What is Acupressure?
Acupressure is an ancient healing art using the fingers to gradually press key healing points, which stimulate the body's natural self-curative abilities. Acupressure was developed in Asia over 5,000 years ago. Using the power and sensitivity of the hand, Acupressure Therapy is effective in the relief of stress-related ailments, and is ideal for self-treatment and preventive health care for boosting the immune system. Acupressure releases tension, increases circulation, reduces pain, and develops spirituality and vibrant health.
Acupuncture & Acupressure use the same pressure points and meridians, but Acupuncture employs needles, while Acupressure uses gentle to firm finger pressure. When these acupressure points are stimulated, they release muscular tension, promote circulation of blood, and enhance the body's life force energy to aid healing. Acupressure therapy can be used to relieve pain, fortify the sexual reproductive system, detoxify the body for greater health and beauty, and tone facial and back muscles.
Acupressure relaxes the tight muscles that result from
emotional stress and trauma, which cause the body to contract its muscles and
harden, like protective armor, to shield your inner self. For instance, when
something frightens you, or someone uptight treats you abrasively, your neck
and shoulders may tighten immediately in response. This tension prevents energy
from circulating freely in your body, which can lead to various physical and
emotional imbalances. If you do not deal with these tensions and resulting
afflictions, emotional problems may stay buried, and then resurface at a later
time, when they're triggered by some new stress. Most therapies address the
cognitive and emotional aspects of trauma, but do not get to the physiological
source. Acupressure has an advantage in
that it works directly with the body to relieve physical ailments, muscular tension,
and the emotional imbalances associated with them.
Acupressure points have a high electrical conductivity at the surface of the skin, and thus conduct and channel healing energy most effectively. This is why the most potent healing energy work uses acupressure points. The Chinese call healing energy Qi or Chi. In Japan, the life force is termed Ki, and channeling healing energy is called Reiki. Yoga practices refer to the body's life force as prana or pranic energy. These terms all relate to the same universal healing energy, which exists in our environment, and links us to all forms of life.
Energy blockages whether from stress, trauma, or an injury, can be traced to the root of all health problems. Your energy flow affects how you feel, how you think, and how you breathe. Just as negative thoughts can block your energy flow, positive thoughts can increase your healing energy. When the body's life-force energy becomes blocked, various emotional imbalances and physical symptoms also result. These energy blockages occur at the acupressure points. Through a variety of acupressure methods ranging from light touch, tapping, to simply holding the points, the body's life energy is able to flow and rebalance.
Acupressure & Acupuncture - A Brief History
The origins of acupressure and acupuncture are as ancient as the instinctive impulse to hold your forehead or temples when you have a headache. Everyone at one time or another has used his or her hands spontaneously to hold tense or painful places on the body.
The Chinese discovered more than 5,000 years ago that pressing certain points on the body relieved pain where it occurred and also benefited other parts of the body more remote from the pain and the pressure point. Gradually, they found other locations that not only alleviated pain but also influenced the functioning of certain internal organs.
In early Chinese dynasties, when stones and arrows were the only implements of war, many soldiers wounded on the battlefield reported that symptoms of disease that had plagued them for years had suddenly vanished. Naturally, such strange occurrences baffled the physicians who could find no logical relationship between the trauma and the ensuing recovery of health. After years of meticulous observation, ancient Chinese physicians developed ways of curing certain illnesses by striking or piercing specific points on the surface of the body.
Like Chinese soldiers, people through the ages have found the most effective ways to help themselves by trial and error. The art and science of acupressure and acupuncture was practiced by the contributions of people whose awareness was so highly developed that they could feel where the bodies of people in pain were constricted and sense which trigger points would alleviate the problem.
The Chinese have practiced acupressure and acupuncture for over 5,000 years as a way of keeping themselves well and happy. You, too, can learn how to complement the care you receive from your doctors. You can help your body relieve itself of common ailments, such as those in this book, by pressing the proper spots, which I will teach you. In the course of trying out these points, you may even find others that work better for you.
Many of the health problems in our society - from bad backs to arthritis - are the result of living unnaturally. Stress, tension, lack of exercise, poor eating habits, and poor posture contribute to the epidemic of degenerative diseases in our culture. Acupressure and acupuncture are ways to help your body fight back and balance itself in the face of the pressures of modern life.