July 17, 2009

Acupressure for Back Pain

Posted in Category : Acupressure

Just like acupuncture, acupressure therapy is a type of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and is based on the idea of channels or meridians, through which energy flows in our bodies. There are numerous variations of traditional Chinese medicine and of acupuncture too. However, this basic idea is common to all the variations, as is the idea that disease is the result of blockages or imbalances in the flow of energy through the body. Both acupuncture and acupressure are also based on the idea that this energy can be manipulated at certain points, from the outside – acupuncture does this with needles, while acupressure does this with physical pressure. There is of course no scientific evidence to validate the idea of meridians, pressure points, or “chi”, as this energy is usually called. Tests on the efficacy of acupressure and traditional Chinese medicine in general have also either shown no effect or been inconclusive. However, certain conditions seem to respond to acupressure much better than others, and back pain is one of these conditions. Some tests have even found that acupressure is more effective at treating back pain than physical therapy.

Chronic Back Pain Relief

If you suffer from chronic back pain, it may therefore be worth your while to give acupressure a try. Even if you are skeptical about the existence of chi or the possibility of manipulating it to treat disease, it is possible to ignore these aspects of the treatment, and look at it as a particularly effective massage therapy. Back pain is always caused by some physical problem, and the light physical pressure applied in acupressure may provide some relief from this problem, at least temporarily. So far, studies have only shown that acupressure for back pain is effective, not how it works.

Of course it is always essential to undertake such treatment after consulting a medical specialist, and if necessary, undergoing medical treatment simultaneously. Acupressure may only work symptomatically, while your underlying problem may get progressively worse.

It is also advisable to get the treatment from a reputed, professional acupressure therapist, rather than doing it yourself or going to an amateur. If done badly, acupressure can cause more damage than good. One acupressure procedure that you can perform at home on yourself is to lie on your back, bring your knees up, and, applying gentle pressure to the center of the crease behind each knee, rock forward and backward for a few minutes. This should of course be done daily, at least twice, and not only when you are troubled by back pain.