Acupressure combines all of the Eastern healing knowledge and stress relief you might find in an acupuncture session – without the needles.
It is a mainstay in Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, and a comfortable and effective treatment for a variety of ailments and issues.
The word "acupressure" is a combination of "acupuncture" and "pressure". To put it simply, it is the process of applying pressure, instead of needles, to meridian points in the body in order to relieve pain or cure a specific problem.
TCM principals state that the "chi" or "qi" – their term for the body's energy -- flows through the body through 14 channels known as meridian lines. These meridian lines are said to connect each of your vital organs to the rest of your body. Pain or illness occurs when the flow of energy, or chi, is blocked from reaching the proper organ.
You may have heard the phrase "unblock my chi" in a New Age comedy, but in fact, the science is very real. Many organs in your body are related to a corresponding spot in your hands or feet.
The acupressure points hand chart indicates where some of these points are – there are various spots to manipulate to ease many health issues, particularly headaches, menstrual cramps, muscle tension and pain, fatigue and nausea related to pregnancy, cancer treatment or motion sickness.
When these meridians are manipulated by a trained specialist, the results can be instant and dramatic.
While it has only gone by its current name for a few years, the practice of manipulating meridian points is thousands of years old. Forms of it have been practiced throughout Asia almost since the dawn of civilization there.
But it was not until the 1930s, and the reign of Chairman Mao Tse Tung, that Chinese medicine began to spread throughout the world. At first, most of the attention was focused on acupuncture, which, in the 1970s, was declared to be a viable cure for over 40 diseases by the World Health Organization.
As viable as acupuncture might be, the idea of being pierced with long needles isn’t for everyone. So a needle-free alternative, combining the principals of acupuncture with elements of Shiatsu and Reflexology, emerged.
Today, the treatment method now known as acupressure is one of the most popular ways to heal pain and illness in the world.
As with all massage treatments, your session will take place in private, in a quiet, relaxing room.
However, an acupressure session is a little different than a typical massage session, because what happens during your treatment depends largely on what you are hoping to accomplish in the first place.
Before your treatment begins, you will consult with your massage technician about the issues you are experiencing and your desired outcome.
Our therapists are highly skilled and intuitive, and understand how to work with your energy field as well as your physical body.
Whether you are looking for relief from migraine headaches or menstrual pain, or a cure for nausea, your therapist will work with you to help you achieve your goals.
You do not need to undress for a treatment, as no oil will be used, and much of the work will be done on your hands and/or feet.
Your therapist will consult the acupressure points hand chart as well as his or her own intuition and experience as he or she applies soothing pressure. Other areas of your body may also be involved.
You may notice an immediate sense of relief the moment your therapist touches the "right spot". Perhaps the best part is that you will be able to recreate this effect on your own, whenever you need to, once you learn how during your session.
"Pressure on the extra 1 acupuncture point increases sedation and decreases stress, according to recent research."
Department of Anesthesiology at Aretaieion Hospital and St. Savas Hospital, Athens, Greece. Authors: Argyro Fassoulaki, M.D., Ph.D.; Adia Paraskeva, M.D.; Konstantinos Patris, M.D.; Theodora Pourgiezi, M.D.; and Georgia Kostopanagiotou, M.D. Originally published in Anesthesia Analgesia, 2003, Vol. 96, pp. 885-889.
"Subjects susceptible to motion sickness reported significantly fewer symptoms when wearing Acuband, a commercially available acupressure band."
Pennsylvania State University Gastrointestinal Psychology Laboratory. Authors: Robert M. Stern, Ph.D.; Michael D. Jokerst, MS; Eric R. Muth, Ph.D.; Chris Hollis. Originally published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2001, Vol. 7, pp. 91-94.
"Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System have found that acupressure may reduce sleepiness and help keep students awake during class."
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., Course on Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis, University of Michigan, School of Public Health. Ann Arbor, Mich. Authors: Richard E. Harris, Ph.D.; Joanne Jeter, M.D.; Paul Chan, M.D.; Peter Higgins, M.D. Ph.D.; Feng-Ming Kong, M.D.; Reza Fazel, M.D.; Candace Bramson, M.D.; Brenda Gillespie, Ph.D. Originally published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Aug 2005, Vol. 11, No. 4: 673–679
To learn more, check out one of these books.
"Banish your backpain in 10 days through acupressure."
"Induce Labor Naturally In Less Than 48 Hours."
"Look 10 to 15 years younger within 30 days using acupressure."
"With your hands you have potential to relieve everyday aches, pains and ailments without taking drugs, to improve your health, and to increase your vitality. It teaches you to use your fingers to stimulate key points on your skin that, in turn, activate your body's natural self-healing processes. With this book, it is a skill you can learn now--and use in your own home."
"Jack Forem is the bestselling author of 'Transcendental Meditation'. In this book he shows how anyone can relieve his or her own stress, tension, aches, and pains while increasing vitality and well-being with a variety of pressure point therapies."