ACUPRESSURE HISTORY THEORY HYPOTHESIS
Acupressure is basically Acupuncture without using needles. It is believed to be around 5000 years old and originated in China. Because it relies on finger and thumb pressure to stimulate the acupoints, you can use it to treat yourself. Acupressure is believed to be the 'father of Acupuncture' in that it predates the use of needles to stimulate the body energy flow. It uses the same principles of Meridian and points as Acupuncture, but pressure is applied directly to the Acupoints of the body mainly by using the hands, fingers, thumb or knuckles and sometimes by using a smooth, blunt object. Stimulation of the bodys meridian system by touch is perhaps one of the oldest healing systems, and many other therapies use Acupressure techniques including Shen Tao, Jin Shen, Do Jin Shen, Qigong, Shiatsu and Tuina.
What does Acupressure feel like?
It’s not unpleasant when done correctly and no 'needles' are used unlike Acupuncture, some people feel energized by the treatment, while others feel relaxed. Improper stimulation of the points, can cause soreness and pain during treatment. This is why it is important to seek treatment from a qualified Acupressure practitioner.
Is Acupressure safe?
In line with Acupuncture, the Practitioners need to be fully qualified. When not delivered properly, Acupressure could potentially cause some adverse effects, including nausea and headaches.
What may Acupressure potentially be used to treat?
Acupressure can be used to treat
Stress, Anxiety, Insomnia, Digestive Problems, Aches & pains, Headaches and Migraine, menstrual problems, PMS, Menopause and Fatigue symptoms.
Acupressure Effects Explanation
The Alternative Medicine Foundation suggests that Western medicine explains the effects of acupressure resulting from the stimulation of the nervous system which in turn may cause chemicals or hormones to be released, causing beneficial effects. The theories behind Chinese acupressure, where it is currently used as an anesthetic treatment, are based on a conception of invisible meridians that run through the body, on which the acupuncture points or “acupoints” are found. It is thought that these meridians function as channels of sorts along which an energy or force of life, qi (pronounced “chee” or “kee”) flows. Acupuncture Charts display the twelve primary meridians that run through the human body and are thought to form some type of system that connects organs and networks of organs. Through these theories diseases are understood as imbalances in the energy flow of the body. As a result, the restorative properties of acupuncture treatment are theoretically able to be used in the treatment of any number of ailments of both physical and mental varieties.
Acupressure and History
According to the American Cancer Society, acupuncture may have originated in China, over two thousand years ago and Chinese acupressure to this day constitutes a significant aspect of traditional Chinese medicine. There are a number of acupressure Body Points, or “acupoints,” with original acupressure Points Maps showing three hundred and sixty-five acupoints. However, over the history of the practice, the number of points increased to an excess of two thousand sites. Although a part of Chinese medicine, in which it is considered to be a common form of treatment for a variety of diseases, it has also become increasingly popular in both North American and Europe as an analgesic treatment. The American Cancer Society notes that by the year 2000 there were in excess of eleven thousand practitioners licensed to perform acupuncture in the United States alone. There are standard for training, licensing and certification in the United States, including the requirement that needles may only be used once and labelled as such in order to ensure that the practice remains hygienic. Presently Medicare in the United States does not cover any form of acupressure treatments, however some health insurance plans and HMOs do include coverage for these forms of alternative treatments.
Safety of Acupressure
The American Cancer Society reports that if a trained professional is performing acupressure treatment that it is safe. There have not been many complications reported, though the lists of potential complications can include dizziness, fainting, local internal bleeding, convulsions, hepatitis B, dermatitis, nerve damage and increased pain. At one point there was also the risk of infection from needles; however, in the United States there are now regulations regarding the sterilization of needles which must be disposed of after a single use. As such infection from traditional acupressure in the United States is not considered to be a significant safety concern for those considering acupuncture treatment.
In a Reuters Health article of Wednesday June 27, 2007, it has been reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine (issue of June 19, 2007) that although acupuncture can provide benefits with regard to pain relief in those with knee arthritis, a recently released review of research on acupuncture has suggested that some of these beneficial aspects may be due in some part to a placebo effect. The study covered fifteen years and nine clinical trials that saw improvements in the short term for sufferers of pain and stiffness due to knee arthritis.
The trials compared actual acupuncture with a placebo procedure or “sham” acupuncture, concluding that there is insufficient evidence to determine a real difference between the real and placebo therapy. The type of acupuncture used in the trials included the stimulation of Acupuncture Points by needles and electro-acupuncture. The sham versions of the treatments involved, in the former case, non-penetrating needles, and in the latter there were electrodes that involved a simulated electrical stimulation. That the placebo was as effective as the real treatment suggests that the benefits that one might normally associate with acupuncture are much more likely to be a result of the hopeful expectations of those being treated, the placebo effect, than of the effects of the actual treatment. It is also reported by the article that some research did note some short term benefits due to acupuncture, but that in most studies acupuncture only proved better when compared to leaving a patient untreated, that is, without a placebo option in the trial. The conclusions of the article suggest that there still may be potential benefits to using acupuncture in those patients who are suffering from knee arthritis. Overall, given that acupuncture is a safe procedure, it should not be ruled out as a potential treatment option.
Features of Acupressure
Acupressure is the application of pressure to specific points on the body. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), stimulating certain points by pressure encourages the flow of vital energy (Qi) along the meridian pathways. Acupressure can be integrated into almost any type of natural medicine practice and can be used for a comprehensive list of conditions.
Acupressure applies the same theory, principles and practice as acupuncture, by using finger pressure instead of needles. Acupressure is a powerful and effective healing technique when applied by a therapist who has studied Chinese Medicine. However, because it is a non-invasive therapy, it may be applied amongst others for relieving anxiety or tension.
Acupressure – (from "acupuncture" and "pressure") is a traditional Chinese medicine based on the same ideas as acupuncture. Acupressure involves placing physical pressure by hand, elbow, or with the aid of various devices on different acupuncture points on the surface of the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine does not usually operate within a scientific paradigm but some practitioners are now bringing this practice into an evidence-based medicine framework.
Traditional Chinese medicine's acupressure theory predates use of the scientific method and has received various criticisms based on scientific thinking. There is no known anatomical or histological basis for the existence of acupressure points or meridian (Chinese medicine) meridians.
"Despite considerable efforts to understand the anatomy and physiology of the "acupressure points", the definition and characterization of these points remains controversial. Even more elusive is the basis of some of the key traditional Eastern medical concepts such as the circulation of Qi, the meridian system, and the five phases theory, which are difficult to reconcile with contemporary biomedical information but continue to play an important role in the evaluation of patients and the formulation of treatment in acupressure."
Acupressure is an ancient healing art developed in Asia over 5,000 years ago that uses the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body's natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body's life force energy (Qi) to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses gentle but firm pressure.
Traditional Chinese Acupuncture recognized that 12 bioenergy channels (Meridians) circling around the body. Blockage of those meridians are the main cause of many chronicle conditions. Acupressure uses deep pressure to open up those blocked meridians.
Advantages of Acupressure
• relieving pain
• balancing the body
• maintaining good health.
• the healing touch of acupressure reduces tension, increases circulation, and enables the body to relax deeply.
• by relieving stress, acupressure strengthens resistance to disease and promotes wellness.
Acupoints used in treatment may or may not be in the same area of the body as the targeted symptom. The TCM theory for the selection of such points and their effectiveness is that they work by stimulating the Meridian (Chinese medicine) meridian system to bring about relief by rebalancing Yin and yang, and qi (also spelled "chi"). This theory is based on the paradigm of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Many East Asian martial arts also make extensive study and use of acupressure for self-defense and health purposes chin na, tui na. The points or combinations of points are said to be used to manipulate or incapacitate an opponent. Also, martial artists regularly massage their own acupressure points in routines to remove blockages from their own meridians, claiming to thereby enhance their circulation and flexibility and keeping the points "soft" or less vulnerable to an attack. Attacking the acupressure points is one theme in the wuxia genre of movies and novels.
Acupressure might work via release of endogenous opioid analgesics such as enkephalin, endorphin and dynorphins leading to alleviation of pain.
A randomised trial of Tapas Acupressure Technique for weight-loss maintenance found attendance at weight maintenance was 72% for TAT [[Tapas Acupressure Technique]]- higher than any other method studied and warranting further study. This study was supported by a grant (R21 AT01190-02) from the National Center for Complementary/Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, USA. The abstract for this study can be accessed via:
An acupressure wristband that is claimed to relieve the symptoms of [[motion sickness]] and other forms of [[nausea]] is available. The band is designed to provide pressure to the P6 acupuncture point, a point that has been extensively investigated. The Cochrane Collaboration, a group of evidence-based medicine (EBM) reviewers, reviewed the use of P6 for nausea and vomiting, and found it to be effective for reducing post-operative nausea, but not vomiting. [http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab003281.html]. The Cochrane review included various means of stimulating P6, including acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, transcutaneous nerve stimulation, laser stimulation, acustimulation device and acupressure; it did not comment on whether one or more forms of stimulation were more effective. EBM reviewer Bandolier Journal said that ''P6 acupressure in two studies showed 52% of patients with control having a success, compared with 75% with P6 acupressure''
[http://www.jr2.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/band59/b59-4.html]. One author of an article published in the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine disagreed [http://www.sram.org/0802/acupuncture.html].
A Cochrane|Cochrane Collaboration review found that massage provided some long-term benefit for low back pain, and said: ''It seems that acupressure or pressure point massage techniques provide more relief than classic (Swedish) massage, although more research is needed to confirm this.''
Introduction to Acupressure and Meridians
Evoluton of Acupressure
Acupressure [from Latin acus "needle" (see acuity) + pressure (n.).] is an alternative medicine technique similar in principle to Acupuncture. It is based on the concept of life energy which flows through "meridians" in the body. In treatment, physical pressure is applied to trigger points with the aim of clearing blockages in these meridians. Pressure may be applied by hand, by elbow, or with various devices.
Some medical studies have suggested that acupressure may be effective at helping manage nausea and vomiting, or for helping lower back pain.
Acupressure is an ancient healing art using the fingers to gradually press key healing points, which stimulate the body's natural self-curative abilities. Acupressure was developed in Asia over 5,000 years ago. Using the power and sensitivity of the hand,
An acupressure point actually has two identities and ways of working. When you stimulate a point in the same area where you feel pain or tension, it's called a local point. That same point can also relieve pain in a part of the body that is distant from the point, in which case it is called a trigger point. This triggering mechanism works through a human electrical channel called a meridian.
The meridians are pathways that connect the acupressure points to each other as well as to the internal organs. Just as blood vessels carry the blood that nourishes the body physically, the meridians are distinct channels that circulate electrical energy throughout the body. They are thought to be part of a master communications system of universal life energy, connecting the organs with all sensory, physiological, and emotional aspects of the body. This physical network of energy also contains key points that we can use to deepen our spiritual awareness as we heal ourselves.
Because the stimulation of one point can send a healing message to other parts of the body, each acupressure point can benefit a variety of complaints and symptoms.
Scientific Study on Low Back Pain with Acupressure
Acupressure Eases Low Back Pain
Acupresssure - pushing with the fingertips at the same body points used in acupuncture gave patients better, long-lasting relief for low back pain than conventional physical therapy, Taiwanese researchers report.
"Acupressure was effective in reducing low back pain in terms of disability, pain scores and functional status," doctors at the National Taiwan University reported in the current issue of the British Medical Journal. "The benefit was sustained for six months."
The researchers recruited 129 people with chronic low back pain from a specialist orthopedic clinic. All of them filled out a standard disability questionnaire before being assigned to one of two different treatment regimens, with 64 people receiving six sessions of acupressure and 65 receiving standard physical therapy.
"Acupressure conferred an 89 percent reduction in physical disability compared with physical therapy," the researchers reported. The people who got acupressure also scored better on measures of pain and had fewer days taken off from work or school, the researchers said.
However, they cautioned that the effectiveness of any manipulative therapy such as acupressure "is highly dependent on the therapist's technique and experience." All the people in this study received treatment from the same therapist, to eliminate any difference in the treatment given.
"We hope that this technique can be imparted to other therapists now that its efficacy has been shown in our study, so that acupressure can be used in other populations," they wrote. "How acupressure can be generalized to patients with low back pain is the subject of ongoing research."
Dr. Marcos Hsu is an acupuncture specialist at the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine who got his training in acupuncture and acupressure at the Maryland Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He called the Taiwan report "quite amazing," because the benefits persisted for so long. But he added that he would like more information on the causes of back pain in the people treated in the study.
Hsu said he routinely uses acupressure supplemented with acupuncture to treat low back pain. "I have seen good responses similar to those in the paper, but some people do not respond to it," he said. The response generally is good for musculoskeletal problems such as sprains, Hsu said, but when the pain is caused by problems with structural bones and tissues, as in arthritis, the treatment "may take longer to take effect."
Hsu's patients usually receive painkillers, as well, because "most people who come to us are on painkillers, so it is not advisable to stop," he said. Patients can have anywhere from five to 15 treatments, with pressure applied "by our thumbs, hands, wrists, knuckles, elbows, every joint we can use," Hsu said.
People seeking acupressure or acupuncture treatment for low back pain should be cautious whenever they seek out help, Hsu recommended. "Check their credentials first," he advised.
The Taiwan study does have some flaws, added Richard E. Harris, a research investigator in the rheumatology division of the University of Michigan Medical School, who has also done work on acupressure.
Harris said he'd like a more detailed account of the treatment given -- which acupressure points were pressed, for example. And he noted that the participants weren't blinded to the treatment they were given. Patients who got acupressure knew they were getting it, which might have influenced their response, Harris said.
Nonetheless, the report that acupressure seems to be better than physical therapy for back pain is significant and deserves follow-up, he said.
Treatment of low back pain by acupressure and physical therapy: randomised controlled trial.
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of acupressure in terms of disability, pain scores, and functional status.
Design: Randomised controlled trial.
Setting: Orthopaedic clinic in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Participants: 129 patients with chronic low back pain.
Intervention: Acupressure or physical therapy for one month.
Main outcome measures: Self administered Chinese versions of standard outcome measures for low back pain (primary outcome: Roland and Morris disability questionnaire) at baseline, after treatment, and at six month follow-up.
Results: The mean total Roland and Morris disability questionnaire score after treatment was significantly lower in the acupressure group than in the physical therapy group regardless of the difference in absolute score (-3.8, 95% confidence interval -5.7 to -1.9) or mean change from the baseline (-4.64, -6.39 to -2.89). Acupressure conferred an 89% (95% confidence interval 61% to 97%) reduction in significant disability compared with physical therapy. The improvement in disability score in the acupressure group compared with the physical group remained at six month follow-up. Statistically significant differences also occurred between the two groups for all six domains of the core outcome, pain visual scale, and modified Oswestry disability questionnaire after treatment and at six month follow-up.
Conclusions: Acupressure was effective in reducing low back pain in terms of disability, pain scores, and functional status. The benefit was sustained for six months.
Auricular Acupressure as a Treatment for Anxiety Before Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy in the Elderly.
PURPOSE: Auricular acupuncture at the relaxation point has been shown to be effective treatment for anxiety. We hypothesized that auricular acupressure may decrease anxiety in elderly individuals who are transported by ambulance before receiving ESWL(R).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We enrolled 100 patients with renal calculi who were transported to the local hospital by special ambulance, accompanied by 2 paramedics. Paramedic 1 performed data collection, while paramedic 2 performed auricular acupressure in patients randomly assigned to a relaxation group and a sham treated group. Anxiety was measured using a visual analog scale score on a scale of 0 to 100 mm.
RESULTS: Each group consisted of 50 patients with similar demographic characteristics. The relaxation group had significantly decreased anxiety scores upon arrival at the hospital and lower anticipation of pain scores (mean +/- SD 57.6 +/- 21.8 to 15.4 +/- 9.8 and 35.7 +/- 29.7 to 9.5 +/- 4.1 mm VAS) than the sham treated group (55.5 +/- 25.9 to 49.8 +/- 28.9 and 37.7 +/- 24.1 to 33.8 +/- 25.2 mm VAS, respectively, 2-way repeated measure ANOVA each p = 0.001). Estimated waiting times for treatment did not differ significantly between the 2 groups (5.0 +/- 2.5 and 5.5 +/- 2.95, respectively, repeated measures ANOVA p = 0.83). The Post-Intervention Anxiety visual analog scale demonstrated the significant superiority of the true treatment group (19.5 +/- 5.9 and 66.8 +/- 27.9 mm VAS, respectively, p = 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Elderly patients who received auricular acupressure at specific relaxation points while being transported to the hospital were less anxious, anticipated less pain and were more optimistic about the outcome of treatment that they will receive than the sham treated group. These data prove that this is an effective treatment for anxiety that improves the patient overall perception of ESWL.
Criticism of TCM
Clinical use of acupressure frequently relies on the conceptual framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which some scholars have characterized as pseudoscience|pseudoscientific. There is no physically verifiable anatomical or histological basis for the existence of acupuncture points or meridian (Chinese medicine)meridians.
Proponents reply that TCM is a prescientific system that continues to have practical relevance. Acupuncturists perceive TCM concepts in functional rather than structural terms, i.e. as being useful in guiding evaluation and care of patients.
NIH Consensus statement: "Despite considerable efforts to understand the anatomy and physiology of the "acupuncture points", the definition and characterization of these points remains controversial. Even more elusive is the basis of some of the key traditional Eastern medical concepts such as the circulation of Qi, the meridian system, and the five phases theory, which are difficult to reconcile with contemporary biomedical information but continue to play an important role in the evaluation of patients and the formulation of treatment in acupuncture." Acupuncture. National Institutes of Health: Consensus Development Conference Statement, November 3-5, 1997. Available online at
Channels or Meridians, the Invisible Pathways of Qi:
• Chinese use the term “Jing Luo” which means: channels, conduit, meridian, etc. These are the invisible channels through which Qi circulates throughout the body. The acupressure points (or holes as the Chinese term “xue” (is more aptly translated means) are the locations where the Qi of the Channels rises close to the surface of the body.
• There are 12 main meridians-
-6 Yin are: Heart, Lung, Spleen, Liver, Kidney, and Pericardium.
-6 Yang: Small intestine, Large intestine, Stomach, Gall Bladder, Urinary Bladder, Triple Burnner. And numerous minor ones, which form a network of energy channels. Each meridian is related to, and named after, an organ or function.
• There are more than 400 acupoints and there may be as many as 2000 points in use for different treatment. According to conventional wisdom within the acupressure community, acupressure points and meridians are special conduits for electrical signals. This view gained popularity after anecdotal reports and clinical studies asserted that these anatomical structures are characterized by lower electrical impedance compared to adjacent controls. To ascertain whether evidence exists to support or refute this claim, a systematic review of studies directly evaluating the electrical characteristics of acupuncture structures and appropriate controls were conducted. Five out of 9 point studies showed positive association between acupressure points and lower electrical resistance and impedance, while 7 out of 9 meridian studies showed positive association between acupuncture meridians and lower electrical impedance and higher capacitance.
· Using the "Bi-Digital O-Ring Test Imaging Technique", scientists have been able to accurately localize meridians and acupuncture points that correspond to specific internal organs and has found that most general patterns of meridians and the number of acupressure points on each of the meridians of specific internal organs of the 12 main internal organs described in the literature of ancient Chinese medicine, are more or less correct, with the exception of some variations and inaccuracies. Each meridian of specific internal organs was found to be connected to the organ representation area in the cerebral cortex of specific internal organs. The acupressure point has an area and occupies 3-dimensional space. It has a circular or slightly oval boundary with diameter in the range of 3 mm to 2.7 cm, although 6-12 mm are the most common diameters in human adults, with the exception of the area outside the corners of the nailbeds of the fingers and toes. Using the "Bi-Digital O-Ring Test Molecular Identification Method", scientists also found that within the boundary of most acupuncture points and meridian lines (including Heart, Stomach, and Triple Burner) were high concentrations of neurotransmitters and hormones, including Acetylcholine, Methionine-Enkephalin, Beta-Endorphin, ACTH, Secretin, Cholecystokinin, Norepinephrine, Serotonin, and GABA. On all these meridian lines, in addition to the above neurotransmitters and hormones, Dopamine, Dynorphin 1-13, Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) and VIP were found, but the latter do not usually exist within the boundary of the acupuncture point with the exception of the center midline of the acupuncture point where the meridian line is situated. Serotonin, Norepinephrine, and Cholecystokinin appeared in either one of the above 2 patterns, depending on the individual. Usually, no significant amounts of these neurotransmitters and hormones were found at the surrounding area outside of meridian and acupuncture points. However, the essential amino acid L-Tryptophan (which is a precursor of Serotonin), was usually found outside of the boundary of the acupuncture point and the meridian but not within the boundary of the acupuncture point and the meridian. Wherever Serotonin appeared, L-Tryptophan disappeared significantly and when the Serotonin disappeared, L-Tryptophan reappeared. In addition to the above common neurotransmitters and hormones, the Heart meridian had additional Atrial Natriuretic Peptide in both the meridian and its acupuncture points. Similarly, the Stomach meridian had additional Gastrin in both the meridian and its acupuncture points. Likewise,the Triple Burner meridian had additional Testosterone (in the male) and Estrogen (especially Estriol and Estradiol in the female.
· Traditional Chinese medicine offers several theories to explain the mechanism of acupuncture. One of these theories proposes that acupuncture points and meridians have unique electrical properties and their electrical skin impedance is lower than surrounding areas. The aim of this study was to evaluate the differences in electrical skin impedance between PC4 and the pericardium meridian compared with the surrounding areas. Eighteen healthy subjects (10 women) were recruited to participate in the study. An impedance meter based on the four-electrode technique was designed specifically for the study. Twenty-five points were marked on the skin: one on the point PC4, four others on the pericardium meridian and 20 points around it. The electrical impedance of each point was measured with the four-electrode device. The mean electrical skin impedance at PC4 was significantly different from the 20 of the surrounding points but not significantly different from the four adjacent points. The mean skin impedance of the five points over the pericardium meridian was significantly different from that of parallel rows of points using repeated measures analysis of variance (p<0.001)
· CONCLUSION: Within the possible limits of this measurement technique, skin impedance along the pericardium meridian is lower than surrounding areas, supporting the idea of different properties of the pericardium meridian compared with the control areas consistent with acupressure science. Evidence on skin impedance at PC4 is inconclusive and further studies are needed.
The Main Meridian Channels:
How Points are Found:
Of the hundreds of acupressure points on the body, most either lie under-neath major muscle groups or they follow the bone structure, residing in the joints or in the hollows of bone.
Points to consider:
More than 5000 years ago, the Chinese discovered that pressing certain points on the body will relieve pain where it occurred and also benefit other parts of the body
Acupressure considers symptoms to be an expression of the condition of the person as a whole. Thus, acupressure sessions focus not only on relieving pain and discomfort, but also on responding to these tensions and toxicities in the body before they develop into illnesses
In order to relax muscular tension and balance the vital forces of the body, acupressure uses a system of points, which tend to collect muscular tension and meridians (the pathways along which healing energy flows from point to point).
The meridians are pathways that connect the acupressure points to each others as well as to the internal organs
The meridians are channels that circulate electrical energy through out the body. They connect the organs with all sensory, physiological and emotional aspects of the body
Because stimulation of one point can send a healing message to other parts of the body, each acupressure point can benefit a variety of complaints and symptoms. Therefore, you will find a particular acupressure point used for a variety of problems
The highly effective acupressure point in the webbing between our thumb and index finger, for instance is not only beneficial for relieving arthritis pain in hands, but also benefits the colon and relieves problems in the facial area and the head including headache, toothache, sinus problems
Acupressure points also called potent points which founded on the skin that are specially sensitive to bioelectrical impulses in the body and conduct those impulses.
In Asian culture these points considered as junctions between pathways that carry the human energy that the Chinese call Qi, and the Japanese call it Ki
Stimulating these points with pressure, needle or heat will trigger the release of endorphins (neuro-chemical that relieves pain). As a result, pain is blocked and the flow of blood and oxygen to the affected area is increased. This causes the muscles to relax and promotes healing
Because acupressure inhibits pain signals sent to the brain, it has been described as closing the gate of the pain signals, preventing painful sensation from passing through the spinal cord to the brain
Besides relieving pain, acupressure can help rebalance the body by dissolving tensions and stresses.
Acupressure enables the body to adapt to environmental changes and resist illness. Tension tends to concentrate around acupressure points
When there is muscle spasm, the muscle fibers contract due to secretion of lactic acid caused by fatigue, trauma, stress, chemical imbalance, or poor circulation
As a point is pressed, the muscle tension yields to the finger pressure, enabling the fibers to elongate and relax, blood to flow freely, and toxins to be released and eliminated.
Increased circulation also brings more oxygen and other nutrients to the affected areas. This increases the body's resistance to illness and promotes a healthier, more vital life.
When the blood and bioelectric energy circulate properly, we have a great sense of harmony and health.
365 points were named, originally with Chinese character. In addition to its name, each point was assigned an identification number to track its placement along the body for instance ST3 or GB21.
More on Acupressure and Anatomy History
The earliest historic reference to a dissection of a human cadaver is found in the biography of Emperor Wang Mang who ordered the m e d i c a l dissection of the b o d y of a rebel named Wang Sun-Ching. Measurements were made of his internal organs, and bamboo rods were inserted into his blood vessels in order to discover where they begin and where they end for the purpose of a better understanding of how to cure diseases. Otherwise it cannot be explained why ancient Chinese physicians were able to denominate the respective viscera properly with names still in use today, how they could locate them topographically in correct position, and link them to the vessel pathways leading to the periphery of the human body.
The origins of acupressure are as ancient as the instinctive impulse to hold your forehead or temples when you have a headache. Everyone at one time or another has used his or her hands spontaneously to hold tense or painful places on the body.
The Chinese discovered more than 5,000 years ago that pressing certain points on the body relieved pain where it occurred and also benefited other parts of the body more remote from the pain and the pressure point. Gradually, they found other locations that not only alleviated pain but also influenced the functioning of certain internal organs.
In early Chinese dynasties, when stones and arrows were the only implements of war, many soldiers wounded on the battlefield reported that symptoms of disease that had plagued them for years had suddenly vanished. Naturally, such strange occurrences baffled the physicians who could find no logical relationship between the trauma and the ensuing recovery of health. After years of meticulous observation, ancient Chinese physicians developed ways of curing certain illnesses by striking or piercing specific points on the surface of the body.
Like Chinese soldiers, people through the ages have found the most effective ways to help themselves by trial and error. The art and science of acupressure was practiced by the contributions of people whose awareness was so highly developed that they could feel where the bodies of people in pain were constricted and sense which trigger points would alleviate the problem.
The Chinese have practiced acupressure for over 5,000 years as a way of keeping themselves well and happy. Many of the health problems in our society - from bad backs to arthritis - are the result of living unnaturally. Stress, tension, lack of exercise, poor eating habits, and poor posture contribute to the epidemic of degenerative diseases in our culture.
Scientific Evidence in Support of Acupuncture and Meridian Theory
Acupuncture is a therapeutic modality used in China as early as the late stone age. Throughout Chinese history both acupuncture theory and practice has steadily evolved into an increasingly rich and complex system, eventually offering treatments for virtually every form of medical condition. Much of the history of the development of acupuncture therapeutics can be seen in the evolution of the needles themselves, but the meridian system is of primary importance, and the conceptualization of the system has changed very little in the last 2000 years (Figs. 1 and 2).
Acupuncture has long been considered more important then herbal pharmacology. The earliest classical books on traditional Chinese medicine discuss Acupuncture and do not discuss herbal pharmacology. These include Huangdi's Internal Classic (ca. 100 B.C.E.) and two other works that pre-date it, the Moxibustion Classic with Eleven Foot-Hand Channels and the Moxibustion Classic with Eleven Ying-yang Channels, both of which were discovered during the Mawangdui tomb excavations in 1973.  There is even a traditional saying: "first you use the needle (acupuncture), then fire (moxibustion), and then herbs."
Acupuncture did not enter modern Western consciousness until the 1970's when China ended a period of isolation and resumed foreign political and cultural contacts. In 1972 the respected New York Times columnist James Reston underwent an emergency appendectomy while in China. He latter wrote about acupuncture treatment for post-operative pain that was very successful. This report attracted attention and many American physicians and researchers went to China to observe and learn acupuncture techniques.
It appeared as though Acupuncture was used to treat everything in China, but the number of accepted acupuncture applications has grown very slowly in the West. The first area of partial acceptance was in analgesia, which is still the area where its effectiveness is best documented . Acupuncture research has since become a very broad, active area both in Asia and the West. Research at the Shanghai Institute has demonstrated acupuncture's effect on various biological systems, including the digestive tract, cardiovascular system (helpful in hypotensive states), immune system (phagocytosis), and the endocrine system (the secretion of ACTH, oxytocin, vasopressin, norepinephrine, follicle stimulating hormone, prolactin, and 17-hydroxycorticosteroids) . A recent issue of the bilingual, Chinese journal Acupuncture Research includes successful studies of acupuncture treatment for hemiparalysis, facial paralysis, cervical spondylosis, humeral epicondylitis, herpes zoster, and lumbago .Current research in North American and Europe includes uterine contractions , pulmonary disease , addiction, mental disorders, and as an adjunct to AIDS treatment . Research continues, but widespread acceptance and integration are still far from realized.
The primary reason for the slow acceptance of acupuncture is the lingering suspicion that there is no substantial, scientific reality behind it because a demonstrable mechanism of action has yet to be found. For the most part, early attempts to "explain" acupuncture have been either thinly disguised denials or have embraced and verified acupuncture only partially, disproving traditional acupuncture as much as validating it. The most prevalent example of the former is the argument that any effect acupuncture may have is psychogenetic, a placebo effect. This has been disproven by successful studies of acupuncture in animals, many examples of which can be found in Kuo and Kuo.  Two important forms of partial validation of acupuncture are the neuralphysiological and neurohormonal schools. The neuralphysiological school defines acupuncture points on "roughly dermatome basis; partially involv[ing] 'long' reflexes to distant parts of the body, which implicates a distribution by specific spinal segments or nerves; and are partially via unknown connections."  This could explain remote stimulation, but as the quote suggests, it is a very incomplete explanation. Neurohormonal theories center on the release of neurohormones triggered by the pain and microphysical damage caused by needle insertion. This has been used primarily to explain acupuncture-induced general analgesics, but it can explain little else.
Both of the above explanations are attempts to use structures and concepts acceptable to the mainstream medical community to explain acupuncture. But in grafting acupuncture to Western medical theory, aspects foreign to orthodox medicine are simply jettisoned. Because of the emphasis on genetics, anatomy, physiology, and bio-chemistry in modern medicine, and a near complete denial of energetic processes in the body, chi (body energy) and meridians (paths of body energy flow) are either ignored or considered fallacies with some metaphorical or pneumonic value. Emphasis is placed by most researchers on the needle and the physical effect of its insertion into the skin, but this side of acupuncture is not essential. According to our research, acupuncture is essentially manipulation of bodily energy as it flows through the meridian system. The acupuncture needle is only one of many possible tools used to accomplish this. In the remainder of this article, "meridian theory" will be understood to include acupuncture theory and practice. "Meridian" is used to stand for both the meridian itself and the acupuncture points along the meridian.
A bio-physical or bio-chemical approach to acupuncture robs it of its actual foundation, and because of this acupuncture research to date has been only partially successful. Fortunately, advances in physics, electro-magnetism, quantum-mechanics, and bio-energetic research have enabled researchers to develop a paradigm that for the first time successfully explains the majority of acupuncture related phenomena.  We have embraced this bio-energetic paradigm not simply because it can explain more of acupuncture phenomena, but because it is a true description of acupuncture's mechanism of action and is an important facet of all life processes. The only way to address acupuncture successfully and scientifically is through the meridian system.
This four-article series will attempt to give a fairly complete representation of meridian theory research based on the bio-energetic paradigm. This, the first article, covers traditional acupuncture, early research into the electrical properties of acupuncture points, and basic EDS Test (EDST) methodologies. The theoretical foundation for the bio-energetic paradigm is discussed in two articles by Physicist Kuo Gen CHEN. The fourth article is a review of research into an application of bio-energetic properties called the electrodermal screening system (EDSS). In that article Dr. F.M.K. Lam, Prof. Pesus Chou, and I hope to demonstrate the effectiveness of the EDSS as a screening/diagnostic method and offer evidence of the causal connection between acupuncture points, meridians, and internal organs.
Traditional Meridian Theory
According to traditional Chinese medicine, a form of bodily energy called chi is generated in internal organs and systems. This energy combines with breath and circulates throughout the body, forming paths called meridians. The meridians form a complex, multilevel network which connects the various areas of the body, including the surfaces with the internal. All of the various meridian systems work together to assure the flow and distributon of chi thoughout the body, thus controlling all bodily functions. The interwoven meridian systems and the possibilities for diagnosis and treatment they offer, are called meridian theory. When an organ or system is not balanced, related acupuncture points may become tender or red, allowing for diagnosis. For treatment, a point on the skin is stimulated through pressure, suction, heat, or needle insertion, affecting the circulation of chi, which in turn affects related internal organs and systems.
"Meridian" is the most common translation of the Chinese ching-lo (jingluo), but it is a very imperfect translation. Ching means to pass through, and lo means a net or to connect. "Meridian" was originally used by French researchers to describe all meridians, and is used in this article in that sence. The term "channel" is used increasingly for all meridians, while some prefer to maintain the original distinction between ching and lo and use the terms channels and collaterals respectively. For them, meridian theory would be reffered to as the theory of channels and collaterals. There is another sub-classification of meridians called vessels. Although it is a valid distinction, it is not important to the immediate discussion.
Meridians are classified into 6 groups according to their location and function. The best known of the meridians are the 12 regular meridians, also called the major trunks. They connect with the organ they are named for by way of collateral meridians (see bellow) and run along the surface of the body either on the chest or back and along either both of the arms or both of the legs. These are the primary conduits for the passage of chi through the body, which flows through this network in a regular, 24-hour pattern. The 12 regular meridians therefore control or take part in every facet of the daily metabolic and physiological functioning of the body.
There are three meridian groupings directly associated with the regular meridians, each with 12 meridians. 1) Each of the divergent meridians arises from one of the 12 regular meridians, passes through the thorax or abdomen to join with the named organ, and then surface at the neck or head. 2) The muscle network meridians distribute chi from the 12 regular meridians among muscles, tendons, and joints, ensuring normal body motion and flexibility. This circulation of chi is referred to as superficial because there is no direct connection with an internal organ. 3) The cutaneous network meridians run parallel to the regular meridians in the cutaneous skin layer and are therefore considered even more superficial. We believe that they are a part of the function of the sensory nervous system.
The 8 extra meridians (also referred to as vessels) are the paths by which the 12 regular meridians connect, share chi, and support each other. None of the individual extra meridians are associated with a specific organ or regular meridian, though all of them connect with a number of other meridians. Their paths are considered superficial but deep. It is through the extra meridians that imbalances in chi are regulated through storage and drainage. The most important of the extra meridians are the govorner meridian, which runs along the middle of the back, and the conception meridian, which runs along the middle of the chest and stomach.
The system of 15 collateral meridians is responsible for the thorough and complete circulation of chi. One collateral meridian arises from each of the 12 regular meridians, the governor and conception meridians, and from the spleen (which does not have a regular meridian). Each of the collateral meridians branch out, forming minute or "grandson" collateral meridians, creating both horizontal and vertical connections within the complete meridian system.
This energetic view of the body is not entirely new to Western medicine. The basic concepts were present in the work of "vitalist" scientists such as Galvani, Hahnemann, and Mesmer, who were active in the 17th through 19th centuries. Vitalism was gradually pushed out of the relm of accpeted medical science in the 19th and 20th centuries due to apparent inefficacy, but the real problem was inadequate instrumentation and a medical paradigm that made no room for energetic processes. Technology has advanced to a point where devices can successfully and consistently measure biological energy. The body's energetic processes have always been there and were always important, as the history of acupuncture suggests. It is now time to standardize and integrate energetic practices into modern health care and make energy medicine an essential part of medical science.
The basic premise of energy medicine (also called bio-energetic medicine) is that energetic processes, including electrical and magnetic processes, vibrational resonance, and bio-photon emission, are essential to life processes. Bio-energy functions as a carrier of "bio-information" and is crucial to biological self-regulation. With this in mind, there are at least three areas where medical practitioners could find useful applications: 1) gearing all treatment to preserve the well-being of the electro-magnetic energy network of the body, 2) use of beneficial, external energies in amounts similar to that already present in body in order to balance or reinforce natural energetic functions, 3) use of greater amounts of external energy to actively influence body function by way of the energy network, correcting functional imbalances. Traditional acupuncture belongs to category 2, and many modern meridian-based techniques belong to category 3.
According to what we have observed in our research, a complete, bio-energetic definition of meridians includes four facets, or "units": structure of the organ of origin, function of the organ, the electro-magnetic pathway, and emotional/vibrational interaction. All four are crucial to the creation and existence of the meridians. An organ, by its physical existence and functioning, relases energy (chi) and creates an electro-magnetic field. This energy contains information about the organ and its activity, so both the physical structure and the functioning of the organ affect the quality and strength of the energy and information that are created. This is the source of the meridians. An imbalance in one meridian often brings about imbalances in others, and other factors, including emotions, can effect individual meridians and the meridian network as a whole. Each meridian can be viewed as existing individually or as a part of the intricate meridian system and can be treated as such, though the synergistic totality of the meridian system is always of primary importance. It is precisely for this reason that diagnostic and therapeutic procedures based on meridian theory are successful at approaching the body holistically.
In electroacupuncture treatment, direct electric current is administered through the acupuncture points. This energy follows the electromagnetic tracks to the system, effecting treatment. (Electroacupuncture therapeutics is a separate area of research and will not be discussed in detail here.) On the other hand, anything that alters or interferes with a system's function or structure also changes the performance of the related meridian and acupuncture points. The electrodermal screening device (EDSD) measures the balance of systems by measuring resistance and polarization at these points. In other words, acupuncture and standard electroacupuncture are therapeutic and the EDST is used in a screening process and can be integrated into diagnostic procedures.
The Device (EDSD) and Method (EDST)
In the 1950's and 60's two distinct electrodermal screening methodologies were developed, one by Nakatani in Japan (Ryodoraku)  and one by Voll in Germany (EAV, electroacupuncture according to Voll) . The most obvious difference between the two systems were the types of points they measured. In Ryodoraku, meridian passage points on the wrists and ankles are measured. The points used in EAV are located all over the body, though the distal points on the hands and feet are used most often. EAV is the more versatile and precise of the two methods, and for this reason we were attracted to it. EAV is the basis of the EDST, and the standard device used in EAV, the Dermatron (Pitterling Electronics, Munich), is the prototype of modern EDSDs.
There are some variations in the construction and performance of EDSDs, but all share the same basic design (Fig. 3). The core of the EDSD is an ohm meter designed to deliver approximately 10-12 microamperes of direct electrical current at 1-1.25 volts, a perfectly safe amount. (The ionization potential of hydrogen atoms is 1.36 volts; only at this level and above could any physical damage occur.) On the majority of the devices the meter is calibrated to read from 0 to 100 such that the standard skin resistance of 100 kilo-ohms reads 50. The minimum value of zero represents infinite resistance (no electrical conductivity), and the maximum value of 100 indicates zero resistance at the given voltage and amperage. Some of the devices use a range of 0 to 200, with 100 being normal skin resistance. 
Figure 3: A simple schematic diagram of an EDSD
The EDSD testing probe consists of an insulated body with a tip of brass or silver connected to the positive side of the circuit. The examiner holds the probe by the insulated body and presses the tip against the measurement point of the patient (fig. 4). The negative side of the circuit is connected to a hand electrode made of brass tubing, which is held by the patient in one hand. If medicine testing (described below) is to be done, a metal plate or holding device, usually made of aluminum, is placed in the circuit between the device and the hand electrode. The pressure of the tip of the probe on the skin might create a temporary dimple and be slightly uncomfortable, but it should not be painful. To assure adequate electrical contact, it is usually necessary to slightly dampen the probe tip and the hand electrode with water.
A reading taken with the EDSD is usually described using two values, the initial reading (generally the highest value) and the indicator drop (ID). Many practitioners also note the length of time of the ID. An initial reading of approximately 50 followed by little or no indicator drop is considered to be balanced. Initial readings above 60 may indicate inflammation in the system being measured, and initial readings below 45 may indicate changes caused by degenerative processes. An ID indicates a probable imbalance. When an ID is present it is considered the most important part of the reading, and through a process called medicine testing the ID can be used to determine the nature and cause of an imbalance.
Voll expanded upon traditional acupuncture point classification in three directions: by discovering unknown meridians (which he referred to as "systems"), unknown points on traditional meridians, and unknown functions of existing points. Voll's understanding of the traditional meridians is in agreement with the Chinese tradition in that each meridian relates to a specific internal organ (lung, stomach, heart, etc.). Voll's new meridians go beyond this to cover tissue and structure types and categories of biological function. These meridians cover joints, skin, fibrous tissue, fatty tissue, serous membranes, the nervous system (including autonomic innervation), lymphatic drainage, capillary circulation and allergic reactions. Many of the branch points are examples of newly discovered points and point functions. Branch points help tremendously in pinpointing the exact location of abnormal function. For example, the branch points on the two heart meridians (one on each of the hands) include the aortic valve, mitral valve, pulmonary valve, tricuspid valve, conduction system, and coronary arterioles. By combining the information read from all of the different types of measurement points, it is possible to determine the exact location of a given disturbance, including the layer of tissue effected.
A typical examination with the EDSD begins with the four quadrant measurements (hand to hand, foot to foot, right hand to foot, and left hand to foot) which are measurements of whole-body energy levels. These are taken using a pair of brass tube hand electrodes and a pair of brass plate foot electrodes. Using the probe, the control measurement points (CMP, some of which are also referred to as summation measurement points) are then measured to ascert281281ain the general condition of an entire meridian. The branch points along the same meridian are checked if there is a positive reading at the CMP or if symptoms suggest that a complete check of a meridian is warranted regardless of the CMP reading.
When a point exhibiting an ID is located, various reagents can be tested against the point in a process referred to as medicine testing. It is the goal of the physician to find one or a combination of reagents that will balance the point, i.e. cause the point tested to have a reading near 50 and not have an ID. Reagent samples in sealed glass containers are placed within the circuit of the measurement by placing them on the metal plate designed for this purpose. The physician tests various reagents, basing his selection on medical knowledge and experience, until an appropriate reagent or combination of reagents is found. A reagent that balances the reading may have a positive effect on the system being measured and therefore be an appropriate medication or dietary supplement. No response implies that the reagent would have no effect on the system, and a worsening response implies a negative effect. For example, pancreas CMP readings of a person with diabetes will become balanced when the proper dose of insulin is placed within the circuit and will show a larger ID if refined sugar is put there.
Medicine testing is perhaps the most controversial aspect of the EDSS, though many also consider it the most promising.  It was discovered and used by Voll in connection with homeopathy, and the effectiveness of the EDSD in testing homeopathic remedies has been demonstrated in clinical studies.  Homeopathic remedies serve as particularly useful reagents for medicine testing because they are prepared at various dilutions, which increases the likelihood of finding an appropriate "resonance," a phenomenon which Kuo-Gen Chen describes in the third article of this series as "bio-informational quantum interference." Medicine testing has also been shown effective in the testing of herbal and allopathic medicines  and has been used very successfully to test for allergies  and for the presence of environmental pathogens such as insecticides.  Virtually any sort of biological reagent can be tested in this fashion.
Acupuncture, an advancement of acupressure has been used for thousands of years and is effective in a wide range of situations. It has not been integrated into modern health care primarily because of lingering suspicions that it is not scientific. A bio-energetic model has been developed to explain nearly all aspects of acupuncture and meridian theory, but there remains a definite prejudice against human energetic theories in the medical-scientific community, which must be overcome before integration can take place.
The EDST and EDSD are outgrowths of the scientific, electro-magnetic understanding of meridian theory. The EDST may appear similar to other ultra-modern techniques such as MRI, but there are important differences. Both are relatively new techniques based on modern technology, but the EDST is also based on ancient practices and is safer and more holistic, versatile, and cost effective. The device is elegantly simple and not extremely expensive. Hopefully, it will help free medical progress from its dependence on ever more expensive and specialized medical instrumentation. This alone would have a profound effect on health care cost and accessibility. The quality of health care will also improve with integration of the EDST into modern medical practice. Because the EDST makes use of the body's meridian system, it can map out and help analyze the body's own signals, making it particularly useful in early diagnosis. With its solid theoretical foundation in modern physics and quantum mechanics, it is perhaps the most "modern" medical methodologies available today.
1. Lu J, Cui Y, Shi R: A Practical English-Chinese Library of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Publishing House of the Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, 1988, pg 40.
2. Kuo FF, Kuo JJ: Recent Advances in Acupuncture Research, Institute for Adnanced Research in Asian Science and Medicine, Garden City, New York, 1979, pp 401-499.
3. Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture: A Comprehensive Text, translated and edited by O'Connor J and Bensky D, Eastland Press, Seattle, pp 529-543, 1981.
4. Lu Z, chief ed: Acupuncture Research 19(3-4):118-138, 1994.
5. Tsuei JJ, Lai YF, and Sharma SD: The influence of acupuncture stimulation during pregnancy, the induction and inhibition of labor. Obstetrics and Gynecology 50:479-488, 1977.
6. Jobst K: A critical analyss of acupuncture in pulmonary disease: efficacy and safety of the acupuncture needle. J Alternative Complementary Med 1:57-85, 1995.
7. Strohecker J, exec. ed.: Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, Future Medicine Publishing, Puyallup, Washington, 1994, pp 38-43.
8. Mann F: Acupuncture: The Ancient Chinese Art of Healing and How it Works Scientifically, Vintage, New York, 1973, pg 225.
9. Royal FF, Royal DF: A review of the history and scientific bases of electrodiagnosis and its relationship to homeopathy and acupuncture. Am J Acupunct 19:137-152, 1991.
10. Nakatani Y: Skin electric resistance and ryodoraku. J Autonomic Nerve 6:52, 1956.
11. Voll R: Twenty years of electroacupuncture diagnosis in Germany: a progressive report. Am J Acupunct 3:7-17, 1975.
12. Tsuei JJ, Lam Jr. F, Zhao Z: Studies in Bioenergetic Correlations--Bioenergetic Regulatory Measurement Instruments and Devices. Am J Acupunct 16:345-9, 1988.
13. Voll R: The phenomenon of medicine testing in elecroacupuncture according to Voll. Am J Acupunct 8:97-104, 1980.
14. Lam F, Jr, Tsuei JJ, Zhao Z: Studies on the bioenergetic measurement of acupuncture points for determination of correct dosage of allopathic or homeopathic medicine in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Am J Acupunct 18:127-33, 1990.
15. Baker DW: An introduction to the theory and practice of German electroacupuncture and accompanying medications. Am J Acupunct 12:327-332, 1984.
16. Tsuei JJ, Lehman CW, Lam F, Jr, Zhu D: A food allergy study utilizing the EAV acupuncture technique. Am J Acupunct 12:105-16, 1984.
17. Tsuei JJ, Chun C, Lu CY: Study of pesticide residues in the bodies of workers at a chemical factory by bioenergetic measurements. R.O.C. National Science Council Reports, Mar. 1989.
18. Wang XT: An Illustrated History of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Chinese Medical Press, Beijing, 1987, pg 21.
Videos and Interactive Charts:
Acupressure Points Location Theory and Clinical Applications
Acupressure Interactive Chart of Acupoints
Download Acupressure Points Booklet and Watch Videos or Locate Points on Chart
Acupressure Points Selft Treatment
Additional Acupressure Points Videos
More Acupressure Points Videos
Accpuressure is all about just that—pressure. Specifically, pressure points. Each pressure point targets a specific location on your body, and manipulating them with pressure can work wonders on your aches and pains. From headaches to back pain and sinus congestion, you can relieve dozens of common ailments with just a bit of accupressure. In this guide, we will look at all of the main pressure points, the parts of the body they cover, and how to use them—both on yourself and on others.
In acupressure, you compress key energy points on the skin’s surface with your fingers to stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities. It can be used equally well on yourself or on others. Different kinds of pressure on the pressure points achieves different results, but the most common type of acupressure application is firm, prolonged pressure, from 1 to 3 minutes. You locate a point; sink in gradually with your finger, thumb, heel, or side of your hand; and hold it for at least 1 minute to calm and relax the nervous system. The depth to which you sink into a point should be enough to cause your partner to perceive it as a “good hurt”—a bit tender but so it feels as if it’s doing some good.
It’s important that both you and your partner breathe fully and deeply during the application of acupressure. Your partner’s deep breathing allows the points to release pain and tension and promote the flow of healing energy throughout the body. Your partner will feel her ability to regulate the steady amount of pressure you’re exerting with your finger, as the pressure increases on her inhalations and decreases with her exhalations, regardless of where on the body you are pressing. Your deep and steady breath will not only help keep you focused and centered on what you’re doing, but will also remind your partner to maintain a steady breathing pattern.
Now let’s get hands-on with some acupressure points.
These four points, two on each side of the spine, are right below the last rib (about ½ to 1 inch above the waist line), two finger widths and four finger widths away from the spine. These points are useful for relieving lower back pain.
The Third Eye point is in the indentation at the bridge of the nose between the eyebrows. This is a useful point for relieving anxiety, stress, chronic fatigue, and headaches.
The Gallbladder 2 is a fingertip-size point where the top of the ear joins side of the face and is useful for alleviating headache pain, especially vascular headaches and migraines.
The Heavenly Pillar is a pair of points one finger width below the base of the skull on the prominent neck muscles about ½ inch out from the spine. These points are helpful for relieving stress, overexhaustion, insomnia, headaches, eyestrain, and stiff neck.
This point is three finger widths from the bottom of the breastbone (sternum). It’s helpful in the relief of tension in the chest, anxiety, nervousness, and depression.
This point is on the highest part of the shoulder, slightly closer to the neck than midway between the base of the neck and the outer point of the shoulder. It relieves anxiety, fatigue, shoulder tension, and headaches.
This point is about four finger widths up from the armpit crease and about one finger width inward on the outer part of the chest. It relieves congestion, coughing, shallow breathing, chest tension, and depression.
At the bottom of the prominent calf muscle, about halfway between the knee crease and the heel, is where the Supporting Mountain point is located. If you glide your fingers up the back of the lower leg from the heel, your fingers will generally slow or stop right at this point.
It’s useful for relieving calf cramping, foot swelling, and knee pain. In some individuals, it may also help relieve lower back pain.
These points are all over the sacrum in its indentations between the lower back and the tailbone. These points are useful for relief of menstrual cramps and frequently help lower back and hip pain as well.
The Drilling Bamboo points are in the indentation of the inner eye socket just below the middle point of the eyebrows. They relieve sinus pain and congestion and eyestrain.
The Welcoming Perfume points are just to the sides of the nostrils, by the nasal crease. These points are good for sinus congestion and pain.
The Facial Beauty points lie directly below the pupils of the eyes as your partner is looking straight ahead, just under the edge of the cheekbone. These points help sinus pain and congestion, as well as eye fatigue.
These points are four finger widths up the middle of the underside of the arm from the wrist crease. They relieve and in some cases prevent upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting. They are especially good for preventing motion sickness, and you can even find elastic bands with little knobs to wear on your wrists when you’re going to be in a situation that may cause you to have motion sickness.
Acupressure is a type of ancient healing art that uses fingers to add pressure on the key points above the surface of the skin. When these key points are pressed, it releases muscular strain. Also, acupressure stimulates the body’s normal self-healing capabilities, as it enhances the circulation of blood at the same time the body’s life force to assist healing.
Both acupressure and acupuncture uses similar points. However, acupuncture utilizes needles. On the contrary to acupuncture, acupressure uses moderate pressure of both hands.
Acupressure is considered the most efficient way of self-treatment on some strain-related illness. The chief advantage of acupressure is that it is safe. Acupressure can either be used on you or on another person. In addition, there are no side effects because it does not use drugs. All you need to perform acupressure is your own two hands and some apparatus.
Some of the common acupressure methods are: rubbing, kneading, percussion and vibration. It can be done while sitting, standing or lying down. Frequently used means to massage parts of the body are hands, elbows, knees and feet.
Some of the apparatus used in acupressure are acu ball, energy roller, foot roller, power mat and spine roller. Acu ball is a small rubber ball that has protuberances, which can be heated. It is used to alleviate muscle and joint pain while applying acupressure.
Energy ball is a tiny cylinder that also has protuberances. It is rolled back and forth to apply acupressure. On the other hand, foot roller is rested on the ground while the foot is rolled back and forth over it. It is a circular, cylindrical roller with protuberances. Power mat is a small pyramid-shaped bumpy mat. It is placed on the floor to be walked upon. Spine roller is an uneven roller that has magnets, which is rolled up and down the spine.
Furthermore, acupressure is good for relieving stress, eyestrain, sinus problems, neck pain, back aches, arthritis, muscle aches and strain caused by stress. It can also be used to alleviate ulcer pain, menstrual cramps, lower backaches, constipation and indigestion.
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