Acupressure: What is it and how can it be used to treat illnesses and to prevent disease

Acupressure, just like acupuncture, has been used for thousands of years to treat ailments, illnesses and to prevent disease.  A practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Acupressure makes use of fingers, palms, elbows or feet, or special devices to apply pressure to various points on the body.

TCM states that acupressure points lie along meridians or channels in the body.It is believed that through these invisible channels flows vital energy or Qi. It is also believed that these 12 major meridians connect specific organs or networks of organs, organising a system of communication throughout the body. There are over 800 energy points spread across these meridians and all of them can be used for relieving pain, relaxing and more. The meridians begin at your fingertips, connect to the brain, and then connect to an organ associated with a certain meridian.

These are the same energy meridians and acupoints as those targeted with acupuncture. While Acupuncture is applied through Needle, Acupressure is applied through the Pressure of Hand, particularly the thumb and fingers. By applying pressure to such points on the body, results in pain relief, enhances blood circulation and relieves aching muscles – encouraging the body to relax and improving wellbeing.

Normally, Qi (vital energy) circulates through natural pathways in the body called meridians. Blockage of this flow or an imbalance in Yin and Yang can cause illness and pain. Acupressure helps to correct functional imbalances and restore the flow thus returning the body to a more natural state of wellbeing.

Acupressure and acupuncture are among the types of TCM that help to restore health and balance to the body’s channels of energy and to regulate opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). Acupressure is said to not only treat the energy fields and body but also the mind, emotions, and spirit.

Acupressure therapy is known to relieve headaches, sinus problems, earache, different kinds of muscle tensions and aches, back pain, menstrual cramps, digestive system issues, and ulcer problems. It can also be used for more complex issues. However, if a person has cancer, arthritis, heart disease, a chronic condition, or is pregnant, it is advisable to discuss with their doctor or practitioner before trying any therapy that involves moving joints and muscles, such as acupressure.

Acupressure is very safe and anyone can apply acupressure on themselves as a form of self-healing. Acupressure works by applying deep, firm pressure to massage and stimulate each point. Certain ailments and conditions will have specific acupoints that you must stimulate in order to benefit from its affects. One can use circular movements or press up and down to stimulate each point. The pressure should be applied for a few minutes to benefit from the therapy. There is no limit to the number of times a day you can use acupressure.

If acupressure, resonates with you, there are numerous books and meridian body charts that you can use as a reference. If you prefer to have someone use acupressure on you, there are numerous practitioners that use the technique as well as shiatsu, which applies a similar method in massage.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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