Often called acupuncture minus the needles, acupressure involves the use of manual pressure (often using the fingertips) to certain pressure points on the body.
Traditional Chinese medicine theory states that the human body possesses a vital energy called “qi” or “chi” that circulates along invisible channels of energy known as meridians. The human body has 14 meridians that connect the vital organs to other parts of our body.
Acupressure and acupuncture pressure points lie on those energy channels. If qi flow is obstructed at any point on a meridian, it’s believed to cause of pain and infirmities that can result in symptoms along the meridians. This is the reason practitioners try to relieve headache by bearing pressure on an acupressure point in the foot.
Science has still not proven how acupressure actually works. Some experts believe that the pressure helps bring about the release of endorphins which are natural pain-relieving neurotransmitters in the body. Others think that the pressure somehow influences the ANS or autonomic nervous system of the body.
Why Do People Use Acupressure?
Most individuals use acupressure to treat a certain illness. Some of the more common illnesses include:
o Nausea associated with chemotherapy
o Morning sickness
o Pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting
o Postoperative nausea
o Muscle pain and tension
o Motion sickness
o Menstrual cramping
o Fatigue associated with cancer
While more studies are required, research examining the effectiveness of acupressure on nausea has generally found the therapy good at relieving nausea.
All research has utilized a specific pressure called the P6 point located on the inside of the wrist for treatment of nausea.
In the treatment of nausea, some of the benefits of acupressure therapy on the P6 point include its safeness for people suffering from cancer and for pregnant women and it can be self-administered.
How to Administer Acupressure Therapy
A licensed or qualified acupuncturist in Bellmore often administers acupressure massage on a patient. During treatment, the patient lies on a massage table.
This therapy can also be self-administered. While it’s better to first talk to an acupuncturist for correct instructions, acupressure is commonly performed done by using the knuckle, fingers, or thumb. Firm but gentle pressure is applied to pressure points. Pressure is often increased for every 30 seconds, then for half a minute to a couple of minutes held steadily and then slowly lessened for 30 seconds. This process is repeated 3 to 5 times.
You can find the P6 acupoint by turning your arm so that the palm is facing up. At the midpoint of the wrist’s crease, place the thumb (where the wrist meets the hand) towards the elbow around two finger widths away from the crease. The P6 is located in between two large tendons.
1. A person should never feel pain from an acupressure procedure. Discontinue the treatment, if you experience any pain.
2. On sensitive or fragile areas, such as the face, only gentle pressure should be applied.
3. People suffering from bleeding disorders, easy bruising, recent injury or fracture, osteoporosis, or blolod flow problems related to diabetes as well as people taking antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs such as warfarin (Coumadin) which “thin” the blood, should not have acupressure unless under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.
4. Before using acupressure, pregnant women should talk with their doctor.
5. If you’re pregnant you should not have acupressure on your leg or stomach area.
6. Acupressure should be avoided on areas that are swollen or bruised, on varicose veins, bruises, and wounds.
Some people may experiences soreness at the points after a session of acupressure. They may also experience temporal lightheadedness.