What is accupressure?
An acupuncturist inserts tiny needles across the various acupuncture points (also referred to as acupoints or meridians) throughout the body in order to unblock and restore physical and mental health and balance to the human body. Acupressure, on the other hand, is non-intrusive and it doesnt employ the insertion of thin needles. It does concern the stimulation of the same pattern of meridians; however these are stimulated through gentle touch.
An acupressure session typically lasts about an hour and starts at about $40 per treatment. One session is typically not enough to totally unblock a meridian, so a series of sessions are normally recommended - depending on the seriousness of the condition.
Acupressure has been used as a way to relax the mind and body, to increase blood circulation, soothe stress, muscle pain, headache, improve overall energy levels, and to help the body dispose of dangerous toxins. Acupressures origin is traced back over 5000 years to ancient Asia where it was used to treat a wide range of health conditions like muscle and joint injury, labor pain, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. For example if the acupuncturist applies light pressure with their fingers, hands or elbows on a clients abdomen its thought to soothe abdominal congestion and menstrual discomfort.
When acupressure is performed, the client is invited into a relaxing environment and asked to lie down fully-clothed on a massage table. Soft meditative music is often played in the background to clear the clients mind and to promote relaxation. The acupressurist will then gently press with their hands, fingers and elbows on various acupoints across the body to unblock the energy and to encourage blood and lymph flow.
The free circulation of blood and lymph fluid will encourage energy and promote healing. For example, an acupressure therapist may apply pressure with their hands, elbows, arms or fingers in order to stimulate the flow of energy (or chi) and blood throughout the body.
If you recently watched any martial arts films you may have seen acupressure used in another manner - self-defense. In reality, many eastern martial arts study the meridian points in order to debilitate an enemy. Martial artists are also encouraged to study their own acupressure points in order to harmonize and balance their bodies so their movements are fast and fluid during a fight.