10 Benefits of Acupressure

Not to be confused with acupuncture, acupressure is a 5,000-year-old practice that consists of using your fingers to gently put pressure on trigger points in your body that release tension, increase blood flow, and maximize feelings of relaxation. According to eastern practitioners, it also will help release your “Qi” – or pronounced “Chi” by westerners.

To accomplish this, an acupressure therapist will run their fingers over the meridian lines on a client’s body, deep enough to cause physiological changes in the body, but not so hard that it causes bruising. Skeptics claim that the reason for the changes are not due to any change in the body’s energy, but rather the impact it has on muscles and blood flow. Others take a more holistic approach, believing that acupressure brings the body and the mind back together in one unified spirit.

But acupressure isn’t just to feel better – many claim that it also helps reduce wrinkles and possibly even solve some sexual problems, such as premature ejaculation and impotence, possibly even infertility. The studies on these types of claims are inconclusive, but anecdotal evidence abounds.

Though the practice of acupressure goes back 5,000 years to ancient China, it has only been practiced in America since the early 1800’s. A visit to an Acupressurist is very similar to what you would have at a massage therapist: wearing loose-fitting clothing, the client lays down on a long table. The client is asked to practice visualization while the therapist works various muscle groups over a normally hour-long session, asking for feedback afterward. In order to know how to proceed with further treatments, the therapist needs to know what is working and what isn’t.

Besides a general feeling of relaxation, there are other benefits to an acupressure appointment.

1. Relieve Pain

One of the major benefits of acupressure is the ability to relieve tension and pain in parts of the body, especially chronic pain that western medicine is unable to properly target. Acupressure increases blood flow throughout the body by working the veins and capillaries that could have been inhibited by blockages, bringing life-healing oxygen more freely throughout the body.

Furthermore, acupressure also helps untie knots and points of tension in various places as well. As the person deals with different life issues, the body begins to grow callous and hard on the inside, creating an impasse within the muscle groups that don’t allow the joints and ligaments to move freely. Acupressure gently relaxes these parts, removing the tension and decreasing pain.

One area that acupressure helps the most is in relieving chronic headaches, but this practice has also been linked to other forms of pain reduction, such as lower back pain, hand pain, and dysmenorrhea. By pressing on different parts of the body, you can activate the part that releases pain centers and alleviate the tension. One of the most popular is the LI4 spot, which sits in the webbing just between the thumb and the index finger; pressing firmly on this spot has been known to reduce headaches. Here is a chart with other popular areas.