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The Basics Of Accupressure

What Is Accupressure?
Chinese therapeutic techniques are some of the oldest methods of healing approaches in the world. Many of these ancient methods date back at least 5,000 years. Accupressure being on of these techniques. Current research suggests that Accupressure arose from the healing method of acupuncture, as a means of non-invasive stimuli for the body's spiritual energy, or Chi.
Chinese medicine defines "chi" as the essential life force that flows through the body by circulating along the bodies meridians, or chakra centers. The flow of chi energy can vary based on your mental, physical and even spiritual well being. However, the Chinese believe that there are many places on and just beneath the skin, called accupoints, that can be massaged to stimulate the flow of chi to problem areas.
Accupressure techniques are said to address hundreds of ailments. In addition, it can hasten recuperation from many illnesses, accidents and even surgery or stroke. But it is important to note, that even the most experienced accupressure therapist, will tell you, this is not a substitute for conventional medicine, rather a compliment to it.
The Critics
As with any alternative healing method there are critics and non-believers. Because there is no western studies and documentation to prove the benefits of accupressure, most critics suggest these methods are non-effective. They further suggest, methods such as this merely offer a placebo effect to the patients mind and that explains its success. It is important to note that those studies that have been performed, do not support this claim.
Working With Accupressure Techniques
Any trained specialist or patients in their own homes can administer these techniques. Trained specialists can provide comprehensive sessions, and you can find many licenses practioners around the United States through the American Association of Oriental Medicine. At the time of this posting, the AAOM could be reached via email at:
It is important to find a well trained and licensed practioner, if you are going to seek this type of treatment. Not just for the safety factors and making sure they know what they're doing, but also for insurance reasons. Many insurance agencies will cover accupressure sessions, if they are recommended by your doctor, and approved by the insurer first. So take some time to check out a practioners credentials, it can save you some money in the long run.
For those that want to give the techniques a try at home, we offer the following guidelines and general information. You should know that these techniques are not all inclusive. We are only going to give you some basic information here that you can easily and safely do in your own home and for yourself.
For local symptomatic relief, identify which accupoints you will need to use. This maybe a single point or several. For the best results, you should apply pressure to both sides of the body when working with a series of ailments. When working with a series of accupoints, many practioners suggest the best results are gained by moving from one area to the next in a clockwise manner.
Once you have identified the area to be worked with, use you fingertips and lightly press down with one or two fingers. Gradually increase the pressure until you are comfortably pressing on the area as hard as you can. Do not press so hard that you cause pain, this will defeat the purpose of using this technique.
Hold the pressure steady until you begin to feel a faint pulse beneath the accupoint. This can take as little as 3 minutes or up to 10. For some severe problems it can take longer. So try to pay attention to your technique as you go. When you're ready to release, very slowly reduce the pressure from the accupoint. If you feel any pain, you can quickly release the point, or release the area to a light touch and very gently rub your fingers over the skin.
There is no right or wrong amount of pressure. Each person and even each accupoint will be different. Giving feedback to a family member who is helping you out is just as important as asking yourself how it feels when you're apply the pressure to yourself.
Working With The Feet
The body is aligned along the chakras in the same manner as your physical extremities. For ailments on your right side, you would use your right foot to apply pressure.
For ailments that seem to be centralized, you would apply pressure to both feet. Either simultaneously or starting with your predominate side. If you're right handed, start on the right, for example.
Some practioners further suggest, that an overall treatment starting at the base chakras and moving upwards, can help to keep an individual in balance and good health.
To locate an area of your body to work with, think of your feet as a map of your body. Starting at the head, you're toes, and moving down to the heal for your foot. These two diagrams depict (within reason), the inner workings of your body as they would appear within your foot.
You should note the slight differences between the right side and left side of your feet as well. After all, not all your organs are in the exact center of you body.
The major differences are in the mid-sections of the body, which equate to the arches of your foot.
On the right, you'll find your Stomach, Adrenals, Pancreas and Duodenal. While on the left, look for your heart, spleen, kidney and waist.
An area such as the Spine, between the shoulders will exist on both feet (we didn't have room for this label on the right foot), but if you feel discomfort on one side over the other, then concentrate on that foot. Otherwise, it would be appropriate to perform a session on both feet.
Working With The Hands
The hands are similar to the feet aligning the organs of the body to various positions on the hands. Like the feet, the tips of your fingers start the alignment with your head and moves downward to your lower back.
But unlike your feet, the lower extremities are not represented in the hand. Problems with your hips, knees, sciatic and feet themselves can not be address through the hands.
But you will find the teeth added to the mouth area in the fingers, that you won't find in the feet.
You can also address issues in the hands that you won't see in the feet. Such as colds and stress in the fingers. Along with headaches adjacent to the eyes.
You should note the slight differences between the right side and left side of your hands as well. The major differences are in the mid-sections of the body, which equate to the palm of your hand.
On the right, you'll find your gall bladder, liver and pancreas. While on the left, look for your heart, spleen, and kidney.
Working With The Body
The entire body contains accupoints as well. However, we strongly recommend you consult a licensed professional when working with an overall body problem.

Source: 1, h7, h11, h17, h18, h19
Created: 12.14.1999          Updated: 02.11.2008


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