Self-help acupressure is a technique based on traditional Chinese therapies. The aim is to prevent disease or, as the Yellow Emperor put it " ... the sages did not treat those who were already ill; they instructed those who were not yet ill."
All sorts of Self-Help Acupressure massage
Acupressure is normally described as "acupuncture without needles," but that is something of an oversimplification for the various techniques that can be involved in the different methods.
Wushu, or "pointing therapy," for example, involves pinching, pressing, patting, and knocking and, as with Qigong massage, practitioners need to be experts in Qi strengthening skills.
The prime action or "pointing" involves tapping the acu point, point, usually with the middle finger alone, or with the thumb and first two fingers closed together, every two or three seconds for several minutes; at the same time, therapists need to focus their vital energies on their own arm and fingers delivering the treatment.
"Pinching" is a technique applied only to fingers, toes, or nails, which is where the major meridians start.
"Patting" is used to promote energy and Blood flow, and involves tapping a flat hand five to ten times against various meridians.
"Knocking" is very similar, only using four fingers and thumb. .
"Pointing" treatments also use pressure from a lightly clenched fist and the second thumb joint (rather than the tip).
Although it is common in Western interpretations of acupressure to press with the tip of the thumb, the clenched fist action of "pointing therapy" using the second thumb joint can be more comfortable. Others prefer to use the tip of their first or second finger - but remember to keep nails short and always start with gentle pressure until you understand the effects of the action.
Maintain pressure for two to three minutes while focusing as much healing energy as you can into your hands to help boost deficient Qi levels. A gentle, rotating motion applied to the point is helpful for dispersing stagnant Qi and improving energy flows.
Like all Chinese therapies, it is essential for the practitioner to give his or her total concentration during treatment - you cannot practice acupressure effectively if your mind is elsewhere.
How does Self-Help Acupressure work?
While the Chinese have simply accepted the effectiveness of acupuncture and acupressure for generations, Western medicine constantly seeks a scientific explanation. Most current theories focus on the production of endorphins.
These are the body's own painkillers and are peptides or protein molecules created from a substance called betalipotropin found in the pituitary gland. Endorphins are thought to control the activity of the endocrine glands where they are stored, and also affect the pain-sensing areas in the brain in a way very similar to opiate drugs such as morphine. Endorphin release is controlled by the nervous system. Nerves are, of course, sensitive to pain and outside stimuli, and, once triggered, will instruct the endocrine system to release appropriate endorphins. Pressing acu points is believed to have a similar effect on endorphin production.
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