Acupressure is the use of finger pressure on the key points of the body, (Acupressure points are the same points as those used in Acupuncture. Acupressure however, uses a gentle but firm finger pressure to release the point, where in Acupuncture fine needles are inserted into the points to release the blockages) to release tension and improve circulation. Thus, it is most effective for problems caused by stress and tension. Acupressure is a powerful tool for eliminating toxins and for stimulating the body’s natural self-curative abilities. It can enable you to experience greater awareness of your body functions and increase your sense of well-being.
Acupressure works directly on the life forces or energy of the body. In India, where Yoga has developed, this energy is called “prana.” In Japan the term is “ki,” as in the name of material art “Aikido,” and in China it is called “chi,” as in “Tai Chi.” The varied names – prana, ki, and chi – refer to the same network of energy.
This system of energy is essential to the health of the individual. The flow of this energy through the Acupressure meridians, or pathways, nourishes and balances the entire body with vital energy. On the other hand, when the flow is restricted or blocked, we do not feel well, physically and/or emotionally.
One of the first signs of this blockage is muscular tension, which accumulates around the Acupressure points. You can actually locate points by feeling for this tension, which is usually in form of a tight muscular band, cord, or knot surrounding the point. Acupressure releases this tension so that chi energy can flow more freely through a tense area, enabling the body to naturally heal and balance itself.
Benefits of Acupressure:
Acupressure releases muscular tension, enabling the blood to flow freely and allowing toxins to be released and eliminated. An increase in circulation also brings more oxygen and other nutrients to affected areas. This increases the body’s resistance to illness and promotes a longer life. When blood and energy are circulating properly, we have a greater sense of harmony, health, and well-being.
Pain perception tends to increase with bodily stress and emotional anxiety. Acupressure relieves muscular tension and relaxes the nerves, producing a tremendous calming effect. Often a nurturing, healing touch can eliminate or greatly reduce pain.
Stress and pressure are the major factors that contribute to irritability and frustration which make communication difficult and set the stage for relationship problems. In response to this stress, we often tense our bodies in an attempt to block out the pain. Because the body has the ability to store past emotional experience in the muscles, unexpressed or unresolved emotions can be a major source of tension. Acupressure balances the emotions by releasing the associated tension caused by repressed feelings, and by increasing a person’s overall awareness of tension in the body. Improving your body’s ability to cope with stress can ultimately benefit your work and love relationships.
Fitness and Sports
Acupressure massage helps improve muscle strength and tone, and benefits sports injuries by increasing circulation and reducing pain. Pressing certain trigger points relieves and prevents such conditions as cramps, lower backaches, knee problems, and sprains by transmitting a relaxation response to large muscle groups. Acupressure has been found effective for relieving general stiffness, muscle aches, and a variety of sports injuries, giving athletes the competitive edge through greater fitness and increased energy and stamina.
Acupressure is a complement to, not a substitute for medical care. For instance, acupressure is not the first treatment choice for a broken bone or cancer. In those cases, it is best to see a medical doctor. Acupressure can, however, increase the healing of a broken bone once it is set and can help a patient with cancer by relieving the associated pain and anxiety of the disease.
An individual acupressure session usually lasts one hour. The amount of pressure applied, varies from a gentle touch to firm, deep massage. The contact should feel balanced somewhere between pain and pleasure. If there is any pain involved, it should “hurt good.” Sometimes after a session, there may be tenderness in muscles and joints, or an increase in symptoms. This is generally due to the release of toxins and should subside. It is suggested that you rest after receiving a session in order to experience the full benefits of acupressure.