Acupressure is a natural therapeutic treatment where the therapist uses gentle to firm finger pressure (as well as the fist, elbow or feet) to stimulate the energy flow in the body, strengthen its self-healing capabilities and enable it to fend off illness better.
Acupressure is one of the three main branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is similar to acupuncture except that here the therapist applies pressure to specific pressure points in the body with natural means rather than needles.
Acupressure is often confused with massage, which is quite simplistic by comparison.
Each region in Asia, then in the West, has developed its own style. Shiatsu, for instance, is the Japanese version of acupressure. There are now many different acupressure techniques.
How does acupressure work?
In Chinese medicine, the body and mind constantly influence each other. Emotions are ingrained in the body, and physical pain is a condition of the mind. Our health and harmony depend on the free and regular flowing of vital energy within our body, mind and emotions.
When every stress disrupts this flow, all the spheres of our being are affected. Not only do we yield to fear, anger and sadness, but we are more prone to illnesses. Depression and anxiety may set in. On the contrary, when body and mind are balanced and in harmony with each other, the energy flows freely, we adjust more easily to a range of emotions, and we feel more joy.
Fatigue, stress, physiological dysfunction, an unbalanced diet, lack of exercise and/or a poor bloodstream contribute to the buildup of excess lactic acid which tenses the muscle fibers. This can lead to chronic muscular tension and even spasms.
Such tension tends to concentrate on the acupoints. Pressure on these points enables the muscle to stretch and relax, freeing the way to the bloodstream. Toxins are released and flushed away. The bloodstream increase enables more oxygen and nutrients to be conveyed to the body and organs. The body becomes more resistant to disease.
Tension and pain find their source in the accumulation and/or the suppression of negative emotions, and in psychological shocks. That is why acupressure is a valuable ally to restore and strengthen our emotional and psychic balance.
When to use acupressure
Acupressure can be used in many cases, because all our spheres can benefit from it: physical, emotional, and mental.
Acupressure helps to:
- Relieve physical pain
- Soothe muscular tension
- Boost the immune system
- Regulate the mood and emotions
- Strengthen the vital energy
Click here to know more about:
- Achieve emotional balance
- Alleviate stress
- Treat physical and psychological dysfunctions
- Alleviate back ache
- Enhance beauty
- Loose weight
- Treat menopause symptoms
- Enhance sexuality
- Prevent and treat sports injuries
- Acupressure & Women
- Acupressure & Seniors
- Acupressure & Children
When acupressure is unsuitable
The benefits of acupressure are many, but is not recommended as a treatment for the following conditions:
- contagious or inflammatory diseases
- advanced osteoporosis
- serious spinal problems (e.g. hernia, scoliosis)
- heart disorders
Some pressure points should not be treated on pregnant women. If pregnant, consult an experienced, certified practitioner and avoid self-acupressure.
Acupressure is not a substitute for medical care; rather it is a complementary therapy.
To understand the difference between acupressure and Reiki, listen to our interview with Lush 99.5 (Singapore, may 2009):
Listen to Part 1:
Listen to Part 2:
Listen to Part 3: