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The Wonders of Acupressure

Mar 24th, 2018

Category: Body

The Wonders of Acupressure

How does acupuncture work?

Acupressure points are places on the skin that are especially sensitive to bioelectrical impulses in the body and conduct those impulses readily.  Traditionally, Asian cultures conceived of the points as junctures of special pathways that carried the human energy that the Chinese call chi (Qi) and the Japanese call ki.  Western scientists have also mapped out and proven the existence of this system of the body points by using sensitive electrical devices.

Stimulating these points with pressure, needles, or heat triggers the release of endorphins, which are the neurochemicals that relieve pain.  As a result, pain is blocked and the flow of blood and oxygen to the

affected area is increased.  This causes the muscles to relax and promotes healing.

Because acupressure inhibits the pain signals sent to the brain through a mild, fairly painless


stimulation, it has been described as closing the “gates” of the pain-signaling system, preventing painful sensations from passing through the spinal cord to the brain.

Tension tends to build up around the acupressure point and when the point is pressed, the muscle fibers yield to the pressure and are able to elongate and relax which allow the blood flow and chi to travel through the bioelectrical channel.

How to Apply Acupressure Techniques

There are a variety of acupressure techniques such as firm pressure, kneading, brisk rubbing, and quick tapping.  While it takes more knowledge to decipher which of these techniques to use on a given point, it is safe to say that there is a general application of firm pressure applied with a finger/thumb at a 90-degree angle which is steadily held for three minutes.  Remember to breathe deeply to allow for the body’s relaxation response to take place.  Breathing also helps the energy to flow more freely.  Be mindful of the location of each point such as in the abdomen, for pregnancy precautions, burn areas,

lymph nodes, and recently formed scars. Your body will naturally become colder after acupressure so be prepared to warm yourself by wearing extra clothing.

Five Element Theory – An ancient diagram which describes how nature interacts with the human body.  The theory is complex and can be further researched on this website https://www.tcmworld.org/what-is-tcm/five-elements/.

ST-36 Zu San Li (“Leg Three Li”) Point

This point strengthens the spleen and stomach, tonifies Qi and blood, as well as removes dampness and dispels cold. Since we are heading from the cold of winter into the dampness of springtime, this is a good point to be working with.  It also regulates the intestines and stabilizes the mind and emotions.

Referenced: Color Atlas of Acupuncture and Acupressure’s Potent Points.

-Amy, CMT