Have you ever wonder what is acupressure and wanted to figure out how acupressure works? Is it something that can be of benefit to you and your health?  The search for alternative medicine usually starts because the usual methods just do not work. Let us take an example of post-surgery pain. The common method to treat this is drugs and more drugs. You can only take so many drugs before you start getting nauseated. That is why alternative pain relief solutions are sought.

How does it Work?

Acupressure is an old Chinese healing method that seems to work very well. It involves applying pressure to certain meridian points on the body to relieve pain. According to the practitioners, the body has over 800 vital energy points. These are along the meridian and run from the head to your heels.

It works by massaging these pressure points. The theory is that this is a powerful therapeutic treatment that relives pain, heals organ disease, removes stress, and promotes general wellbeing.

It’s not only the Chinese who believe in the power of Acupressure. Western medicine has proven that these pressure points are located in the autonomic nervous system. The idea is that applying pressure to these crossways, affects how pain is perceived in the brain. It’s probably the reason why it works so well in pain relief.

If you are wondering what is Acupressure and whether it’s the same as Acupuncture, you are on the right track. The difference between the two is that in Acupuncture, you tend to use needles on the pressure points. With Acupressure, you gently apply pressure to the energy points using your hands or fingers.

What is Acupressure Pressure Points and Meridians

In acupressure, there are two important points. The first is the exact point where you feel pain or tension. This is also known as the local point.

This is also the same point that relives pain in a distant part of the body. This is known as the trigger point.   So you are applying pressure to a local point to change the well-being of a trigger point.

The meridians on the other hand are simply the pathways that connect the acupressure points to other organs of the body. Think of it like blood vessels transmitting energy and not blood. Thus one pressure point can relieve pain in a number of body organs.

What are the Benefits of Acupressure?

The problem with most alternative medicine procedures is that anyone can make wild claims. It is not uncommon to have hard to verify claims about the efficacy of a procedure. After all, since most alternative medicine is not regulated, there is no one to verify any claims.

With Acupressure however, users have claimed to see marked improvements in their health. Most of the common benefits include:

  • menstrual cramps
  • muscle tension and pain
  • cancer-related fatigue
  • headaches
  • nausea and vomiting during pregnancy/ morning sickness
  • motion sickness
  • nausea after surgery
  • nausea due to chemotherapy

The most common use of Acupressure is relieving pain. It’s said to reduce muscle tension while enabling deep relaxation. It is used extensively in the relief of muscular tension in the back. There are important pressure points located in the either side of the spine and on the lower back.

If  your grandmother ever told you to lie on a couple of tennis balls on your lower back, she was introducing you to Acupressure!

Can it help with Emotional Pain?

Perhaps one of the most controversial benefits is its use in relieving the pressures of day to day living. The theory behind this is that the body usually tightens up and shuts down when we have negative feelings, emotional imbalances and physical ailments.

By applying the techniques, you are able to relax tight muscles thus restoring the flow of vital energy in the body. This is probably why a lot of people have a neck rub when they are tired and need to relax.

Technique and Use

Over the years different practitioners have come up with their own specialized techniques. The idea may be similar but vary in terms of pressures, rhythms and even technique.

The most famous is the Shiatsu Massage. It can be very vigorous but deeply stimulating. Firm pressure is applied to the local points for a few seconds then released. Those that have gone for a Shiatsu massage know how relaxing it can be after.

Traditional Reiki practitioners have used it to enhance healing. The same goes for Qi Gong who use Chi or Qi energy through the whole body. They both use these as self-healing techniques and increasing their overall health.

Cautions and Contraindications

Though it’s said to be a natural way to improve your well-being, you should also be careful. For example, avoid using any sort of pressure on burns and infections. Working directly on scars and injuries is also not recommended.

If you are pregnant it’s a good idea to use special care or not do it at all during the pregnancy. If you have any life threatening diseases, such as leukemia, cardiac conditions or tuberculosis, you should take special care when applying pressure to abdominal regions.

Lastly, it is always recommended that you consult your medical practitioner before you try any alternative therapies. Using Acupressure as the sole intervention when you have serious illness is not a good idea.

So there you go, all you needed to know about what is Acupressure. As alternative therapies go, this is probably the most effective for most people. Not only do you take care of the emotional aspects of your life but the physical pain that are associated with it.

As with all alternative medicine, you should always seek the best practitioners and avoid fakes at all costs. This probably means that you have to do a lot of research before you find the right person. The best part about this therapy is that you can do it to yourself. All you have to do is get any books that answer the question what is acupressure and you are good to go.