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Most people describe acupressure as similar to acupuncture but without the needles. This traditional Chinese bodywork method is based on the same principles and can help with many different ailments.
Instead of needles Acupressure uses physical pressure on different pressure points on the surface of the body. This may be done by hand, elbow or some other device. The method works by improving the balance and circulation of fluids (blood, lymph) and metabolic energies in the body (heat, qi).
Developed more than 5,000 years ago, Acupressure is an important aspect of Asian medicine. The pressure points follow specific channels, called meridians. Chinese philosophy says activation of these points with needles or pressure can improve blood flow, release tension and unblock energy.
Acupressure certainly falls into the realm of alternative therapies as many Western doctors doubt the existence of qi and meridians. Interesting, then, that they have been written and talked about for thousands of years.
The treatment is even said to reduce the signs of ageing by lessening wrinkles and sagging without drugs or surgery. You will often see Acupressure offered as part of a Chinese beauty treatment.
Acupressure can treat many conditions, including pain, muscle tension, stress and anxiety, nausea and vomiting, headaches, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, even addiction recovery and learning disorders.
When you attend your Acupressure appointment you will most likely be asked to lie down. Treatment may be combined with key exercises such as tai chi or qi gong. The length of the sessions varies from 45 to 90 minutes.
Acupressure can easily be integrated into a massage. In fact, Shiatsu Massage is a style of acupressure therapy.
Acupressure massage may target local points or trigger points. Local points are the actual areas where you are experiencing the pain or discomfort. Trigger points are those connected to the points of the body experiencing pain or discomfort. By working with both the therapist aims to relieve the pain and improve the condition.
The Chinese believe that when our meridians are unblocked, and our energy flows freely, our overall health will be greatly improved. There are 14 main channels, so it's all about balancing our mind, body and soul.
Whilst there are some DIY Acupressure techniques you can try for general wellness, it's better to see a professional for specific treatment. Trained therapists use their knowledge to target individual disorders and diseases in patients.
For example, to treat issues ranging from asthma to lower back pain, the practitioner would most likely use the Kidney Channel (KI3, Taixi), which sits just behind the inner ankle. The Gallbladder Channel (GB20, Fengchi) can be found at the base of the skull. Applying pressure to this point may help a variety of ailments, from the common cold to high blood pressure.
Acupressure offers many benefits. In addition to treating specific disorders it is also deeply relaxing, can improve sleep and may help reduce digestive issues.
The treatment stimulates the body's circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal systems, helping the body to heal itself.
Acupressure is not as invasive as it may sound. You remain dressed and should opt for comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Much like a massage, you will be asked to take slow, deep breaths, especially as pressure is applied. Visualisation is often used to help you relax.
You are unlikely to feel pain, just pressure as the areas are treated. If you are uncomfortable tell your therapist immediately so that the pressure can be adjusted.
On the whole Acupressure is a very safe therapy that can be used at any age. However, if you are pregnant or suffer from high blood pressure it's advisable to check with your doctor first.
With the help of Bookwell you can find Acupressure services in your location and easily book online.