How does acupressure work?
Many people wonder what acupressure is, how it works, and more. Acupressure (or acupuncture) is an old Eastern healing technique to cure diseases, pain, stress, tension, lack of sleep, poor appetite, or any other physical or mental problem. This method involves using fingers and hands and applying pressure on specific points in the body called acupuncture points.
Acupuncture can be performed using fingers alone or through long fine needles at particular points in the body, depending on the illness. Some believe that acupressure works, while others say it is just another form of quackery homeopathy. Whatever the case, acupressure can be helpful as it encourages relaxation and relieves stress.
What is the meaning of Acupressure?
Derived from the Latin word ‘acus’, meaning needle, and ‘pressure’, meaning pressure, acupuncture is an alternative medicine therapy used for thousands of years in China and other countries such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. French Jesuit priest J.M. Martini (1713 – 1784).
Acupuncture has continued to gain popularity over the past few decades, with many physicians now adopting this technique to treat pain and numerous other conditions previously treated through surgery.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, meridians carry energy or ‘qi,’ and acupressure is said to unblock the meridians and help restore the normal flow of qi.
Acupressure works by stimulating the flow of qi in the meridians. The theory behind this is that there are an estimated 2000 points on the skin’s surface through which acupressure can affect various organs and parts of your body. These are mapped out on traditional Chinese medical maps called ‘meridian lines.’ Stimulating these points helps restore normal functioning to different organs, just as a switchboard operator connects you with who or what you want to talk to.
It works on the principle that energy, blood, and nutrients must flow freely throughout your body to stay healthy, just as water must flow freely through plumbing to work showers, etc.
There are many ways to stimulate these points, including using your fingers, hands, elbows, knees, or feet. You can also use tools such as massage balls, tuning forks, and a stethoscope!
Acupressure is beneficial in treating many health problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, tension headaches, migraines, post-operative pain, morning sickness, joint pain, and arthritis. It has even been found to treat psychological problems such as anxiety and stress.
So, How does Acupressure Work?
The answer is not completely clear, but it is thought that acupressure helps stimulate the flow of qi (energy) in the meridians of your body by stimulating the acupressure points located on the surface of your skin. Stimulating these points leads to increased blood flow, which may cause your muscles to relax, helping relieve pain, stress, and tension.
Acupressure is a powerful tool that can be used as an alternative medicine treatment plan for various conditions, including stress, lack of sleep, pain relief, morning sickness, etc. There are thousands of acupressure points on the surface of your skin, and different points can be used to treat various problems.
Although there is no scientific evidence to prove that acupressure works, some studies have shown it affects heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels, suggesting that something happens when pressure is applied to these specific acupressure points. However, more research is needed.
You can use many types of tools to apply acupressure, such as your hands, elbows, fists, etc., but two popular tools usually found in most homes are a hardball or a rolling pin!
You can make do with whatever you have available at home instead of buying specially made balls or rollers from a store, but make sure that whatever you use is clean and free from bacteria.
The following is an essential guide on how to use acupressure to help relieve stress:
1. Find an area of the body where you feel tension or pain. This could be your neck, shoulders, back, hips, etc.
2. Apply pressure to the area with your fingers, hands, elbows, feet, or knees for 1 – 2 minutes.
3. Repeat as necessary.
4. Take a few deep breaths and relax.
Some people find it helpful to use visualization techniques while doing acupressure. For example, you can imagine releasing all the tension and stress from your body as you apply pressure to the acupressure points.
Acupressure is a safe and natural way to help relieve stress and tension. It can be done anywhere, and there are no adverse side effects. Although more research is needed to understand how acupressure works fully, its benefits are clear. So why not give it a try?