This is an ancient form of healing combining massage and acupuncture, practiced over 3,000 years ago in Japan and China. It was developed into its current form using a system of special massage points and is today still practiced widely in the Japanese home environment.
Certain ‘pressure points’ are located in various parts of the body and these are used by the practitioner by massaging firmly with the thumb or fingertip. These points are the same as those utilized in acupuncture. There are various ways of working and the pressure can be applied by the practitioner’s fingers, thumbs, knees, palms of the hand, etc. Relief from pain can be quite rapid at times, depending upon its cause, while other more persistent problems can take longer to improve.
Acupressure is said to enhance the body’s own method of healing, thereby preventing illness and improving the energy level. The pressure exerted is believed to regulate the energy that flow along the meridians, qi. As previously mentioned, the meridians are the invisible channels that run along the length of the body. These meridians are mainly named after the organs of the body such as the liver and stomach, but there are four exceptions, which are called the ‘pericardium’, ‘triple heater’, ‘conception’ and ‘governor’. Specifically named meridian lines may also be used to treat ailments other than those relating to it.
Ailments claimed to have been treated successfully are back pain, asthma, digestive problems, insomnia, migraine and circulatory problems, amongst others. Changes in diet, regular exercise and certain self-checking methods may be recommended by your practitioner. It must be borne in mind that some painful symptoms are the onset of serious illness so you should always first consult your GP.