Acupressure: A pain-relieving practice from the East

Acupressure: A pain-relieving practice from the East
When people think of Eastern Medicinal practices, the ancient technique of acupuncture often springs to mind. Fewer people are aware of an equally effective and authentic Eastern method called Acupressure, which is similar to Acupuncture but differs in a few key respects.

Acupressure has featured in traditional Chinese medicine for more that 2 000 years and is still a commonly used technique today for relieving pain or illness. Simply put, Acupressure aims to activate specific points of the body to trigger the body’s own self-healing or repairing systems. These points are activated by pressure. According to Chinese lore, Acupressure concerns itself with the flow of ‘Qi’, a Chinese term for one’s life source or energy, which ideally circulates through harmonious pathways in the body known as meridians.

Obstructions to the natural flow of energy in these meridians are believed to cause pain and illness. Acupressure seeks to remove these obstructions and restore the correct energy flow to the body, thereby restoring a person back to good health.

Acupressure can also be practised as a form of self-massage, which if practised regularly, can reduce the chance of negative symptoms of pain and illness recurring in the future. Experts advise that the best way to practice self-massage is to firmly press down with a finger on a specific point and to then rotate or move the finger up and down on that point in order to promote muscle relaxation and ease. When practising self-massage, one should be in a relaxed position in an environment they find comfortable, as the exercise should essentially leave them feeling calm and soothed afterwards. 

Common Acupressure points include the spot at the back of the neck where the skull is attached to the neck muscles, and the muscle stretched between the forefinger and thumb. By applying Acupressure practices to strategic areas such as these, stress, headaches, muscular tension, and even toothaches, are believed to be relieved.