Acupressure as a Component of Care
Acupressure developed over 2,000 years ago as an important aspect of Chinese medicine. It uses precise finger placements and sustained pressure over specific points along the body. These points follow specific channels, also known as meridians.
Activating such points with pressure (or needles) improves blood flow, releases tension, and enhances or unblocks life-energy. This energy is known in China as “qi” and is often referred to as “chi” in the West. Once unblocked, the released energy flows through the meridians promoting relaxation, healing and restoring proper function.
Meridians are not typically recognized in Western medical models. However, recent “discoveries” involving fascia and the inter-connectedness of different systems (organs, muscles, etc.) is spurring research into the matter. Also, as Western medicine moves in a more Holistic direction, meridians have begun to garner greater consideration.
Acupressure therapy relieves pain, reduces tension in muscles and fascia, improves circulation, and promotes deep states of relaxation. Massage therapists and other body workers typically provide these treatments, but you can learn to do it for yourself.
Individuals trained in the self-application of acupressure often use it to address: nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, headaches, neck and back pain. It also works as a balm for chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, mental and emotional stress, even addiction recovery and learning disorders. A massage tool, such as the Knuckleball™, can be helpful in the specific application of pressure to acupressure points.
The Chinese also use pressure points as a beauty treatment to enhance muscle tone and increase circulation, especially of facial muscles. This reportedly improves the condition and appearance of the skin, lessening wrinkles and sagging of the face without drugs or surgery. Most of the evidence for such uses is anecdotal and clinical trials are needed to confirm this.