Acupressure is an Oriental Bodywork Therapy that has been used in China for 2,000 years. Acupressure uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of Chi through the meridians as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques, acupressure seeks to establish a more harmonious flow of Chi through the system of channels and collaterals, allowing the body the naturally heal itself.
Acupressure balances the body’s energy by applying pressure to specific points along energy channels. A practitioner uses her fingertips to make contact with the body. It’s the location of the contact that’s important, not the amount of pressure. A practitioner can adjust the amount of pressure to suite a client’s personal preference, but the effectiveness of the work does not depend on the pressure.
In Chinese medicine, energy and blood are closely related. The energy channels are pathways for both Chi and blood. When a finger touches an acupressure point, the energy flowing in the channel is attracted to the surface. An acupressure practitioner will hold a point until she feels a pulsation under finger. When energy is attracted to the surface, the flow of blood increases at that location and the pulse is felt. The pulse is a confirmation that the energy is now flowing.
Acupressure and acupuncture use the same theory and assessment tools to select the points used in a session, An acupressure practitioner has some advantages. Because her hands are in contact with the points, she can then modify the selection of points to accommodate the body’s response. Also, some points are not easy to needle, since they are located too close to bone or nerves, whereas all points are available to the acupressure practitioner’s touch.
Q: what to expect?
A: When you go into a typical Acupressure session, the patients client wears loose clothing and lies on a massage table. After answering some brief questions about the nature and location of the health problem, the practitioner will concentrate on specific acupressure points, energy trigger points, muscles and joints surrounding the affected area.
The sessions last from 30 minutes to over an hour. Clients often return for additional treatments. As with most “energy-based” treatments, the client usually feels either relaxed and tired, or surprisingly energized by the treatment and release of pain.
Q: When not to use it?
A: Acupressure can be quite powerful and sometimes a little bit painful during the deep-tissue manipulations. Acupressure is not used for condition involving compound fractures, external wounds, open sores or lesions, phlebitis, or the infectious conditions such as hepatitis.