One of the many services we offer here at Washington State Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Center is acupressure. We’ve noticed that many people have never even heard of acupressure, which is a shame because it can do so much good for the body and mind, and it’s especially good if you’re afraid of needles! We hope that this blog post will demystify the practice a little for you.
Acupressure is an amazing, puncture-free alternative method of acupuncture that offers many of the same benefits. With acupressure, pressure is applied with either fingers, palms, elbows, or even feet, or with instruments applied to the same pressure points on the body an acupuncturist would use. Pressure can be either directly applied through pressing, or distributed by rolling or rubbing the reflexive area.
Have you ever heard of the Japanese massage technique shiatsu? Shiatsu is a kind of bodywork done by applying pressure to the body with fingers, thumbs, and palms, and working joints with assisted stretching. It is very similar to acupressure, and the muscle and tension relaxing techniques and principles are very similar. Interestingly, shiatsu comes from the form of Japanese bodywork anma, which actually comes from an ancient Chinese method called tui na! All of these historic Asian pressure-focused practices restore the balance of your body’s channels of energy by stimulating pressure points.
There are literally hundreds of points on the body the acupressurist might stimulate to achieve this balance. If anyone has ever told you to try squeezing the soft, fleshy web between your thumb and pointer finger to cure your car or seasickness, that’s an example of an acupressure point at work. That area is one of the more common points in acupressure and it is connected to the large intestine. Oftentimes, wrist and hand acupressure will be used after surgery or chemotherapy, or during pregnancy, to reduce nausea.
Acupressure has many other uses. It can help relieve back pain and headaches, and has anti-inflammatory effects that can soothe arthritis. It’s also been shown in several studies that the use of acupressure can improve fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
If you’re curious about acupressure, come into Washington State Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. We have a certified acupressurist on staff, and we’d love to talk you through the many benefits.