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Acupressure - Part 1

Traditional Chinese Medicine - Part 1: Acupressure

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Acupressure is an alternative medical practice based on ancient precepts from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It’s foundational concepts rely on the assertion that our bodies are interlaced with networks of channels, sometimes called meridians, through which a living force flows. This life force, known as qi ( pronounced chee), enlivens the various parts of our bodies as it flows through them. Blockages of the meridian channels inhibit the flow of qi, with attendant discomfort, disability, and reductions of vitality in the affected areas.

These channels are not visible to the outer eye, though some claim to be able to perceive them through their inwardly tuned senses. These meridians are the same pathways that are traced and manipulated by acupuncturists. Acupuncture, though, uses needles to deal with qi blockages. Whereas acupressure relies only on firm pressure exerted by the therapist with his or her thumbs, fingers, or elbows in most cases, though various implements for applying pressure can also be used. This gentler approach is often as effective as acupuncture, and it is recommended that it should be tried first, resorting to acupuncture only if acupressure does not produce the desired results.

Small statue showing some acupuncture points.

Meridians

Origins

The practice of acupressure traces its beginnings to ancient China. The basic ideas are at least 4,000 years old. Through the centuries, the techniques have been refined and perfected to the point that we are today in possession of an effective and more or less standardized system that is used throughout the world.

Applications

Conditions for which people see acupressure therapists span
a variety of health conditions including, but not limited to:

  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Stress
  • Sinus problems
  • Toothache
  • Appetite control
  • PMS

Acupressure being applied to the back, lower, calf of a woman's leg.

Acupressure

Conclusion

It is important to understand that as effective as acupressure can be for many conditions, it is not a substitute for modern antibiotic treatments for infections, modern cancer treatments as given by qualified MDs , the setting of bones for mending fractures, etc. Acupressure can, however, compliment many modern medical treatments as millions of people around the world can attest.

Acupressure is growing more popular every day. It’s popularity is based on its effectiveness, the swiftness of its results, and the gentleness of its natural approach. Those who value wholistic approaches to good health, and who strive not just for the absence of infirmity but for the achievement of radiant, optimal vigor seek out qualified acupressure therapists.

Join me as I explain more about the basics of this traditional Chinese medical practice in Part 2 of this series. There, I will discuss the twelve principal meridians of the human body and their relationship to health.

Michael Wang
Certified Acupressure and Reflexology Therapist



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