What is Acupressure?

"Acupressure" refers to any technique using finger pressure on "acupoints" to reduce stress and balance the body energy. Acupressure is influenced by energy in the "channels" or "meridians"- lines of related points through which Qi (energy) moves. Acupressure outlines tension points associated with common physical problems and with distressing feelings like anxiety, depression, guilt and anger, which are commonly associated with a coordinating organ meridian points. Having regular acupressure sessions can help release physical and emotional tension that builds up in the body.

Acupressure's approach may be simple and symptomatic, or sophisticated and deeply therapeutic. A specific method of acupressure is Jin Shin Do®, which covers both ends of this spectrum because it can be used as a self-help tool and as a professional therapeutic method. It brings pleasure, deep relaxation and increased awareness of both the body and the mind. Jin Shin Do® contrasts with acupuncture as there is an absence of needles. Additionally acupressure involves touch whereas acupuncture may not. A book I commonly reference for acupressure and self-care is the Acupressure Way of Health by Iona Teeguarden.

Here are a few different methods for acupressure self care that may be helpful:

A foot roller, also known as a krupa chakra, is a round, cylindrical roller placed on the floor and the foot rolls back and forth on protuberances.

The acuball is a small ball made of rubber with protuberances that is used to apply pressure and

relieve muscle and joint pain. It can be heated up in the microwave for added benefits to the muscular tissues.

By coupling acupressure sessions and self-care into a regular routine, an individual's mind-body awareness will begin to connect and relieve tensions.

Next time you are booking an appointment, ask your therapist at East about acupressure, or the possibility of merging acupressure into your regular massage therapy session!

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