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The Who, What, And Why's of Acupressure

WRITTEN BY LISA BORG-ANDERSON

Acupressure is the act of pressing on acupuncture points on the skin to ellicet a sensation or activation of qi.

For thousands of years, acupressure/acupuncture has been around- we don't know if the meridians/pathways or the points were identified first but, either way, practitioners and patients alike have been using them to create balance within their bodies. Anyone can learn how to perform acupressure on themselves or family. It is free, effective and relaxing.


There are several techniques used in acupressure.

 

The most common are direct, downward pressure using a fingertip or round rubbing with your palm (eg clockwise tummy rubs for intestines). Regurdless of the technique, the purpose is to "activate" the point which signals the body to change the pattern of energy. We can press on the points for 30 seconds to 1 minute before releasing pressure and repeating several times until the area feels-warm, tingly or different and that is how we know that we have activated the point.

Sometimes if you are treating someone else you can do bilateral points (both sides at once) or on yourself if it is on the legs. Doing several points together is like a mini treatment and that will make the biggest impact on healing the body.

Acupressure can be done daily to support immunity, help with anxiety and sleep as well as helping with pain control or muscle tension.

These are just some of the most common ways acupressure is used. As traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a whole system of medicine, we are able to treat a wide variety of symptoms.

Acupressure can be done on the feet, ears, hands or body.

The hands, feet and ears are maps of the whole body and are often treated separately such as in reflexology or together in acupuncture.

The location of the points can be taught to you by your practitioner, there are many online resources and there is also the fascinating aspect that when you are touching an acupressure point you can begin to feel the difference in the skin. It feels stickier or denser in some very easy to find points.

For example, between your index finger and thumb in the web (avoid this if pregnant please) you will find an area that is tender to the touch, especially if you use your thumb and index finger of the opposite hand to press both sides. This is Large Intestine 4 and this whole area can be used to stop pain, treat the head, face, and neck area. It reduces stress and helps treat colds. It's amazing. Now that you've pressed it, run your finger over the top lightly and feel the area where it was most sore. This is the acupressure point and the skin here feels just a little different.

Pretty neat?

Okay, so now that you know that you have these amazing points --I often tell kids they are like tiny buttons that tell your body how to feel better-- what do we do with them?

Once a day I recommend at the end of the day doing a self ear massage 3 to 4 times on each ear before bed and you will feel great. Better yet, have your spouse do this and trade...it's much more fun. It's easy and relaxing and allows the body to naturally self regulate and help prepare for sleep.

Acupressure is easy, free and really can help boost our immunity and help fight off colds.


Please work this point into your daily schedule.

 

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