Acupressure therapy is a technique quite similar to Acupuncture. It is believed that this form of therapy is practiced to ease pain, nausea & depression. Unlike the use of needles in acupuncture, this therapy only supports the application of physical pressure at distinct points (also known as acupuncture points/acupoints) on the body to regulate life force energy thus clarifying blockages in the meridians.
How does Acupressure Therapy Work?
Acupressure Therapy works by targeting the pressure points with steady force thus inferring the body to ‘turn on’ its self-healing mechanism & directing the bodily energy to flow normally through the meridians. The practitioners gently press or massage the acupressure points using their fingers, palms, knuckles, elbows, feet, or special tools. Some guess that the pressure may encourage the release of endorphins (natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body). During the acupressure massage, the therapist targets either local points or trigger points.
What is the difference between Local and Trigger points?
Local points are the exact spots on the body where the patient experiences pain or discomfort whereas the trigger points are the ones that are connected to the points of the body experiencing pain or discomfort.
What are the Benefits of Acupressure?
Acupressure is a non-invasive & safe technique and can be beneficial as:
- It helps comfort motion sickness.
- Lessening headache/ neck pain.
- Easing strain, tension & anxiety.
- Relaxing muscles & joints.
- Relieving chronic pain.
- Overcoming digestive issues.
- Comforting pain & trouble of a sports or any injury.
- Promoting sleep.
- Suppressing menstrual cramps.
- Overpowering cancer-related fatigue.
- Getting over nausea or vomiting during pregnancy.
- Getting over nausea or vomiting after surgery or chemotherapy.
- It helps enhance blood circulation & tones skin.
- It triggers memory as well as eyesight.
The therapy stimulates the body’s circulatory, lymphatic plus hormonal systems. It also boosts the role of the immune system and the body’s natural powers to heal itself.
What are the risks/ limitations of Acupressure?
Though Acupressure has shown to be effective in pain relief, sedation, relaxation etc. yet it has some limitations/risk factors which are mentioned below:
- It does not allow the treatment of different acupressure points together.
- The cure might be for a short term & symptoms might show up again.
- Can’t cure ailments related to heart, brain, kidney or liver completely.
- Acupressure during pregnancy has the potential to cause miscarriage & rubbing wrong points might be a threat to the mother as well as the baby.
- Therapy is not suggested for people suffering from osteoporosis, a recent fracture or injury or bleeding disorders.
What are the Side Effects of Acupressure?
Some people who opt for Acupressure therapy might observe some or all the side effects mentioned below:
- Soreness or bruising at acupressure points.
- Muscle twitching.
- Emotional release
Why do pressure points hurt?
The pressure points are defined as sensitive (hyperirritable) parts of the body. Pressure, stimulation or irritation of trigger points can induce an impact on another part of the body. They can be a delicate area in a muscle that causes generalized pain if over stimulated. This is often called ‘referred pain’.
- Acupressure should never be painful. Let the practitioner know immediately if it hurts.
- It shouldn’t be done over open wounds, bruises, varicose veins or any area that is damaged or inflated.
- Though the therapy can be managed by oneself, it’s always advisable to get it done by a certified acupressure practitioner or only after his consultation.
- Always consult a doctor for proper medication. Acupressure might be a substitute option for relief.