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Acupressure has been used for thousands of years by the Chinese to promote wellness and relaxation. Like acupuncture, acupressure helps to stimulate the body’s energy channels, but instead of using needles, pressure is used. One of the best things about acupressure is that you can do it yourself. Yes, DIY acupressure! It’s the ideal remedy for anyone looking for a natural, alternative medicine to use safely at-home. But does it work and what are the acupressure health benefits?
To find out, I’ve enlisted the help of Emilia Herting, co-founder of Escapada Retreat and practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
What is Acupressure?
Our body carries energy or ‘Qi’ through channels known as meridians. When a meridian becomes blocked, we can become out of balance or even sick. Acupressure helps to unblock these energy channels using pressure at specific points in the body to unblock the flow.
How does Acupuncture differ to Acupressure?
In acupuncture, needles are used to stimulate specific sites referred to as acupuncture points. These points have high concentrations of nerve endings, mast cells, lymphatics and capillaries, all capable of triggering biochemical and physiological changes in the body. When a needle is inserted into an acupuncture point, it stimulates the sensory receptor on a deeper level and sets off a chain reaction, kickstarting a complex system of interactions between the brain, hormones, and glands. This system is a real powerhouse responsible for regulating several bodily processes and can therefore be used for all sorts of signs and symptoms.
While acupuncture needles can stimulate the points at a deeper level than pressure alone, DIY acupressure is a great way to alleviate minor complaints and as an alternative therapy to help your mind and body to relax and unwind. Or alternatively, it can be used in between acupuncture treatments to enhance the effect of the needles.
How often do you need to do acupressure before you feel a difference?
It very much depends on the individual. If practiced daily, you can see the health benefits of DIY acupressure in days – and sometimes, within a few hours. Be patient and consistent when practicing acupressure. You may want to make this part of your daily self-care or bedtime routine and really ‘focus’ on your self-treatment.
Where focus goes, energy flows.
A simple way to stimulate these points is to press firmly with a finger or a crystal in a circular movement or an up-and-down movement for 1-2 minutes at a time. Start on one side and then swap over to the same point on the opposite side.
DIY Acupressure Health Benefits
The role of acupressure has been paramount in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for more than 2000 years. And the fact that it is still as popular today is proof of how effective it is in treating illness and pain. Acupressure is essentially a method of sending a signal to the body to “switch on” its own self-healing or regulatory mechanisms. You can use diy acupressure to ease a huge number of minor health issues such as aches, pains, cramps, headache, tension, nausea and bloating.
The beauty of Chinese medicine is that it puts a great deal of focus on maintaining health. So acupressure can be used to boost and strengthen your body’s functions to increase your overall health and well-being. That is preventative at-home medicine. Normally, Qi (our life energy) circulates through natural pathways in the body called meridians.
Blockage of this flow or an imbalance in Yin and Yang can cause illness and pain.
Acupressure helps to correct functional imbalances and restore the flow thus returning the body to a more natural state of well-being.
How to do Self Acupressure
- When treating yourself with a round of acupressure, sit or lie in a comfortable position.
- Focus on your breathing.
- The more relaxed and centered you are on a physical, mental, and emotional level, the more you will get out of acupressure.
- When you feel relaxed, your autonomic nervous system will be in ‘rest and digest’ mode. This is needed for your body’s natural self-healing mechanisms to start working.
How and where to use Acupressure
You can use your fingers, palms, elbows and even feet to gently press or massage on specific points on your body.
There are 7 main energy points used in acupressure.
- Anmian (Peaceful Sleep): Massage Anmian to reduce sleeping problems and promote peaceful sleep.
- Hegu (Large Intestine 4): Massage Hegu to release stress-related tension in the face and jaw area and calm headaches
- Zanzhu (Bladder 2): Massage Zanzhu to reduce stress headaches, sinusitis issues and to calm eye disorders.
- Yin Tang (Hall of Impressions): Massage Yintang, also known as the “evil eye” to reduce anxiety, calm the mind, and improve sleep.
- Zusanli (Stomach 36): Massage Zusanli to ease any digestion-related complaints and to boost overall energy.
- Neiguan (Pericardium 6): Massage Neiguan to calm anxiety and reduce the feeling of nausea caused by early pregnancy or anxiety and stress.
- Taichong (Liver 3): Massage Taichong to reduce any stress-related symptoms such as pain and tension in the body and to lower blood pressure.
THE ESCAPADA GUIDE TO DIY ACUPRESSURE
Calm anxiety, stress, and nerves whilst improving sleep with these 7 at-home Chinese Medicine Acupressure Points with expert tips from Escapada Health.
Videos can be viewed for each acupressure point at @escapadahealth on Instagram.
If you would like to learn more about acupressure health benefits please contact Escapada here.
|Natalie Shirlaw is a healthy living expert with 10 years of experience in the field of holistic health, wellbeing, and fitness. If you enjoyed this article be sure to pin or share it!|