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Services / Acupressure Or Massage

 

Acupressure (a blend of "acupuncture" and "pressure") is an alternative medicine technique derived from acupuncture. In acupressure physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points by the hand, elbow, or with various devices.

Acupoints used in treatment may or may not be in the same area of the body as the targeted symptom. The TCM theory for the selection of such points and their effectiveness is that they work by stimulating the meridian system to bring about relief by rebalancing yin, yang and qi (also spelled "chi"). This theory is based on the paradigm of TCM .

Many East Asian martial arts also make extensive study and use of acupressure for self-defense and health purposes (chin na, tui na). The points or combinations of points are said to be used to manipulate or incapacitate an opponent. Also, martial artists regularly massage their own acupressure points in routines to remove blockages from their own meridians, claiming to thereby enhance their circulation and flexibility and keeping the points "soft" or less vulnerable to an attack.

 

What Is Difference Between Acupressure And Massage ?

 

Acupressure is a specialization of massage which influences the flow of qi by stimulating certain points with pressure. While acupuncture uses fine needles to manipulate these points, acupressure uses fingers and the thumb. By using pressure points the practitioner can control different forms of chronic pain. Acupressure is a noninvasive form of massage that involves knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine, internal organs and systems of the body.

Massage is an ancient and universal therapy found in cultures all around the world. Practitioners reduce stress and relieve muscle tension through rubbing and manipulation, and relax muscles by increasing the flow of blood. The benefits for a patient can include reduced anxiety and depression, pain relief, and a healthy decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. There are many styles of massage and massage practitioners often specialize in several techniques.

 

What Is Acupressure ?

 

Acupressure (a portmanteau of "acupuncture" and "pressure") is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique derived from acupuncture. With acupressure physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points by the hand, elbow, or with various devices.

Acupressure therapy is effective in the relief of stress-related ailments, and is ideal for self-treatment and preventive health

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care for boosting the immune system. Acupressure releases tension, increases circulation, reduces pain, and develops spirituality and vibrant health.

 

What Is the Theory Behind Acupressure?

 

Acupressure is just one of a number of Asian bodywork therapies (ABT) with roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Examples of other Asian bodywork therapies are medical qigong and Tuina. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of acupressure.

Traditional Chinese medical theory describes special acupoints, or acupressure points, that lie along meridians, or channels, in your body. These are the same energy meridians and acupoints as those targeted with acupuncture. Through these invisible channels flows vital energy or a life force called qi (ch'i). It is also believed that these 12 major meridians connect specific organs or networks of organs, organizing a system of communication throughout your body. The meridians begin at your fingertips, connect to your brain, and then connect to an organ associated with a certain meridian.

According to theory, when one of these meridians is blocked or out of balance, illness can occur. Acupressure and acupuncture are among the types of TCM that are used to help restore balance. Herbal and nutritional therapy, meditation, and therapeutic massage may also help.

 

How Does Acupressure Work?

 

Acupressure practitioners use their fingers, palms, elbows or feet, or special devices to apply pressure to acupoints on the body's meridians. Sometimes, acupressure also involves stretching or acupressure massage as well as other methods.

During an acupressure session, you lie fully clothed on a soft massage table. The practitioner gently presses on acupressure points on your body. A session typically lasts about one hour. You may need several sessions for the best results.

The goal of acupressure or other types of Asian bodywork is to restore health and balance to the body's channels of energy and to regulate opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). Some proponents claim acupressure not only treats the energy fields and body but also the mind, emotions, and spirit. Some even believe that therapists can transmit the vital energy (external qi) to another person.

 

What Are Common Acupuncture Points?

 

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There are literally hundreds of acupuncture points on the body -- too many to name. Here are three that are commonly used and that you can massage yourself.

  • Large intestine 4 (L14): This is in the soft, fleshy web between your thumb and forefinger.
  • Liver 3 (LR-3): This is in the soft flesh that sits between your big and 2nd toes. It's an area similar to L14.
  • Spleen 6 (SP-6): This is about three finger widths above your inner anklebone. It is a tender area of the lower calf muscle.

You can try massaging these points with your fingers and thumbs for a few minutes one or two times a day, several times a week. You should feel some tenderness or a dull achy sensation when you apply pressure.

 

Which Health Problems Benefit From Acupressure?

 

Acupressure massage performed by a therapist can be very effective both as prevention and as a treatment for many health conditions, including headaches, general aches and pains, colds and flu, arthritis, allergies, asthma, nervous tension, menstrual cramps, sinus problems, sprains, tennis elbow, and toothaches, among others. Unlike acupuncture which requires a visit to a professional, acupressure can be performed by a layperson. Acupressure techniques are fairly easy to learn, and have been used to provide quick, cost-free, and effective relief from many symptoms. Acupressure points can also be stimulated to increase energy and feelings of well-being, reduce stress, stimulate the immune system, and alleviate sexual dysfunction.

Research into the health benefits of acupressure is in its infancy. Many patient reports support its use for a number of health concerns. More well-designed research is needed, though. Here are a few health problems that appear in some people to benefit from the effects of acupressure.

Nausea . Several studies support the use of wrist acupressure to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting.

Effectiveness has been reported for nausea:
  • after surgery
  • during spinal anesthesia
  • after chemotherapy
  • from motion sickness
  • related to pregnancy

You can use your middle and index fingers to press firmly down on the groove between the two large tendons on the inside of your wrist that start at the base of your palm. This is the PC 6 acupressure point. You can also try special wristbands that are sold over the counter. These press on similar pressure points and work for some people.

Cancer . In addition to relieving nausea right after chemotherapy, there are individual reports that acupressure also helps reduce stress, improve energy levels, relieve pain, and lessen other symptoms of cancer or its treatments. More research is needed to confirm these reports.

Pain. Some preliminary evidence suggests that acupressure may help with lowback pain, postoperative pain, or headache. Pain from other conditions may benefit as well. To relieve headache, try the L14 pressure point.

Arthritis . Some studies suggest that acupressure releases endorphins and promotes anti-inflammatory effects, helping with arthritis.

Depression and anxiety. More than one study suggests that fatigue and mood -- both depression and anxiety -- may benefit from the use of acupressure. But better designed trials are needed to be sure.

 

Are There Any Precautions With Acupressure?

 

In general, acupressure is very safe. If you have cancer, arthritis, heart disease, or a chronic condition, be sure to have a discussion with your doctor before trying any therapy that involves moving joints and muscles, such as acupressure. And, make sure your acupressure practitioner is licensed and certified.

Deep tissue work such as acupressure needs to be avoided if any of the following conditions apply:

  • If the treatment is in the area of a cancerous tumor or if the cancer has spread to bones
  • If you have rheumatoid arthritis, a spinal injury, or a bone disease that could be made worse by physical manipulation
  • If you have varicose veins
  • If you are pregnant (because certain points can induce contractions)

 

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Contact Us Click to see more information.

Ming Chen, L.Ac., OMD

Lu xia Yang, L.Ac., OMD

Xiao Huan Jin , L.Ac., OMD

LA Torrance Acupuncture Chinese Medicine

Address:1327 Sartori Ave., Torrance, CA 90501
Phone: 310-316-5707
Web: www.laacucenter.com