
- Eye blurriness
- Low energy
b) Jian Jing: Gallbladder 21 (GB21)
To locate this point, pinch your shoulder muscles with your thumb and middle finger. This acupoint is used to help relieve facial pain, stress, headaches, neck pain and toothaches. It should be used with caution in pregnant women.
c) Tai Chong: Liver 3 (LV3)
You have to take off your shoes to locate this point. Applying pressure at this acupoint is very effective in relieving symptoms of high blood pressure, insomnia, and emotional upset. It also helps reduce low back pain, limb pain, and stress.
d) Zhong Zhu: Triple Energizer 3
To find this point, apply pressure in the grooves formed by the tendons of the fourth and fifth fingers, behind your knuckles. It is used in relieving neck tension, upper back pain, and temporal headaches.
Beginner rules to follow when administering acupressure
The following are some of the rules all beginners should follow when performing an acupressure massage:
- Apply the pressure slowly and gradually. Hold the point with a steady and light pressure for a maximum of 3 minutes. If you feel sore, use light pressure. If you are muscular or like deep pressure, apply more pressure until it begins to hurt good. Hold the pressure point lightly for about a minute before coming off.
If you want the best results, relax in a comfortable position with your eyes closed while breathing in deeply for between 5 and 10 minutes after the acupressure session. This relaxation allows the acupressure points to balance the systems and healing within your body for better results.
- If you have any cuts, wounds, or tumors, avoid pressing on them. You should also not press near your throat. If you feel a tingling sensation during acupressure, it is a sign that blood circulation is increasing to heal the various areas in your body.
- If you are on any medication or if you have a medical condition, apply the pressure more slowly. While acupressure is very effective at relieving pain and discomfort, it is not a substitute for proper medical care.
- Breathe slowly, deeply, and smoothly during the acupressure session and immediately after for better results.
Acupressure massage is very safe and can be used by anyone who wants to take greater responsibility for their own health. However, people with serious conditions, such as cancer or heart disease, should consult his doctor before starting this treatment.