Acupressure is a Chinese medicine practice that has been used for thousands of years to treat all types of ailments. Similar to acupuncture, acupressure focuses on applying pressure to acupoints: specific points on the body, along the meridians, that promote healing. It differs from acupuncture because there are no needles involved in the treatment. In an acupressure massage, the therapist applies pressure using his or her thumb, hand, or elbow to an acupoint with the purpose of unblocking any obstacles to the natural flow of energy— also called the qi, or chi—and correcting any imbalances, returning the body to a state of well-being. The therapist may apply pressure to the “local point,” which is the part of the body experiencing pain, and to “trigger points,” which are parts of the body that are related to the point of pain. Acupressure can be used to heal many different types of pain. It has been shown to have the following health benefits:
Acupressure has been proven to help in the treatment of nausea related to pregnancy, chemotherapy, and motion sickness. Because it is safe, it can be used on patients with compromised immune function and during pregnancy. The acupoints related to nausea work by relieving tension and increasing blood circulation. Acupoints for nausea and vomiting are located on the inner arm near the wrist. You can apply pressure to these points by yourself, or purchase a wristband designed to relieve nausea through pressure to the acupoint.
Relieves stress, tension, and anxiety
Everyone experiences stress and pressure to some degree. With an ever-increasing number of anti-anxiety drugs being sold each year, we should ask ourselves if there is perhaps a more natural approach to anxiety relief before turning to prescribed medications (which often come with nasty side effects). There are acupressure points all over the body including on the shoulders, back, arms, hands, legs, and feet, which are related to stress. Many people hold tension in the shoulders and the lower back, and a few acupressure sessions may help you to release that tension and start anew.
Relieves headaches and migraines
If you suffer from headaches or migraines, you may benefit from acupressure massage. Headaches can be debilitating at times. And you don’t want to become dependent on medication to get you through the day. Many of the acupoints for headache and migraine relief are on or around the head. Regular visits to a massage therapist who specializes in acupressure may help you to keep those headaches at bay.
Treats gastrointestinal problems
Acupressure can help you with symptoms related to many different kinds of digestive problems. This includes acid reflux, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and many others. To treat a gastrointestinal problem, your therapist may focus mainly on pressure points on the trunk of your body. Although there are points on the arms and legs as well that help to reawaken and to promote balance in the intestines.
Experts in Chinese medicine believe that when your qi is off balance, your libido will suffer. Stimulating pressure points to restore balance and reawaken the body may have a positive effect on your sex life. Some people find that after an acupressure session, they are more easily aroused. They have might have increased sexual endurance, and enhanced sexual pleasure. So, if your love life has been suffering, you may want to try acupressure to increase your sex drive.
Acupoints for sleep and relaxation can help to restore a good night’s sleep to those suffering from all types of sleep disorders including sleep apnea, insomnia, night terrors, dyssomnia, or circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Sleep disorders can greatly affect a person’s daily life. And many people suffering from these disorders rely on sleeping pills or other medications to get them through the night. Try acupressure to restore the flow of energy, relieve tension, and improve your quality of sleep.
Relieves symptoms of PMS
Many adolescents and women experience painful and uncomfortable symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Symptoms include bloating, cramping, mood changes, sleep changes, and appetite changes. One of the acupoints for PMS relief is the LIV3 pressure point found on the top of the foot in the depression between the first and second toes. The fleshy area between the index finger and thumb is another acupoint that can be pressed for PMS symptom relief.
If you’re feeling slow and sluggish, you may benefit from an acupressure massage. Acupressure awakens the senses and increases blood flow. By pressing on stimulating acupoints, you can instantly boost your energy, and keep it up throughout the day. Acupoints for energy include the bottom of the foot, the fleshy area between the index finger and the thumb, and the base of the skull.
Prevents and reduces the appearance of wrinkles
Acupressure can actually prevent or reverse signs of aging. Acupressure massage stimulates and increases blood circulation all over the body, including on the face. Cosmetic acupressure is used to help tone the face and stimulate blood flow, increasing collagen production to keep wrinkles away.
Promotes healing and overall well-being
By now we know that acupressure increases blood flow. For the immune system to work properly, it needs great blood flow and oxygenation to all organs. This helps the body naturally heal itself. The blood pumps into lymph organs which are responsible for clearing out unwanted substances and destroying pathogens. The better the blood flow, the faster you’ll heal. This is true for any type of ailment. This includes a cold, flu, virus, infection, and even musculoskeletal injuries, which require good blood flow and plenty of oxygen to heal.