For more than 2000 years, acupressure has played a significant role in traditional Chinese medicine. Countless individuals resort to this Asian healing method to battle imbalances in the body, sore muscles, and even mental health illnesses such as anxiety and depression. The fact that acupressure is rampant until today is an affirmation that it is, without a doubt, useful and beneficial for one’s well-being.
What Is Acupressure?
How does acupressure work? Based on the principles of acupuncture, acupressure is the use of hands to manipulate or apply pressure on certain parts of the body. It functions as a form of stimulation to help the muscles in the body relax as well as activate its healing properties. It acts as a catalyst in the process of relieving pain and discomfort.
Faith Burton, LMHC, explains how acupressure heals: “When you stimulate a point in the same area where you feel pain or tension, it’s called a local point. That same point can also be stimulated to relieve pain in a part of the body that is distant from the point, in which case it is called a trigger point. This triggering mechanism works through human electrical channels or “meridians.”
This massage therapy relies on the belief that there is vital energy called QI that is present in the body. Fourteen channels help in keeping the QI in balance. Any pain and discomfort is a result of an imbalance in the body or, to be more specific, a QI imbalance.
In the medical field, it manifests as muscle pain, tightening, or damage. Gentle application of pressure on muscle trigger points will relieve all of these symptoms. There have been many cases wherein this massage therapy has been very effective in treating ailments and chronic pains. However, if you plan to use this, it is best to seek out a professional’s advice or recommendation, as acupressure may not work for everyone.
The Benefits Of Acupressure
There are multiple benefits of acupressure. Some of these are the following:
Relieves muscle tension
Acupressure relieves stress on certain parts of the body, which is often felt on the shoulders, back, legs, and feet. Application of pressure on the nerves which connects to the muscles relaxes the body and releases the tension.
Improves blood flow
When acupressure is applied, it opens up and activates the circulation of blood in the body. Toxins can be released once the blood is flowing freely and it promotes flow to different parts of the body, helping multiple organs within to perform efficiently.
Lessens the use of over-the-counter medicine
Acupressure is known to relieve headaches, colds, and sinusitis, among many others. With this, it significantly reduces the need to use OTC drugs, aiming for a healthier and more natural form of self-healing.
Improves skin and tones facial muscles
Acupressure doesn’t only relieve the body from muscle pain, but it also improves the appearance of an individual, which can help in boosting self-confidence and well-being. It is also known as cosmetic acupressure. It relieves congestion and produces more collagen, reducing the signs or symptoms of aging and brightening the face.
Promotes faster healing
As mentioned before, acupressure acts as a catalyst in relieving the body from pain and discomfort. When you are suffering from a specific illness, acupressure can help speed up the process of healing. It releases tension in the muscles, improves blood circulation, and enhances the balance of the body’s energy.
“Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is the psychological acupressure technique I routinely use in my practice and most highly recommend to optimize your emotional health. Although it is still often overlooked, emotional health is absolutely essential to your physical health and healing – no matter how devoted you are to the proper diet and lifestyle, you will not achieve your body’s ideal healing and preventative powers if emotional barriers stand in your way.” – Lanae Ayers, LMHC
Treating other issues in the body
Acupressure can alleviate other problems, such as:
- Period cramps
- Digestive issues
- Ulcer pain
- Stress and anxiety
Can You Administer Acupressure On Yourself?
The answer to that is YES. Since acupressure only makes use of hands for stimulating pressure points on the body, it is simpler to apply the method on yourself. There are points, especially on the feet and legs, that is easy to put pressure on. Martin McEwan, LMHC, supports this by saying, “It is commonly accepted by many health practitioners that each of us has a complex and powerful energy system that permeates and radiates from our bodies – the same flow of energy that is utilized and treated in acupuncture and acupressure.”
However, as said previously, it is advisable to search for a doctor’s recommendation before deciding to use acupressure points as a treatment.