Acupressure is a form of alternative medicine that has been used for thousands of years in China to promote wellness and treat disease and pain. Acupressure is much like acupuncture, but without the use of needles. You can find a qualified provider to give you an acupressure treatment or you can give yourself an acupressure treatment for pain by putting pressure on specific pressure points in the body.
Acupressure may be effective for the pain of fibromyalgia, chronic conditions, acute pain, gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, cardiovascular problems, muscle disorders, depression, fatigue and nerve disorders.
Western medicine does not fully understand how acupressure works for pain relief, so it is an area that needs further study. Stimulating specific pressure points triggers the release of endorphins, neurochemicals that relieve pain. Massaging the points is believed to release blocked energy and increase overall wellness..
Acupressure is one of many bodywork therapies with Asian origins. The theory is that certain pressure points lie along the meridians in the body. The meridians are invisible channels that vital energy flows through. The theory is that when one of these meridians is out of balance, or blocked, illness can occur. Acupressure and acupuncture operate on the theory that restoring balance encourages wellness and defeats disease.
If you are interested in getting a acupressure treatment, there are trained professionals who have studied the meridians and the proper techniques. A doctor or chiropractor may be able to recommend a qualified person who gives acupressure treatments.
There are hundreds of acupressure points on the body, so training and study is required to learn all of them. There are some common points that you can start with to treat yourself.
1. Large intestine 4 (L14): This point is in the fleshy web of skin between the forefinger an thumb.
2. Liver 3 (LR-3): This soft web of skin between the big toe and second toe is similar to L14.
3. Spleen 6 (SP-6): This point on the lower calf muscle of the leg is about three finger widths above the inner anklebone.
Pressure points usually feel tender or achy when you apply pressure. Massage the pressure points for several seconds one or two times daily. The pressure should be firm but not too hard or painful,
Acupressure is generally considered safe, but a doctor should be consulted if you have certain medical conditions, particularly arthritis, cancer or heart disease. Acupressure and deep tissue work should be avoided if you have certain kinds of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease, spinal injuries, varicose veins or a blood infection. Caution should be exercised if you are pregnant because certain points can cause contractions that could induce labor.
Information in this article is not intended as medical advice. If you have questions about acupressure, or a medical condition, please consult a qualified medical professional.
Arthritis Alternative Treatment Options
Water Exercise Helps Arthritis Sufferers
Exercise Can Keep Back Pain at Bay
My Experience with Energy Healing
Natural Treatment for Fibromyalgia