There are plenty of alternatives to relieve symptoms of common disorders like stress, headaches, backaches, digestive issues, chronic pain, etc. Amongst all, acupressure is one of the most gentle and safest alternatives.
Acupressure is a specific massage technique where a skilled practitioner uses their thumbs and fingers (sometimes elbow) as a medium to exert pressure or force on particular points of the body.
At Evergreen Rehab and Wellness, we have a skilled and licensed acupuncturists to help you get a relaxing and stress-free session. We strive to give our patients high-quality care.
What is Acupressure?
The term acupressure is derived from "acupuncture." In this massage technique, the force medium (fingers, thumbs, elbows) sends signals to acupoints of the body to activate the self-healing properties. Usually, the vital energy or qi circulates in the body uniformly, in places known as meridians. However, when the qi points undergo any blockage or imbalance in their circulation, the body experiences fatigue, pain, and illness. Performing acupressure on the affected areas corrects the functional imbalances and regulates the circulation, restoring the body to a better state. Practising this method on a regular basis will increase the blood flow, loosen muscle contractions and promote states of relaxation. Also, common issues like headaches and backaches can effectively be removed by acupressure.
To receive acupressure massage, you can visit a skilled practitioner such as a licensed acupuncturist. This is usually applied together with other types of acupuncture.
How Does Acupressure Work?
Before you learn how the entire acupressure works, you must understand the concept of qi, the energy in which traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) focuses. The qi flows in the form of channels, also known as meridians, that are located near the body's surface. There are 12 channels or meridians, each linked to specific organs like the heart, kidneys, liver, etc. Each channel contains various pressure points/acupoints. When a precise amount of pressure is exerted on an acupoint, any blockage or imbalance occurring in qi flow is restored.
Consider qi flow as the blood coursing steadily through the body to support life. If the bloodstream experiences any blockage due to a lack of oxygen and nutritious supplements, the body will start responding by sending a warning signal in the form of symptoms. A portion of these indications may include aggravation, muscle fit, or shivering sensations.
When the qi's flow is free from blockage and runs throughout the body smoothly, health is considered good. However, when the flow experiences any blockage or imbalance, exerting the right amount of pressure on the specific acupoint alters the functional imbalances and regulates the circulation restoring the body to a better state.
Acupressure works considering one significant phenomenon that is exerting or putting pressure on specific acupoints to provide a free flow of qi. There are 365 points on one primary meridian, followed by more than 650 individual acupoints. To minimize recurrence, it's essential to apply acupressure with sheer accuracy and to be patient. The pressure applied is regularly possessed for numerous seconds to minutes. Various techniques are drawn to affect qi in different channels. It can either be performed in circular movements, pushing the acupoint in and out, up and down, or combining. There are possibilities where the qi points that are manipulated tend to be sensitive. The exerted pressure on the point mustn't be excessive. The general measure also includes the number of massage sessions one should take depending on the body's condition.
When is Acupressure Used?
The acupressure massage technique treats various conditions like post-injury, releasing muscle contractions, and pain relief. Some research shows that internal pains often occur due to stress and feelings of anxiety. The method is not age-restrictive. However, people with high blood pressure and pregnant women should avoid this therapy as some acupoints can cause miscarriage. Acupressure is not recommended to treat open wounds, scar tissue, bruises, areas of swelling, or infectious areas.
Muscular trigger points are usually treated with acupressure massage therapy. These points are located in sensitive areas of the body that often lead to pain and irritation. Such pain occurs in restricted areas and can be sensed in different regions of the body. Mostly it occurs in the form of sharp or dull sensations. Acupressure heals such pains and aches by stimulating the central nervous system and disturbing the pain signals sent to the brain.
Contraction of muscles at a relaxed state leads to muscular tension, which further leads to a crucial cause, where muscles get tight. This state is known as chronic pain, and it's recommended to apply acupressure massage to relieve the tension. While applying pressure, the growth of blood is stimulated, increasing the temperature in muscles. The increased temperature helps the muscle to relax and let go of muscle contraction.
Due to a hectic work culture or lifestyle, the body starts to deform and attains a stage of lousy or poor posture, which often leads to backaches and joint pain. The head and neck work in a range of motion, and the entire head and face weigh the most among all body parts. Therefore the neck is a sensitive body part that allows flexibility, but at the same time, it gets affected easily. However, there are acupoints between the shoulder tip and cervical spine (neck). Pressing those acupoints releases strain and frees your neck from stiffness. Performing acupressure on the specific areas improves blood flow, ridding toxins and replacing them with healing nutrients and fresh oxygen.
The acupressure massage technique has many benefits, and it is used to reduce pain. It can be performed on many body parts, such as those listed below:
- lower back
- upper back
Benefits of Acupressure:
- Provides a relaxing and soothing experience, just like any other massage
- Provides relief from stress, tension, anxieties, back pain and menstrual cramps
- Helps in relaxing muscles and works effectively to cure muscular trigger points and chronic pains
- Improves the blood circulation in the body, hormonal systems, and the lymphatic and digestive systems.
- Improves the quality of sleep, preventing insomnia
- Non-invasive techniques.