Acupressure Therapy

by Sam Malone

Acupressure therapy is rapidly growing as a popular complimentary therapy in recent times. This holistic discipline is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine that has served as a natural treatment for a variety of ailments for centuries. In contrast to many other natural treatments acupressure therapists do not seek to usurp the role of conventional medicine. They propound acupressure as a complimentary treatment rather than an alternative treatment.

Acupressure is in a sense a kind of physiotherapy that derives from the better known practice of acupuncture. There is an underlying belief that there is a natural energy, referred to as ‘chi’ that flows through the body. It is believed that any disruption or change to this energy flow can cause ailments. In keeping with this ancient philosophy, acupressure involves the application of pressure on specific points of the body to facilitate and restore this natural flow of energy. This treatment therefore requires no specialized equipment and is therefore very inexpensive. Moreover it is very quick and many patients testify to the efficacy of the treatment.

Acupressure therapists employ a variety of techniques to administer treatment to their patients. Acupressure points may be manipulated in two ways:

  • By applying pressure or reinforcing
  • Through reducing pressure.

Acupressure Massage Therapy

Apart from these two techniques of treatment there are also different methods of application of pressure. The therapist may apply pressure by pressing, gentle stretching, rubbing, kneading, chafing, or grasping, and may also recommend corrective exercises. The amount of pressure that is applied is of great importance and pressure is generally applied lightly and gradually increased to work deeper. Depending on the problem at hand the therapist may focus more pressure or energy on a particular point or even on a series of points. Therapeutically most practitioners regard the light touch as being more effective in the treatment of acute conditions while chronic conditions are best dealt with using a deep touch. The deep touch may offer and intense sensation, but the therapist always needs to make sure that this is with the patient’s tolerance of discomfort. Acupressure massage therapy is also quite a popular branch of the discipline.

Acupressure can be quite effectively used in the treatment of multiple disorders, whether emotional, psychological, or physical, in combination with conventional medications. There are some scenarios when it may even be effective independently. Acupressure is today widely used for conditions like anxiety and stress disorders, arthritic conditions, spinal problems, common colds, and even paralysis, to name a few. According to some, through maternity acupressure, you can use acupressure to induce labor or relieve labor pains during pregnancy, but this claim is highly disputed and one that is not worth the risk. Acupressure can also be used to help recover from addictions.

Please keep in mind that acupressure should only be administered by trained professionals. Patronizing unqualified and untrained practitioners can result in inappropriate or faulty application of treatment that can result in even more serious conditions. For example, in the case of pregnant women there are certain pressure points that may trigger labor, which can be extremely dangerous. If you are already undergoing any medical treatment also make it a point to inform your doctor about your decision to visit an acupressure therapist.

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