Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body’s life force to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses the gentle but firm pressure of hands. There is a massive amount of scientific data that demonstrates why and how acupuncture is effective. But acupressure, the older of the two traditions, was neglected after the Chinese developed more technological methods for stimulating points with needles and electricity. Acupressure, however, continues to be the most effective method for self-treatment of tension-related ailments by using the power and sensitivity of the human hand.
Acupressure is effective in reducing stress, increasing circulation, and as a ‘health maintenance system’. Acupressure can be effective in helping relieve headaches, eyestrain, sinus problems, neck pain, backaches, arthritis, muscle aches, and tension due to stress. In Acupressure, local symptoms are considered an expression of the condition of the body as a whole. A tension headache, for instance, may be rooted in the shoulder and neck area. Thus Acupressure focuses on relieving pain and discomfort as well as on responding to tension before it develops into a “dis-ease” that is, before the constrictions and imbalances can do further damage.
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. Tension tends to concentrate around Acupressure points. When a muscle is chronically tense or in spasm, the muscle fibers contract due to the secretion of lactic acid caused by fatigue, trauma, stress, chemical imbalances, or poor circulation. For instance, when you are under a great deal of stress you may find you have difficulty breathing. Certain Acupressure points relieve chest tension and enable you to breathe deeply.
The healing benefits of Acupressure involve both the relaxation of the body and its positive effects on the mind. As tension is released, you not only feel good physically, but you also feel better emotionally and mentally. When your body relaxes, your mind relaxes as well, creating another state of consciousness. This expanded awareness leads to mental clarity and a healthier physical and emotional healing, dissolving the division between the mind and body.