Over the years, traditional Chinese medicine has been slowly making its way into Western practices. Things like herbal medicine, dietary therapy, massage, meditation and even tai chi are pretty well known and popular in the West these days.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication.
Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.
What is Acupressure?
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One such method is known as acupressure, the technique of applying pressure to particular points on your body to experience relaxation or relief. Think of it as acupuncture but without the needles. It’s been practiced for over 2,500 years, so it must be doing something right!
While Western medicine primarily focuses on pharmaceutical drugs or scientific research, traditional Eastern medicine is focused on the overall nature of a person. Their mental, spiritual and physical health is all incorporated together.
By channeling the body’s inner energy, or chi, it helps to relieve stress and anxiety and restore your inner balance. Acupressure is known to relieve pain, reduce muscular tension, increase circulation and encourage deep relaxation. Here’s how you can try it yourself at home. (4)
How To Use Acupressure
- Use your finger or thumb and gently put pressure on the area between your eyebrows for 45 seconds
- Begin applying more pressure while pushing upward to the midpoint of your forehead and repeat for 1 minute
- Control your breathing, taking deep breaths and transition to relaxation
- Place your finger gently between your eyebrows again, but this time beginning at the slope of your nose
- At the same time, apply pressure to the middle of your sternum, between your pectorals
This technique should help with headaches and also reduce stress as it encourages deeper breathing, while the pressure placed on your chest is said to boost your mood.
It’s no wonder Eastern techniques like acupressure are becoming more and more popular in the West. Aside from being safe to practice, they’re often simple enough to do on your own. Who knows, it might be the answer you were looking for!
- Fassoulaki, A., Paraskeva, A., Kostopanagiotou, G., Tsakalozou, E., & Markantonis, S. (2007). Acupressure on the Extra 1 Acupoint: The Effect on Bispectral Index, Serum Melatonin, Plasma ??-Endorphin, and Stress. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 104(2), 312-317. doi:10.1213/01.ane.0000250911.43942.4e
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