Acupressure is Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) with roots that come from traditional Chinese medicine. Acupressure uses a fundamental concept of chi: energy that flows through the body in lines called meridians. Meridians can be accessed at specific points, allowing one to manipulate the flow of energy.
Method 1 of 3: Understanding Acupressure
Step 1. Understand the concept of acupressure
Acupressure is ABT that was developed more than 5,000 years ago. Acupressure focuses on placing the fingers and applying pressure to all pressure points on the body.
- These points are believed to be arranged along channels called meridians. Stimulation of these areas is thought to relieve tension and increase blood flow.
- Some people believe that acupressure and various other Asian body therapies correct imbalances and obstructions to the flow of vital energy throughout the body.
Step 2. Learn the uses of acupressure
Acupressure is used to treat various ailments. One of its common uses is to relieve pain such as headaches, neck pain, and back pain. People also use acupressure to help with nausea and vomiting, fatigue, mental and physical stress, weight loss, and even addiction. Acupressure is believed to produce deep relaxation and reduce muscle tension.
- Many doctors, health practitioners, and holistic health professionals believe that acupressure has healing and positive effects on the body. UCLA has a Center for East-West Medicine which studies the scientific basis of acupressure. They try to provide explanations and practical applications of the techniques.
- To become a certified acupuncturist, one must attend an exercise program at specialized acupressure and acupuncture schools. He can also take massage therapy courses. Its programs include the study of anatomy and physiology, acupressure points and meridians, techniques and protocols, and theory of Chinese medicine. These programs require up to 500 hours of study.
Step 3. Take the time to learn acupressure
If you want to use this therapy, repeat the steps continuously. Acupressure techniques have a cumulative effect on the body. Whenever you manipulate the pressure points, you are helping to balance the state of the body.
- Some people may experience immediate results, while others may require multiple treatments. Although the pain may be relieved immediately, it may return. This is normal. Acupressure is not an instant treatment method. Acupressure is a technique you can use to help relieve pain, by reducing the resistance to energy flow and restoring the body to a balanced state.
- You can do acupressure as often as you want: several times a day or even several times an hour. As you continue to manipulate a point, the pain will lessen as your body begins to heal itself.
- Most people recommend acupressure every day. If possible, do it at least 2-3 times a day.
Method 2 of 3: Doing Acupressure Correctly
Step 1. Use proper strength
Press the points on the body firmly and deeply for stimulation. The strength of this pressure will depend on the overall health of your body. When you press, you may feel a little sore, but make sure you get a comfortable feeling too.
- Some points on the body may feel tense; while some will feel pain when pressed. If you are in extreme pain, gradually reduce the pressure until you have a balance between pain and comfort.
- Don't think of acupressure as an exercise that increases resistance to pain. If something hurts so much that you feel uncomfortable, stop.
Step 2. Use the right tools
Acupressure is usually done with the fingers to massage, rub, and stimulate pressure points. You can also use your fists, elbows, knees, calves, and feet.
- The middle finger is the finger most suitable for applying pressure. The finger is the longest and strongest. Many people also use their thumbs.
- So that you can manipulate pressure points properly, use something blunt. At some point, your fingers may be too thick. Choose something 3-4 mm thick, such as an old pencil eraser. You can also use other items such as avocado seeds or golf balls.
- Some pressure points can be pressed using fingernails.
Step 3. Tap the area
When you do this, you are strengthening it. This method is the most common acupressure method. To start with, use a blunt object. Do not rub or massage the area; instead of doing so, press with steady force.
- If you pinch the skin, the pressure angle will be inaccurate. Press right in the middle of the dot.
- Make sure you are pressing on the correct point. The acupressure points are very small, so you have to be accurate. If you don't feel any effect, try a different point.
- When doing acupressure, look for pressure points that are painful. If there is no obstruction to the flow of energy at that point, you will not feel any effects and there is no need to treat it.
- You can also maximize the effects of acupressure by resting.
Step 4. Long press
Acupressure involves steady emphasis on energy points in the body. By pressing a point for only half a second, the body will begin to respond. This is a good way to find pressure points when you're just starting out.
- To get the maximum effect of acupressure, press and hold it for at least 2-3 minutes.
- If your hand gets tired, slowly reduce the pressure, shake your hand and take a deep breath, then press the point again.
Step 5. Gradually stop the pressure
Once you've pressed as long as you want, reduce the pressure a little at a time. Don't let go of your hand right away. Gradual reduction in pressure is believed to allow the body's tissues to heal themselves, as they have time to respond to the reduction in pressure.
Most people believe that gradual compression and release helps make acupressure treatments more effective
Step 6. Perform acupressure when the body is in the right condition
Acupressure should be done when you are relaxed, especially in a private place. You can sit or lie down while doing acupressure. Try to stop external distractions and feelings of stress. Turn off your cell phone and play relaxing music. Use aromatherapy. Try all the techniques that help you relax.
- Wear comfortable and loose clothing. Avoid all clothing that restricts movement, such as belts, tights, or even shoes. Clothes like this can block the flow of energy.
- You should not do acupressure right before a meal or when you are full. Wait at least an hour after you eat so you don't feel nauseous.
- Do not drink cold drinks as this can disable the effects of acupressure. Drink warm herbal tea after you do acupressure.
- Wait at least half an hour after you exercise or shower before applying acupressure.
Method 3 of 3: Studying Common Pressure Points
Step 1. Try Gallbladder 20 point
Gallbladder 20 (GB20), also known as Feng Chi, is the recommended point for headaches, migraines, nearsightedness or fatigue, lack of energy, and flu symptoms. GB20 lies in the neck.
- Link your hands and open them while letting your fingers stay together. Form a cup with your palms. You will use your thumb to massage this GB20 point.
- To find the point, place your interlocked hands behind your head. Use your thumb to find the hollow at the base of the skull. This point is about 5 cm from the center of the neck, which is below the skull and next to the neck muscles.
- Press your thumbs inward and slightly up, toward the eyes.
Step 2. Take advantage of Gallbladder point 21
Gallbladder 21 (GB21), also known as Jian Jing, is often used to treat pain, neck stiffness, shoulder tension, and headaches. GB21 is located on the shoulder.
- Lower your head. Look for the round bone above your spine, then the ball of your shoulder joint. GB21 lies in the middle of these two points.
- Use your finger to press down steadily at this point. You can also press the point between the index finger and thumb with the opposite hand. Then, massage the point in a downward downward motion with your finger, for 4-5 seconds, while slowly easing the tension.
- Be careful when pressing this point in pregnant women. This point can speed up the birth.
Step 3. Study the Large Intestine point 4
Large Intestine 4 (L14), also known as Hoku, is commonly used to relieve stress, facial pain, headaches, toothaches, and headaches. L14 can be found on the hand, between the thumb and index finger.
- To stimulate this area, press the area between the index finger and thumb. Focus on the area in the center of the hand, between the first and second metacarpal bones. Press firmly and steadily while pinching it.
- This pressure point is also thought to speed up birth.
Step 4. Take advantage of Liver 3 points
Liver 3 (LV3), or Tai Chong, is recommended for dealing with stress, lower back pain, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, pain in the hands/feet, insomnia, and anxiety. This point is located between the toes of the thumb and forefinger.
- Locate the point by measuring two fingers along the skin where the first and second toes join. Press firmly with a blunt object.
- You should not wear shoes when pressing this point.
Step 5. Try Pericardium 6 point
Pericardium 6 (P6), or Nei Guan, is recommended to relieve nausea, stomach pain, motion sickness, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches. This point is located just above the wrist.
- Place your hands so that your palms are facing the ceiling. Place the first three fingers of the other hand on the wrist. Touch your thumb to your wrist, just below your index finger. You will feel 2 large tendons here.
- Use both thumb and index finger to press this point. Make sure you do the same technique on both wrists.
Step 6. Study Stomach point 36
Stomach 36 (ST36), which is also known as Zu San Li, is often used for gastrointestinal problems, nausea, overcoming the urge to vomit, stress, boosting immunity, and relieving fatigue. This point can be found under the kneecap.
- Place four fingers under the kneecap on the front of the calf. You will feel the hollow between your shin and leg muscles under your toes. This point is on the outside of the bone.
- Press this point with your fingernail or thumb. This will help you get closer to the bone.
Step 7. Take advantage of the Lung 7 point
Lung 7 (LU7), or Lieque, is used to relieve headaches and neck, throat, toothache, asthmatic disorders, coughs, and general immune problems. This point is located on the arm.
- Position the thumb in an "okay" style. Look for the depression at the bottom of the thumb at the location of the two hand tendons. The pressure point is about one thumb-width from that point, along the side of your arm bone.
- Press the point. You can use your thumb or index finger.
- Many acupressure treatments can be done alone. Seek the help of an acupuncturist for complex, long-lasting, or severe ailments.
- Do not use pressure points if they are under boils, warts, varicose veins, abrasions, cuts, bruises, or other types of skin disorders.
- Do not continue pressing or massaging that produces new/more severe pain.
- This information is intended as a substitute for medical advice from a professional.
- Do not try any new treatments until you have discussed them with your doctor.
- While you can help others and get help with acupressure techniques, limit their use to family members and friends. In the US, many states have laws that prohibit massage or any medical treatment without a permit.