As an avid lover of reflexology and pressure points I found this great infographic to share with you to keep in your iPad or phone to just remind you which pressure points to work on for specific conditions.
Acupressure is an easy 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 exactly 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.
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.
If you are suffering from lower back pain then according to Science Daily you could treat yourself using acupressure.
A recent study found that people with chronic lower back pain who performed self-administered acupressure experienced improvement in pain and fatigue symptoms.
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, but instead of needles, pressure is applied with a finger, thumb or device to specific points on the body and while acupressure has been previously studied — and found to be beneficial — in people with cancer-related or osteoarthritis pain, there are few studies that have examined acupressure in people with back pain.
In the study, published in Pain Medicine, the research team randomly assigned 67 participants with chronic low back pain into three groups: relaxing acupressure, stimulating acupressure or usual care.
“Relaxing acupressure is thought to be effective in reducing insomnia, while stimulating acupressure is thought to be effective in fatigue reduction,” says Susan Murphy lead author of the study.
Participants in the acupressure groups were trained to administer acupressure on certain points of the body, and spent between 27 and 30 minutes daily, over the course of six weeks, performing the technique.
Participants in the usual care group were asked to continue whatever treatments they were currently receiving from their care providers to manage their back pain and fatigue.
“Compared to the usual care group, we found that people who performed stimulating acupressure experienced pain and fatigue improvement and those that performed relaxing acupressure felt their pain had improved after six weeks,” Murphy says.
“We found no differences among the groups in terms of sleep quality or disability after the six weeks.”