Acupressure treatment is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practice which is similar to acupuncture, only instead of needles it uses manual pressure. It is based on the belief that the body possesses several individual channels known as “meridians” which energy or “Qi” flows through. Each of these pathways is associated with a specific organ which can be affected by stimulating points along these meridians.
There have been numerous studies conducted which provide evidence that this method is effective as a pain relief and healing approach. Since it has been noted to impact both the body and mind, it is classified as a holistic modality. It eases muscle tension and improves circulation and also has a relaxing and energizing effect.
The body’s meridians start in the head and run down to the heels, and connect the inner organs to the outside of the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine has identified over 800 pressure points throughout the body. Western medicine as a rule does not acknowledge the presence of these points, however it has noted that they are supposedly located at major autonomic junctions.
Whereas acupuncturists use needles to stimulate certain points, acupressure practitioners use their hands, feet, elbows, or some devices made for this purpose. Examples of acupressure tools include the foot roller, acuball, and energy roller. A session is usually about an hour long, and normally several will be needed to achieve the best results. The patient should drink warm water afterwards to flush away any toxins that were released.
The primary aim of this treatment is to bring about balance in the body’s yin and yang (positive and negative) energy forces. While the evidence indicates that it helps reverse illness and alleviate pain it is still not widely accepted in mainstream medicine, which claims its effects to be the result of physical reactions such as the release of endorphins.
When patients undergo this therapy at the onset of pain, it can actually correct any imbalance responsible for this and prevent it from developing into a more serious disorder. It isn’t complicated or difficult for anyone to learn and apply as needed for problems such as headaches, sinus trouble, eyestrain, muscle and back aches, arthritis, and neck pain. The fact that it has a de-stressing effect can also increase one’s resistance to disease.
Pressure applied to the wrist has been proven through several studies to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and motion sickness, there are special wristbands on the market that patients can wear to continually apply pressure in order to achieve this effect. Additional research supports claims that this method helps various types of pain, headaches, and arthritis as it stimulates endorphin production and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It also seems to improve mood and energy levels which helps patients suffering from depression and anxiety.
There are some patients who have to exercise caution and consult a doctor when it comes to receiving acupressure treatment, namely those with spinal injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, varicose veins, or cancer, since there can sometimes be a contraindication with these illnesses. It can also be risky for pregnant women since it can cause contractions in some instances. Verifying that the practitioner is certified and licensed is always a must to ensure a safe experience.
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