How to Use Acupressure Therapy for Chronic Pain Relief?
Acupressure is approved as a treatment by the World Health Organisation. A recent study chronicled by the BBC confirms that ‘ Acupressure is more effective in reducing lower back pain than standard physical therapies’. Although it is an ancient form of healing, there is enough evidence as to it’s effectiveness, that it is used in many Western hospitals today, as a physiotherapy option.
Acupressure therapy or treatment is helful in these conditions:
- Arthritic pain
- Lower and Upper Back pain
- Knee pain
- Muscle and Joint pain in general
- Fat and Cellulite
Acupressure is an ancient method of applying pressure to various points on the body, called trigger points, which may help relieve pain, improve blood circulation and aid the flow of qi (also known as chi), or energy, through the body.
Long known for its ability to alleviate physical pain, the ancient healing art of Acupressure can also relieve emotional pain. From day-to-day pressures to life's most significant trials, emotional stress causes the body to shut down, which keeps negative feelings stuck, resulting in physical ailments and emotional imbalances. Acupressure techniques release this muscular tension and restore the flow of vital energy, making resolution possible.
Because acupressure inhibits the pain signals sent to the brain through a mild, fairly painless stimulation, it has been described as closing the "gates" of the pain-signaling system, preventing painful sensations from passing through the spinal cord to the brain.
Besides relieving pain, acupressure can help rebalance the body by dissolving tensions and stresses that keep it from functioning smoothly and that inhibit the immune system. Acupressure enables the body to adapt to environmental changes and resist illness.
By learning how to stimulate your own pressure points, it is possible to relieve minor or moderate symptoms, and reduce the need for non-prescription drugs. Unlike drug therapy, relief is usually immediate.
How the pain relief action happens?
There is a natural source of healing power in everyone. When this healing power is activated, it triggers a series of complicated internal processes producing a Healing Response. Pain or injury act to alert the body that damage control is needed, at which point the Healing Response begins and endorphins are generated to repair the affected area. This increases the heart rate and alters the blood pressure to speed up the elimination of toxins from the damaged area.
As a point is pressed, the muscle tension yields to the finger pressure, enabling the fibers to elongate and relax, blood to flow freely, and toxins to be released and eliminated. Increased circulation also brings more oxygen and other nutrients to affected areas. This increases the body's resistance to illness and promotes a longer, healthier, more vital life. When the blood and bioelectrical energy circulate properly, we have a greater sense of harmony. health, and well-being.
In a study, 129 patients with chronic lower back pain were treated with six sessions of acupressure, and after the completion of treatment, recorded a definite lower disability score as compared to any form of physical therapy.
"This study shows that acupressure is more effective in alleviating low back pain than physical therapy in terms of pain scores, functional status, and disability," the scientists said.
You can use acupressure to help reduce or relieve pain caused by arthritis, headaches and joint injuries.
To relieve pain on the right side of the neck, locate a pressure point found on the left hand. For pain or stiffness on the left side of the neck, find the pressure point on the right hand. The pressure point is located just beneath the V formed by the index and middle finger and below the knuckle ridge, about halfway between the knuckles and the wrist joint. Pressing against this point with your thumb, with your other fingers cupping the palm, blocks nerve pain signals and helps restore qi flow, as well as promotes the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers.
ToothacheRelieve the pressure or pain of a toothache by finding the Quan Liao acupressure point. Find the point just below the center of the cheekbone, and place two fingers gently on that area. Slowly massage the point in an up-and-down motion, and then, pulling the skin slightly downward, press the pads of the fingers in an upward motion into the base of the cheekbone. Hold for several seconds.
You can relieve a headache in about five minutes by using this acupressure method. This method utilizes five different pressure points to help relieve the pain of tension or stress headaches and migraine. Start by placing your thumbs softly on your temples. Massage in a clockwise motion for about 20 seconds. Next, place the pads of your index fingers on your forehead at the inside or nose edge of the eyebrows, and massage in a firm, circular motion for another 20 seconds. Then draw an imaginary line from the outside edge of the eyebrows up toward the crown of the forehead, and place your thumbs or index fingers on those two points, massaging again in a firm, circular motion for another 20 seconds.
Find the imaginary spot between the two points you just massaged, in the center of the crown of the forehead, and massage that spot as well in small, circular motions.
For sciatica pain: 'Acupressure treatment works best for sciatic pain' explains a sciatic patient and says: The benefits of these approaches for sciatic pain are:
- They don't have any side effects as prescription drugs might.
- They are inexpensive.
- They are easy to self administer for anyone who can follow simple diagrams
- They attempt to address the root cause of sciatic pain (the trapped or compressed nerve) rather than suppressing symptoms (like prescription drugs do when they block out the pain).
Useful links and resources: