With Chinese ethnicity, being brought up and exposed to Eastern healing traditions, I was always aware of holistic, natural therapies and their benefits. I suppose the ‘western’ side of me meant I never really took an interest in it until recently. Which is ironic because the philosophy and core tenets of Chinese or Japanese healing is all about prevention, not waiting until something is wrong to cure it. However, this DOES NOT disregard modern/western science or what cures and doctors can do for us. If I’m truly to embrace that philosophy, it is all about balance. I was inspired by a family friend who was a Chinese doctor but practices both eastern and western medicine. He was trained in both.
Anyway, not all is lost, and I decided to learn more about it. Working similarly to acupuncture, you can think about acupressure as the art of using your hands or a specifically design acupressure tool, to channel the right energies to the right places. It can also eliminate toxins and remove negative energy. When you place pressure in these ‘meridians’ (energy points), they’re like valves- you’re opening up a valve where there’s blockages, circulating blood, oxygen and releasing endorphins. They are part of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which is about a path through which the life-energy known as “qi” flows
Scientifically, ‘stimulating these points with pressure, needles, or heat triggers the release of endorphins, which are the neurochemicals that relieve pain. As a result, pain is blocked and the flow of blood and oxygen to the affected area is increased. This causes the muscles to relax and promotes healing. As a point is pressed, the muscle tension yields to the finger pressure, enabling the fibers to elongate and relax, blood to flow freely, and toxins to be released and eliminated. Increased circulation also brings more oxygen and other nutrients to affected areas. This increases the body’s resistance to illness and promotes a longer, healthier, more vital life. When the blood and bioelectrical energy circulate properly, we have a greater sense of harmony. health, and well-being.’
I learned a bit of reflexology too, which has similar techniques, and it’s simply massaging or placing pressure on specific points in your body, which is connected to organs or otherwise all over your body. Don’t believe me?
Press the hollow points below the base of your skull/neck, can you feel tension and pressure at the top of the head? Or press your lower back where you feel there is a knot, does pain or sensations go shooting through your upper back or through the thigh?
These indicate just how complex and connected the body is. To get you acquainted and started, here’s a great post that is simple and a beginners guide.
You can do acupressure even if you’re not a sufferer. In today’s constantly connected, flustered and busy way of life, acupressure is a great way to wind down, relax and massage your own body/mind. Go on, give yourself a little TLC!
For me, I am learning and maybe I’ll even become a member of the Shiatsu society 😉