The Benefits of Acupressure: Exploring Pressure Points and Their Effects

Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing technique that has been used for thousands of years to promote relaxation, well-being, and the treatment of illnesses. It is based on the same principles as acupuncture, but instead of using needles, it relies on the pressure of your fingers to stimulate specific points on your body. When pressure is applied to a pressure point, it pinches the nerves or disrupts the normal functioning of the body, which can help release muscle tension and promote blood circulation. It can also relieve many common side effects of chemotherapy. When a nerve is pinched against a bone or muscle, it emits an electronic pain signal to the brain.

When blood flow or air is interrupted, the body reacts with pain to urge it to restore normal function. Pain is also the reaction when joint pressure points are pushed to the limit to warn people that damage can occur if the pressure is not removed. Most people react to pressure points, but 10 to 15 percent of the population is resilient and don't feel much pain. Traditional Chinese medicine professionals believe that the body's vital energy, or qi, flows along invisible channels called meridians; blockages cause pain and illness. Acupressure, like acupuncture, uses pressure point locations to manipulate the Qi (energy) that flows through energy pathways within the body.

In traditional Chinese medicine, these pathways are known as meridians. The PC 6 acupressure point is located in the groove between the two large tendons on the inside of the wrist that start at the base of the palm. Some studies suggest that acupressure releases endorphins and promotes anti-inflammatory effects, which helps with certain types of arthritis. It is important to note that there are very few studies that support the use of pressure points to treat diseases. Understanding the basics of acupressure could make this mindless self-massage even more beneficial, helping you relax and even manage chronic pain. Using the tip of your index finger, apply moderate pressure on one side or both sides to increase blood circulation and help balance unstable emotions. People can try acupressure or use the services of a licensed professional who has studied pressure points and understands how they work.

By applying pressure to specific points on the fingers, hands, and wrists, you can relieve a variety of symptoms, from headaches and back pain to nausea and anxiety. The goal of acupressure or other types of Asian body work is to restore the health and balance of the body's energy channels and to regulate the opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). Some people claim that applying firm pressure to this point can help relieve earaches, headaches in the back of the head, and neck pain. Moreau recommends following this pressure technique for each of the pressure points, keeping the pressure firm but painless. There are practically no side effects from the application of pressure to these areas, except for temporary localized pain. Reflexologists also believe that applying pressure to this part of your hand could give you an energy surge.

The practitioners of some martial arts exploit the most vulnerable pressure points of the body, beating them during battle. One of the most important points of acupressure is Li 4 which relieves headaches, relaxes tense muscles and stimulates healthy bowel function. Research shows that pressure on acupuncture points releases natural pain relievers called endorphins and may block transmission of pain signals along nerves; studies suggest it relieves insomnia and fatigue. Acupressure may sound far-fetched, especially for Americans who are taught to seek healing in pills and procedures. However, understanding its benefits could make this mindless self-massage even more beneficial in helping you relax and manage chronic pain.

Debora Lehneis
Debora Lehneis

Award-winning food advocate. Subtly charming bacon practitioner. Alcohol enthusiast. Proud travel aficionado. Incurable twitter scholar.

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