Acupressure is a simple, holistic way to treat minor aches and pains using traditional Chinese acupuncture points. Acupressure points are located by feeling a spot on the body with the fingertips. An acupressure point will generate a sense of discomfort when pressed according to J.V. Cerney, author of Acupressure Without Needles.
Pressure applied to an acupressure point should be similar to that applied to an eyeball without creating discomfort. A rotary motion using the ball of the thumb or third finger should be applied for approximately seven seconds. Often, it will be necessary to treat more than one pressure point according to J.V. Cerney, author of Acupressure Without Needles.
Stimulate or Sedate an Acupressure Point
An acupressure point is stimulated by applying light, soft pressure in a centripetal circle starting one-half inch outside the acupressure point and moving from the outside into the center of the circle, according to J.V. Cerney, author of Acupressure Without Needles.
To sedate an acupressure point, apply deep, slow pressure in a concentric circle starting on the point of pain and moving to the outside of the circle beyond the acupressure point according to J.V. Cerney, author of Acupressure Without Needles.
One-Minute Workout for Generating Personal Energy
The body can be energized by the application of pressure to produce a general warmth and sense of well-being. This exercise is adapted from Acupressure Without Needles by J.V. Cerney. Rub the hands briskly for five seconds. Briskly rub the warmed palms of the hands up and down the cheeks of the face for five seconds.
Use a pitter-pat motion with the flat of the hand tapping the top of the head for five seconds. Cup the hand in a loose fist and tap vigorously up and down the inside and outside of each arm three times.
Gently apply pressure on the neck below the Adam’s apple area using the thumb and index finger. Release pressure and repeat for a total of three times. Press on the carotid artery on the side of the neck for a count of five. Release, breathe deeply and repeat the pressure. Move to the other side of the neck and repeat.
Place the thumb in the hollow at the base of the skull where the spinal column meets the head. Press and hold for a count of three. Release pressure. Repeat for a total of three times.
Pinch the tip of the big toe then compress the ball of the big toe and rub away any painful spots. Repeat on the other foot. Place the thumb on the bottom of the foot by locating a fleshy part on the foot just below the little toe. Hold, release pressure, then re-apply pressure. Repeat on the other foot.
Grasp the Achilles tendon tightly. Hold then release pressure. Repeat three times on each leg. Briskly rub the top of the foot with the hand or the heel of the other foot. Repeat with other foot. With the palms of the hands open, slap the lower extremities – front, side, and back from foot to groin. By working acupressure points from the top to the bottom of the body, one generates a feeling of warmth and well-being.
Donna Eden indicates in Energy Medicine that certain points on the body, when pressed with the fingers, will impact the energy field in predictable ways by sending electrochemical impulses to the brain and releasing neurotransmitters. Acupressure is an energy healing technique that is easy to implement as part of a holistic approach to maintaining optimal health.
Acupressure – An Ancient Healing Art
Acupressure and acupuncture are both ancient healing arts that stimulates the same points, but acupuncture employs needles while acupressure utilizes gentle but firm pressure of the fingers and other parts of the body. While scientific data exists demonstrating how and why acupuncture is effective, acupressure, the older of the two traditions, was abandoned after the Chinese developed alternative methods for stimulating pressure points with needles and electricity. Unlike acupuncture, acupressure is safe to do on one’s own body without any special license or class study, as long as all instructions and cautions are followed.
How Acupressure Works
Acupressure points, also called potent points, are specific locations on the skin that are sensitive to bioelectrical impulses in the body. By stimulating these points with pressure, endorphins are released. Endorphins are the neurochemicals that relieve pain. As a result, pain is blocked and the flow of blood and oxygen increases to the appropriate area. Muscles are able to relax and healing begins.
Tension has a proclivity to concentrate around acupressure points. When a muscle is chronically tense or in spasm, the muscle fibers contract due to the secretion of lactic acid. Lactic acid is produced when a body feels fatigue or stress, or as a result of trauma, chemical imbalances or poor circulation. As pressure is asserted on the appropriate point, the muscle tension yields to the firm contact, enabling the fibers to elongate and relax, blood to flow freely and toxins to be released and eliminated. The increased circulation also brings more oxygen and other nutrients to the afflicted areas.
Acupressure is a “Do It Yourself Healing” Method
The advantage of acupressure is that it is safe for an individual to utilize themselves, as long as all instructions are followed. Another plus is that the only equipment required are a person’s hands. There are no side effects from drugs, needles or any other foreign substances to worry about.
Varying rhythms and pressures create different styles of acupressure. Pressing with intermittent, fast beats is stimulating while a slower pressure brings about a deeply relaxing feeling in the body. A general guideline to follow is that the pressure should be firm enough to produce a mixed feeling, somewhere between pleasant and outright pain. The more developed the muscles the more pressure needed.
Firm pressure is the most basic technique. Fingers, palms, thumbs, knuckles or the side of the hand is used to apply stationary pressure gradually and hold without any movement for several minutes at a time. One minute of steady pressure in this instance calms and relaxes the nervous system, promoting greater healing. To stimulate the area, apply pressure for only four or five seconds.
Acupressure Cautions to Consider
Acupressure is not a substitute for medical care, though it can be a complementary treatment. Brisk rubbing, deep pressure, kneading or other overstimulating treatments should not be used on those with serious illnesses or chronic or life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, cancer or high blood pressure.
Avoid acupressure right before a big meal or on a full stomach.
Never press an area in an abrupt, forceful or jarring way.
Use abdominal points carefully and avoid if pregnant or have a life-threatening disease, especially intestinal cancer.
Lymph areas such as the groin and the area of the throat just below the ears are very sensitive and should be touched lightly, not pressed.
Do not work directly on serious burns, infections or recently formed scars.
After an acupressure treatment, the body temperature is lowered as vital energies are concentrating inward to maximize healing. Wear extra clothing and keep warm.
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