Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing therapy for curing a host of chronic diseases and ills, from headaches to back pain, infertility and menstrual cramps.
It is built on the concept of maintaining the balance of various body elements including blood, nutrients and the energy force known as ‘chi’ which flows along lines called meridians in the body for optimum health. Putting pressure by finger placements at designated points from where these meridians can be accessed, is supposed to unblock the flow of energy to get rid of chronic pain and disease.
Acupressure for pain-relief
- Acupressure is used for a variety of ailments. One of its most common uses is to relieve pain, such as back pain, sciatica, menstrual cramps and headaches.
- It can also be used to help with nausea and vomiting, fatigue, stress, weight loss, and even addictions.
Acupressure helps relieve pain in different ways, like
- It is believed to cause deep relaxation and a decrease in muscle tension and is thus useful in relieving low back pain, post-operative pain, and headaches.
- L4 point, for example, is commonly used for stress, facial pain, headaches, toothaches, and neck pain.
- It is located on your hand between your thumb and the index finger.
- Liver 3 point (LV3) is also used for stress, lower back pain, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, insomnia, and anxiety.
- This point is located in between your big toe and second toe, in the soft flesh.
- You can press these points yourself for about 4 seconds and then steadily reduce pressure to experience relief from pain.
How does acupressure work?
- Studies have been done and are still being done to understand how acupressure relieves pain.
- They suggest that acupressure releases endorphins and promotes anti-inflammatory effects, helping with pain due to arthritis like back and limb pain.
- Endorphins are the pleasure-inducing, painkilling chemicals that flood the brain and numb pain signals.
- A few theories also call acupressure something that’s all in the mind and no more than a placebo. But either way, it does provide relief to patients when done over long periods of time.
- Acupressure is also an effective way to treat depression during pregnancy, and to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps, according to a new research done at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Similarly, a recent Korean study has found that acupressure treats menstrual cramps more effectively than pain killers. If you want to benefit from acupressure, you need to press the pain points over time as each time you manipulate the pressure points, you help balance your ‘chi’. Some people may see results immediately, and sometimes results are seen after some time. Pain can also return. You have to keep pressing the pressure points to keep the pain away forever. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.