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How To Relieve Pain With Acupressure

By manipulating specific pressure points you could ease a headache, fall asleep easily and relax your stiff shoulders. Our expert tells you how.

By MARYANN SAVINA XAVIER

How To Relieve Pain With Acupressure

Acupressure originated in China around 100 B.C and is a variant of acupuncture. It is an ancient form of treatment under Traditional Chinese Medicine. It works on the principle that energy (Qi) flows through our body and discomfort arises when this flow is interrupted. Acupressure works by restoring the imbalances in the pathways of Qi, also known as ‘meridians’.

 

Unlike acupuncture, acupressure doesn’t involve the use of needles to stimulate pressure points. In some cases, both of these methods are used in conjunction but either of them are capable of treating issues like anxiety, allergies, arthritis, depression, migraines, nausea, and many more. Today, acupressure is a popular alternative therapy too. “Acupressure has been found to be effective in improving digestion, promoting metabolism and relieving stress,” says Dr Vinay Aindala, physiotherapist, UR Life Studio, Hyderabad.

 

 

How effective is acupressure
A study conducted by the University of Michigan found that acupressure proved effective in treating back pain; 67 participants suffering from severe back pain were divided into three groups and treated with relaxing acupressure, stimulating acupressure and other treatment suggested by doctors. After six weeks of observation, participants who underwent acupressure treatment for 30 minutes per day reported a 36% average reduction in pain.

In another study, conducted by the US National Institute of Health, it was found that acupressure was effective in reducing nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

How safe is acupressure “Being non-invasive, acupressure is usually safe. Only in case of some chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis extra care needs to be taken. However, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before starting acupressure treatment,” says Dr Aindala. In some cases, individuals may feel pain/soreness or bruising at the site of pressure.

 

Pressure points for common ailments

Poor Sleep

Look at your palm, the pressure point is located at the crease on your outer wrist. Gently apply pressure on the hollow area at the crease of your wrist and massage it in a circular movement. Do this for 2-3 minutes. That’s how acupressure massage therapy will give you a peaceful sleep

 

How safe is acupressure “Being non-invasive, acupressure is usually safe. Only in case of some chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis extra care needs to be taken. However, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before starting acupressure treatment,” says Dr Aindala. In some cases, individuals may feel pain/soreness or bruising at the site of pressure.

 

Shoulder Pain

Pressure points to relieve shoulder pain, gently massage the region between your thumb and index finger. Hold it firmly for 5 seconds till you experience slight pain and release. Repeat 3 times. That’s how acupressure massage therapy will release you from shoulder pain.

 

Lower Back Pain

Pressure points for lower back pain, stand up and grip your waist with both your hands and position your thumbs around your back. Now slowly massage the areas on your back in a circular motion with firm pressure for 5 seconds. Do this another 3 times.
You can also apply pressure to the centre of your calf muscles to ease back pain. Repeat this twice.

 

High Blood Pressure

Apply pressure on the point between your big toe and second toe for 1 minute to manage blood pressure. This pressure point can also be helpful in treating menstrual pain and anxiety.

 

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