Acupressure Uses and Benefits
Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy in which pressure is applied to a specific point on the body. It is done to free up energy blockages said to cause health concerns from insomnia to menstrual cramps. Acupressure near me will give you some tips and advice.
How Does Acupressure Work?
Acupressure is thought to treat blocked energy, although it remains uncertain exactly what acupressure does. Some think the pressure may cause the release of endorphins. These are natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body.
Others think the pressure may influence the autonomic nervous system. This is the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary things like your heart, digestion, and breathing.
According to the principles of TCM, invisible pathways of energy called meridians flow within the body. At least 14 meridians are thought to connect the organs with other parts of the body.1
A practitioner applies pressure to specific acupressure points to restore healthy energy flow. The points they choose depends on your symptoms.
Given how meridians run, pressure points used may be a long way from the site of the symptom. For example, an acupressure point on the foot may be used to relieve a headache.
5 Impressive Benefits of Acupressure
The benefits of acupressure are seemingly never ending. You name it and there is most likely at least one, if not multiple, acupressure points that are known to be helpful. In general, acupressure can help to release tension, boost circulation and reduce pain. Here are some top acupressure benefits for common health concerns:
One of the most popular general uses for acupressure is definitely pain relief. A systematic review published in 2014 in the journal Pain Management Nursing Studies looked at studies (from 1996 to 2011) where acupressure was used as a form of treatment and its effectiveness at reducing pain was evaluated. What kind of pain are we talking about with all of these many studies? Examples of conditions that led to pain for study subjects included conditions such as chronic headaches, lower back pain, labor pains, dysmenorrhea and “other traumatic pains.”
Acupressure has been shown to be effective for relieving a variety of pains in different populations. The review begins to establish a credible evidence base for the use of acupressure in pain relief. The implication for health care providers would be incorporating acupressure into their practice as an alternative therapy to facilitate patients who suffer from pain.
The most popular acupressure point for pain and tension is probably LI4, aka the “joining valley” or “hand valley point.” This point can be found in the firm skin between the thumb and index finger. It’s very easy to manipulate with the fingers of your other hand.
2. Calming Nausea
One of the most popular acupressure points used for nausea and vomiting is pressure point P6 or Pc6. P6 is located on your inner arm near your wrist. It works so well that Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer center recommends acupressure on this point to relieve nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy.
It’s common for some patients to experience nausea after surgery. Research has shown that acupressure is “an effective minimal risk and low-cost adjunctive therapy for prevention and treatment” of postoperative nausea and vomiting in high-risk ambulatory surgical patients. The specific acupressure point used was P6.
The stomach 44 pressure point or S44, also referred to as the “inner courtyard”, is another well-known point targeted for nausea relief. There are also several other acupressure points that can be helpful for nausea and vomiting including S36 and CV22.
3. Reducing PMS Symptoms
For many women, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a dreaded thing to deal with month after month. There are certainly things you can do to reduce PMS symptoms, including making changes to your diet. It also appears that acupressure can improve these unwanted symptoms. Research shows that manipulating acupressure points LI4 and LV3 (also known as LIV3) may help. LV3 is located on your foot about two finger-widths above the place where the skin of your big toe and the next toe join.
Sleep issues, like insomnia, plague many people today. The good news? Acupressure may be able to help. A randomized controlled trial published in 2017 in the Journal of Sleep Research looked at the effects of self-acupressure for alleviating insomnia. The 31 male and female subjects with insomnia disorder were randomized to receive two lessons on self-administered acupressure or sleep hygiene education.
The acupressure group performed acupressure on themselves for four weeks. By week eight, the subjects in the self-administered acupressure group had a lower (yet not statistically significant) Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) score than the subjects in the sleep hygiene education group. More studies are warranted, but overall the study concludes, “self-administered acupressure taught in a short training course may be a feasible approach to improve insomnia. ”
5. Inducing Labor
Many pregnant women don’t want to be induced using unnatural means which is why many turn to alternative methods like acupressure or acupuncture. A review of 22 randomized controlled trials involving more than 3,400 pregnant women concludes that while acupressure (and acupuncture) do not appear to decrease the need for a Caesarean section, acupressure “may increase the readiness of the cervix for labor.”
Pressure points for labor include LI4, BL67, SP6, BL60, PC8 and BL32. Points like these are believed to boost blood flow to the uterus, affect hormonal responses and encourage uterine contractions.
Of course, a pregnant women should check with her doctor before using acupressure to induce labor. Same thing goes for acupuncture to induce labor.
If you are pregnant, it’s very important that you know pressure points of the body that are considered off-limits because they may encourage labor.Pregnant women should also check with the doctors in Kings Park Chiropractic before using acupressure treatments including acupressure to induce labor.
Anyone with a serious medical condition or life-threatening disease should always consult the doctor in in Kings Park Chiropractic before using acupressure. Acupressure is not meant to be a substitute for necessary medical advice and/or intervention.
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