Acupressure is a 5,000 year old massage technique used in Chinese medicine. Though it is related to acupuncture, which involves the use of needles, acupressure only requires a skilled pair of hands. An acupressure massage only takes a few minutes and is easy to self administer, though it may be incorporated into longer massage sessions.
During acupressure, sensitive, but firm finger pressure is applied to various points on the body. These points, sometimes referred to as potent points, are thought to lie along paths of energy in the body called meridians. According to “Acupressure’s Potent Points”, by Michael Reed Gach, acupressure removes blockages of energy along the meridians, which benefits overall healing. Pain, nausea, emotional distress, and allergies benefit from the application of acupressure.
Acupressure can aid the body’s natural healing process, but is not a substitute for medical treatment.
Gach discusses beneficial pain relief strategies for the ankle, foot, back, jaw, knee, neck, shoulders, and wrist. People who suffer from sciatica, earaches, hangovers, cramps, migraines, and sinus pain may also benefit from acupressure. According to the Mayo Clinic website, acupressure is beneficial for relieving pain caused by surgery, cancer, and headaches.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that acupressure benefits pain relief in fibromyalgia. Although scientific research does not prove that acupressure is effective for pain relief, many patients suffering from pain find it helpful in their recovery.
The University of Maryland Medical Center website states that pressing the first two fingers to a potent point on the inside of the wrist can decrease or relieve nausea. Wrist bands that press on the same point can be purchased over the counter and were reported beneficial by patients experiencing nausea. Acupressure is especially beneficial for mild cases of nausea and nausea caused by morning sickness. Approach acupressure with caution while pregnant as massaging certain points may stimulate labor contractions.
Gach states that acupressure relieves tension and stimulates fresh blood flow to massaged areas. This causes relaxation and stress relief that benefit emotional well being. Different acupressure points relieve depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Acupressure points also improve memory and concentration. Acupressure is effective for relief of mild, temporary, emotional distress. Chronic depression and anxiety require counseling and medical treatment.
The Mayo Clinic website cites that acupressure may provide food allergy relief. Gach discusses acupressure points that decrease itching, relieve swelling, assist decongestion, and generally strengthen the immune system. Though scientific evidence does not clearly demonstrate that acupressure causes allergy relief, there is little risk in trying acupressure. Seek a qualified acupressure practitioner after consulting with your doctor.