What is acupressure and how does it work?
Acupressure has its origins in traditional Chinese medicine and is becoming increasingly popular for treating tension and pain yourself.
In this article we have summarized for you what acupressure means, which ailments and illnesses it can help with, which different forms of use there are and of course where the origin of acupressure can be found. Furthermore, you get a compact insight into the topic and after reading you can try to identify certain points that can help you to alleviate your specific complaints.
Acupressure what is it? History of acupressure
Just like acupuncture, acupressure has its origins as an alternative medical procedure in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). 3000 years BC It is said to have been used as a pioneer of acupuncture. Through targeted stimulation of certain points, pain can be alleviated and well-being increased, among other things. Acupressure is based on existing energy channels that run through the body and are related to certain organs. In TCM, it is assumed that a disturbance in the flow of energy can lead to a wide variety of complaints, and only a body through which the life energy, the Qi, can flow unhindered is a healthy body.
What does acupressure do?
Just like other methods that are assigned to TCM, acupressure also takes up the principle of the self-healing powers of the human body. You probably know the automatism that makes your hands move into the stomach area if you have abdominal pain or you massage your neck as a matter of course because you feel tension. This is exactly where acupressure comes in. Basically it is a kind of help for self-help. By pressing certain points along the energy pathways, blockages are to be released which, according to the TCM, allow the Qi to flow again. This usually involves fingertips, but the ball of the hand can also be used for fingernails. The targeted massage of the pressure points stimulates the blood circulation and releases endorphins.
Difference to acupuncture
Although acupressure and acupuncture are based on the same points, the main difference is that the puncture uses very fine needles, which are inserted into the skin at the appropriate point, while these points are used in acupressure only by manual external pressure be treated. Since anatomical knowledge is required to use acupuncture, it is particularly important that you only have it performed by specialists. Acupressure, on the other hand, has the great advantage that you can use it yourself if you have any symptoms.
In acupressure one speaks of so-called meridians. After accepting the TCM, the body is traversed by 12 main meridians. These energy channels are assigned to certain organs or organ groups. The over 400 existing acupressure points lie along these main meridians. You can find points for almost all common complaints that can be alleviated. At this point we can only give you a first thematic insight. If you would like to deal more intensively with the different acupressure points, we recommend the appropriate specialist literature.
The lists of the available points and their effects on the organism, which are available online, can provide a first useful overview, but if you want to get into the topic in detail, there is hardly any way around a corresponding specialist book or the naturopath trained in acupressure.
Acupressure: healing in a nutshell (GU Health Guide)
+ available as paperback and ebook
+ 128 pages
+ very understandable explanations
+ good instructions to gain experience with
– in case of previous illnesses or as a precaution,
a course / seminar with coach is more recommendable
than a book
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Exercises at home Test verdict: very good book with understandable instructions to gain experience with acupressure.
Dr.’s book Franz Wagner gives a good overview of the subject of acupressure. With easy-to-understand explanations and illustrations, it is possible to apply acupressure yourself.
How does acupressure work? – Use cases
On the Internet you will find numerous examples of acupressure that can help you to relieve your pain, tension or other upset, to clear blockages and to increase or maintain your well-being. Acupressure is particularly suitable for treating minor everyday complaints. As a rule, you use your fingertips or the ball of your hand to apply pressure to a specific area on the surface of the skin after you have identified the appropriate acupressure points. It is important to create a relaxed atmosphere if possible. Also in psychology, acupressure is a popular procedure to relieve stress and to be more relaxed. Here, however, knocking acupressure is used more often, in which the corresponding points are knocked off.
Acupressure for headache
If you suffer from an acute headache and cannot or do not want to take the painkiller immediately, you will find the appropriate acupressure points on the back of the head, on the temples, on the root of the nose and directly above the eyes.There are a few more points that lie on the meridians and tension headaches are effective can alleviate. You feel a slight pain when stimulating that you have hit the right point. Editing the acupressure points may hurt a little, but you shouldn’t feel any severe pain.
Acupressure for neck pain
Due to too much work while sitting and in front of the computer, more and more people have problems with tension in the neck area. Here, too, acupressure can provide temporary relief or at least relief. The pressure points against neck pain are mainly along the neck and shoulders. Once you have identified the points that cause pain when under pressure, you can start the pressure point massage gently and do it several times a day. Here too it is important not to massage beyond the pain threshold.
Acupressure for back pain
Back pain caused by incorrect posture or tension, lack of movement or wrong movements can also be treated very well with acupressure. Here, however, self-therapy reaches its limits. Many acupressure points, which lead to the relief of back pain, are located on areas of the body that are not so easily accessible. To treat them, you should take someone to help you or see a naturopath. In the case of chronic back pain, there are also points that are suitable for self-treatment. These are on the feet, on the outside of the Achilles tendon, near the little toe and between the big and the second toe, to name just a few. Fascia tools like a fascia ball can also help to edit pressure points in hard-to-reach areas.
Acupressure points on the hand
There is a large number of acupressure points on hand, some of which can quickly remedy minor and major problems. Therefore, it also plays a major role in acupressure. A wide variety of areas can be treated with the help of the acupressure points on the hand:
Stimulation of the blood circulation
high blood pressure
Depression and anxiety
The list can be continued much longer. We recommend that you take a closer look at the points on your hand. After all, the biggest advantage of the treatment on hand is that you can do it yourself almost anywhere and at any time.
How long to press acupressure?
There are very different assumptions about how long you should press the corresponding acupressure points in order to achieve the desired effect. There is no general answer, because pain and well-being are particularly important here. If the stimulation feels particularly good at a certain point, there is no reason not to devote more attention to it. Basically, one assumes a moderate pressure over 1-2 minutes, at which you should not exceed the pain limit. After all, it is primarily about pain relief.
Are there any studies on the effects of acupressure?
In this article, we deliberately only describe the possible positive effects of acupressure for certain ailments or diseases, since the scientific basis cannot be explained in a short section. Numerous scientific studies on the effectiveness of acupressure have already been carried out. The result of this clearly shows that acupressure can positively influence, alleviate and even eliminate a large number of specific complaints. These mostly relate to problems such as sleep disorders, back pain or other ailments that have been shown to be improved using acupressure.
Acupressure mats as an alternative to classic acupressure?
An acupressure mat is characterized by its numerous sharp pressure points, which are arranged along the meridians. If you lie down on such a mat, gentle pressure is exerted on the acupressure points, the massage effect stimulates the blood circulation, which automatically leads to an improved nutrient supply. The production of endorphins is stimulated and thus contributes to increasing your general well-being and releasing possible tension. After all, pain can also be alleviated. The acupressure points on the back of the body, which are difficult to reach, can be treated with an acupressure mat and offer an effective alternative. However, such a static mat cannot replace manual pressure massages.
If you are looking for a way to relax, want to improve your sleep quality and contribute to your general well-being, you should invest about 10-30 minutes daily on the mat. There are a variety of acupressure mats on the market. Your height is one of the decisive factors when choosing the right model. A mat that is too small cannot cover all pressure points that may be necessary to treat your symptoms.
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Exercises at home Test verdict: Acupressure mats are an alternative to classic acupressure – the ecologically and fairly produced Shakti Mat creates an invigorating feeling.
The acupressure mat by Shakti Mat is manufactured in India in a social project and consists of organic cotton and acupressure tips made of ABS plastic. This is the same plastic that is used for Lego bricks. When you put it on for the first time, the acupressure tips feel very pointed and you can’t last long without a T-shirt. The feeling of it and afterwards is very pleasant: warmth, activation, relaxation. The acupressure cushions, which are optionally available with the mat, are also highly recommended to relax on the spiky surface for a few minutes. Everyone who is interested in acupressure should definitely try the acupressure mat. The classic variant with 6,200 acupressure tips is challenging but feasible. We recommend this model or the light variant to sensitive people,
Acupressure has been shown to be an effective addition to the treatment of symptomatic symptoms. In addition, it can help you to counteract the development of tension, blockages and their side effects. It promises short-term relief of acute pain and can significantly increase well-being. Acupressure offers gentle help for the following complaints, among others:
Hay fever symptoms
At this point, however, we would like to expressly point out that she will not be able to cure the causative cause of your complaints. For example, if you suffer from a headache caused by a herniated disc in the cervical spine, acupressure can help you to relieve the associated tension and thus relieve the headache. However, it will not cure the herniated disc. For chronic complaints and other serious illnesses, you should rely on conventional medicine.