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Acupressure Therapy—DIY Benefits for Pain, Sleep, Nausea, & More

7 minute read


No need to panic about needles poking your skin, because acupressure is not the same as acupuncture. Both treatment methods stem from Traditional Chinese Medicine, but the specifics are different.

Acupressure has long been used in the treatment of ailments and painful conditions through the beneficial application of pressure. Offering pain relief and a cure to insomnia, acupressure is quickly becoming the go-to of alternative medicine.

Acupressure Means Pain Relief At Home and Away

Acupressure offers a natural therapy for pain and you can even do it yourself with the right training. There are no needles, and you can leave those pain-relieving medications at the pharmacy.

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It involves applying steady pressure to certain points along specific pathways on the body. Pressure is applied for a short period of time to allow the release of blocked "energy" and to improve "energy" (qi) flow. While qi is scientifically unverifiable, the benefits of acupressure have been well documented.

This therapy is based on the idea that the body has an "energy" flowing through it that maintains health. When the "energy" becomes blocked, illness results.  

Acupressure purports to optimize "energy" flow and stimulate the body’s natural mechanisms for healing and care. You can reach most of the critical pressure points yourself, but you can also visit an acupressure therapist for a full healing session.

Pressure is applied at specific pressure points, which are located across the body and are each linked to certain health concerns. These points lay along what practitioners refer to as meridians or "energy" pathways that are responsible for channeling "energy" to every part of the body.

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Each vital organ has a channel or meridian associated with it in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and pressure points along the path that promote the health of that organ.

Although the concept behind acupressure is similar to acupuncture, the major difference is that the former does not involve needles. The same meridian lines are used and the same points are used to release blocked "energy," but pressure is used.

The pressure can range from mild to firm depending on personal preference but the end result is the same. Besides, you don’t need to believe in the philosophy to enjoy the benefits, just like you don’t need to be Hindu or Buddhist to find benefits in yoga.

Benefits of Acupressure and Where to Apply Pressure to Get Them

The benefits seem to be never ending and each vital organ or internal system depends upon the healthy flow of "energy". As "energy" flow is promoted through acupressure, the body can better heal, better take care of itself, and better prevent the development of serious disease.

Pain Relief: One of the more common uses for acupressure is the relief of pain. Pain in the form of headaches, backache, labor, and injuries all benefit from acupressure and natural supplements.

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Studies showed that chronic headaches were relieved after one month of acupressure treatments, which was a more efficient result than the same amount of muscle relaxation therapy. Relieving pain and tension can be easily done by applying pressure to the LI4 point, located in the firm skin between the thumb and index finger.

Reduce Nausea: Nausea and vomiting are associated with several conditions and can be uncomfortable as well as damaging. The P6 pressure point, located in your inner arm near your wrist, is the best place to start when you need to reduce feelings of nausea.

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Nausea and vomiting brought on by surgery can be dangerous because your body is in recovery and needs to remain still. Medications can increase nausea, but acupressure can help.

Beat Insomnia: The pressures and stress of today cause many people to suffer from insomnia. A lack of sleep for an extended time will take a dangerous toll on your health. Sleeping pills can have side effects and can be addictive.

With acupressure, you get a natural and calming approach, and a good night’s sleep. Self-administered acupressure provided restful sleep to insomniac patients after a four week period, showing that improved "energy" flow delivers more than pain relief.

PMS Relief: As a natural pain therapy, acupressure is ideal for bringing the relief of monthly menstrual cycle pains. Medications, changes in diet, and using heating pads can all help to relieve cramps, but acupressure seems to bring relief the fastest. It also ensures that your body does not feel as much pain when the next cycle comes around.

The LV3 and LI4 pressure points brought relief to women concerning stomach cramps as well as relief from symptoms of anxiety and depression. PMS can be a difficult time of the month for women, and acupressure provides balance and relief across their entire body.

The Bottom Line

Since acupressure is based on "energy" flow, the release of pressure and stimulation of that flow enhances your circulatory, immune, lymphatic, and hormonal systems. Once these systems are running at optimal function levels, the body has an uncanny ability to heal and care for itself.

Before performing acupressure on yourself, you should speak with a trained therapist. This way you can learn the best techniques and the specific pressure points you need to target for what ails you.

When you are tired and lack energy, you don’t feel like moving and the same goes for your body. When "energy" flow is disrupted it cannot condition properly. Release blocked "energy" with acupressure and harvest the multitude of benefits available.

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