Acupressure: How To Do It Safely And Effectively
Written by: Brandi Monasco
Have you ever caught yourself rubbing an area on your body that hurts? Well, there’s a good reason for that.
For centuries people have poked, massaged and rubbed areas of the body to help heal ailments and areas that hurt. This is a type of practice that the ancient Chinese used called acupressure.
Chinese medicine believes that certain points on your body are linked to different internal organs and that pressing them can help sooth and relieve pain.
Acupressure is not to be confused with acupuncture. Acupressure involves using your fingers to press on certain points of your body to stimulate your body’s natural ability to heal itself. Acupuncture, on the other hand, also involves the use of pressure points, but instead involves needles being placed in your skin at those points.
Acupressure can be used to relieve pain such as tension headaches. When pressure points are massaged, your muscular tension is released, which helps promote blood flow and circulation, which helps your body to naturally heal itself.
Here’s How To Begin Acupressure:
When you first begin, you will want to try to find the correct point. You will probe the area with the second joint of your index finger or just your fingertip. You will press into your skin while making small tight circles in the area of the point.
If you find the point, you can feel tenderness, soreness and a slight discomfort. Firmly press the point for 1 minutes then stop for a few seconds. Press again and work the point for 5 to 20 minutes. While you are working the point, be sure to breathe deeply.
There are many ailments that acupressure can help with; here are a few of them and how to find those points:
Point #1: Hold out your arm with your palm facing down. This point is located on top of your forearm about 2 ½ finger-widths above the crease that your wrist creates, between the two arm bones (this point can also be used for allergies).
Point #2: Hold out your hand with your palm open and facing down. This point is in the center of the webbing between your index finger and your thumb (this point is also used for allergies, constipation and headaches).
Point #1: This point can be found on the top of your foot in the valley between your big toe and your second toe (this is also used for headaches).
Point #2: This point can be found on both sides of your spine. It is one finger-width below the base of the back of your skull and is located on the muscles that are located one finger-length from the spine.
Point #1: This point is located in the hollow area above your eyes, approximately where the bridge of your nose meets the ridge of your eye brows.
Point #2: You can locate this point on the top of your foot, just about two finger-widths above the webbing between your fourth and fifth toes. It will be in the groove between your bones.
As with any type of medicine, acupressure does have its limits. If you press too hard, you can end up leaving a bruise and causing discomfort. If you chose to do acupressure near the throat, armpits, or stomach, be sure to take notice of how hard you are pressing, as it could cause damage.
Have you tried acupressure before? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.
Source: Castleman, M. (1996). Nature’s Cures. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press.
Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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