Acupressure is an uncomplicated way to help with pain and insomnia and well worth trying if you are struggling to sleep. Acupuncture and acupressure are both methods used to stimulate acupoints. In comparison, acupuncture uses a hair-thin needle to stimulate acupoints whereas acupressure uses a firm pressure to massage the acupoints. In acupressure and acupuncture acupoints, the specific points that are stimulated are the same points. Acupoints are categorized in relation to their functional effect on the body, again, the categorization and use of points is the same in both healing arts.
The Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapist’s explains how Acupuncture works. The acupuncture needle will stimulate the flow of QI [pronounced ‘chee’], which circulates in channels or meridians within the body. The QI circulates within the deeper organs of the body but connects to the superficial skin. In the state of a normal healthy body, a balance exists between these systems. Both the superficial energy and deeper energy can be influenced by the stimulation of specific acupuncture points. If injury, disease, emotional trauma, or infection occurs, the natural flow of QI within the meridians and organs may well be affected and the result is an altered flow, either a slowing or stagnation of QI causing pain and inflammation or a deficit of QI, which may cause weakness, exhaustion and longer debilitating disease. The stimulation of relevant acupuncture points may free stagnation, reduce excess or indeed, increase QI to the specific area or organ and thus help to restore normal QI flow and balance.
There are several techniques in applying Acupuncture by Acupressure or Electro-Acupuncture which enhances the repair mechanism and enables an improved recovery time.
Follow the pattern below to start your acupressure treatment.
Place the tips of your index and middle fingers on the centre of your breastbone, at the acupressure point known as ‘Sea of Tranquility’. Now close your eyes and apply steady pressure, not too hard, for a minute or two. You will then soon feel tension, anxiety and stress start to slip away.
You could also use your first two fingers and tap them across the top of your head from temple to temple. Then work from front to back and side to side as this can get blood and oxygen moving to ease tension and restore focus.
To destress your shoulders, make a gentle half-closed fist and with a loose wrist, tap your right hand gently but firmly up your left arm, along your shoulder and up the side and back of your neck. Repeat the same process on the other side to ease tension and release endorphins.
If you can’t quite get the gist of this then check out this YouTube video.
Another way to get the right points being stimulated is to buy an Acupressure mat which you can lie on for 15 minutes before you go to sleep. My son swears by his and uses it every night before he goes to sleep. He just lies on it for 15 minutes and feels sure it helps him sleep.
I have written a couple of posts before on this Acupressure mat from Yoke Wellness – the mat was designed on the premise that ‘Self Care us Soul Care’ and is made of 100% biodegradable packaging. It has ecofriendly coconut fiber filling, and the mat has 7000 ergonomic spikes for activating tension release and to help you unwind and release any body tension.
It’s natural, drug free and a holistic self-care package that will not only ease your pain but have you feeling more charged up for the day. They suggest only 10 minutes a day is all it takes which is perfect for me to use when I go for my afternoon rest.
You can stand on it for energizing power, sit on it during relaxation or lie on it to feel a full body release. You will then soon feel muscle tension melt away, and is an excellent product for headaches, stiff neck, back pain, fibromyalgia, and insomnia. So, a real all-rounder.