Tips and Techniques for Effective Acupressure TherapyFitness Equipment
Acupressure is a preventative and symptom treatment for all types of physical and mental ailments, including fibromyalgia and depression. You need to learn basic techniques of applying pressure to get health benefits from acupressure therapy. This article helps you learn the basic techniques of how to apply pressure on acupoints, helpful tools, and tips for effective acupressure treatment.
Using the thumbs and fingers, or specialized equipment, acupressurists apply pressure to reflex points to heal the body naturally. The best acupressure tools are literally at your fingertips -- or more accurately, they are your fingertips. In addition to applying pressure and massage to points with the fingertips, an acupressure practitioner might use thumbs, elbows or the palms of his hands to stimulate the free flow of qi along subtle energy channels, also called "meridians," throughout the body.
Some pressure points are difficult to access with your fingertips because they are small --- about one-eighth of an inch across --- and located in natural dips in your tendons or bone structure. If you're performing self-acupressure, and you're having trouble locating points, the eraser end of a pencil might be the best tool, advises the website Eclectic Energies. You'll know you've found a point when the eraser presses on a spot that feels especially tender.
Whatever tool you use to apply acupressure, knowing how to apply pressure is of vital importance, notes Michael Reed Gach, national self-care expert on acupressure and co-author of "Acupressure for Emotional Healing." The pressure should balance between pain and pleasure. In other words, it should "hurt good," says Gach. A practitioner should never apply so much pressure that you are in extreme pain. This will only cause you to feel more tense. If you are in good shape and your muscles are firm, more pressure will be necessary in order to create a healing effect.
Tools to help you apply pressure may be one of these kind of wooden tools. First two tools can be used to apply pressure on any point. The 3rd one is called foot roller and the smaller size is called hand roller. Both rollers can be used to get benefits of acupressure therapy by rolling them on your hands or foot for few minutes on daily basis.
I have given the pictures of these tools, because when I started learning this therapy, these tools were provided us for applying pressure on effected points.
How to apply pressure?
- To press points, use something blunt. Usually the fingers are used to press, but for many points the fingers may be a bit too thick, so you'd have to press quite long and firmly. Ideal would be a pencil eraser that's on the other side of a pencil. Some points can be pressed using a fingernail.
- Press the effected or tender point
- To feel if acupressure is working (for knowing that the location of the point is accurate),
- Direct pressure should not be applied to wounds or certain skin conditions. Burns, fractures, eczema and infections contraindicate acupressure treatment.
- Goal of acupressure is to restore the body's own natural healing response to disease, discomfort and pain. Repeated use of acupressure healing stimulates the body to return to its own primitive healing responses and instinctively send out endorphins to repair affected areas of the body.
Is it safe to practice yourself at home?
Yes, with guidance from an acupressure expert, you can learn the most used and common acupressure points to eliminate your own suffering and propel your individual healing responses into action.
- Locate the correct acupressure point for the area you wish to treat. Use your map of the body's pressure points. Apply pressure to that point. In acupressure-specific terms, this is called 'reinforcing the point.' Points that are pressed receive increased energy during acupressure.
- Reduce the point next. To do this, continually move the blunt object of your choice in a counter-clockwise direction for 1 to 2 minutes. By reducing the point, you remove blocked energy from your system.
- Balance the 2 techniques. Most people are more familiar with reinforcing the points. Incorporating reduction means you get reinforcement and reduction of blocked energy.
- Remember to breathe. Relaxing and breathing help you to lessen tension, thereby making yourself more aware of the treatment's effectiveness.
- Apply steady pressure. Recommended amounts of time range from less than half a second to 2 minutes. One to 2 minutes is considered the norm.
- Reduce the point after you've finished reinforcing it. This is done by running the blunt object in a counter-clockwise direction for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- After repeated acupressure sessions using different degrees of pressure, you will begin to feel a pulse at the point. This pulsation is a good sign - it means that circulation has increased. Pay attention to the type of pulse you feel.
For optimal results, you should perform the acupressure routines daily, whether you are using acupressure to maintain your health or to help relieve an ailment. If you are using acupressure for the latter reason, continue using these same points even after you've obtained relief. This can prevent recurrence. If you cannot practice every day, treating yourself to acupressure two or three times a week can still be effective.
Acupressure should not be used:
- As the only treatment for illness; if you are sick, see a doctor
- If you have a heart condition
- Just before or within 20 minutes after heavy exercise, a large meal, or bathing
- If the point in question is under a mole, wart, varicose vein, abrasion, bruise, cut, or any other break in the skin
- If you are pregnant, especially if more than 3 months
* How to apply pressure at eHow
* PointFinder is 'An online acupressure guide' where you can find any acupressure point.