Acupressure is based on the same principles as Acupuncture in traditional Chinese medicine, albeit without the use of needles, and has been widely practiced in Japan and India as well. Traditional medicine is usually called alternative medicine, but some facts, if they are pondered, make one question the concept of ‘alternative’ medicine. Of course, the ‘alternative’ is an alternative to the primary health care and medicine offered in the West. However, when one raises one’s hand and massages the temples or between the eyebrows when they have a bad headache, for instance, makes one wonder if the principles of this ‘alternative’ medicine are intrinsic to one’s body and mind.
Utilizing the basic techniques of massaging and applying pressure, acupressure works on the principle that there are different points through which our body receives or releases energy, and these points are connected by imaginary pathways called meridians. The points in the body serve different purposes; while local points release tension and pain within the local area, trigger points relive tension from a distant area. Meridians serve the purpose of letting us know about the flow of energy, and so the distant areas that will be affected by the trigger points. Some points are also called tonic points, and they maintain general health and well-being. However, the use of these points is not advisable during pregnancy since it can lead to uterine contractions.
These points collect tension, trauma, and fatigue over time when our body or mind is subjected to a particularly harsh, unfavorable condition. This can be your workplace, your home, or a physical injury. When the pressure points are pressed, it helps to open up that point, and tension and pain are released. The body absorbs energy from this point, providing oxygen and increased blood flow. Acupressure techniques are used all over the world in spas and various health centers.
Colds, flu, headaches, the immune system, pains, stress, tension, injuries, psychological problems, pregnancy issues, and heart problems — acupressure can prevent and cure almost anything. The meridian and point system that the technique works on is actually the basis for a number of healing systems; Tai Chi, Reiki, and massages all work on the concept of Life Force and relieving tension and pain through various points in the body. This Life Force has been given different names in different regions and religions of the world; Qi by Taoists, Prana and Kundalini by Hindus and Ni by Native Americans among others.
Acupressure is extremely easy to use. With the advent of the Internet, acupressure charts and guides, which list the different points and meridians as well as how to use them, are easily available. To use these charts without complete knowledge can prove harmful though. The best way to use them would be to first find out the ailment, then the points that can provide relief, and finally to locate the points on one’s body with the help of the charts. These points need to be pressed with fingertips for different durations of time to relive tension and pain.
This article was supplied by Nidhi Varma.