Acupressure was developed in China and Japan over the centuries. Varieties of acupressure also exist in Southeast Asia, India (Marma Therapy), South America and Europe (Reflexology).
Acupressure is finger pressure technique applied to the acupuncture points for therapeutic purposes. Just like traditional acupuncture, acupressure seeks to balance the body’s energy pathways and points.
Acupressure is based on the observation and experience – that manually massaging or applying various finger-pressure methods at acupuncture points – can elicit some of the same responses as acupuncture and massage, to alleviate pain and reduce symptoms. Back and neck pain, muscle strain, stomach irritation and indigestion, headache, insomnia, fatigue, and stress are some of the conditions that respond favorably to acupressure treatment.
Acupressure can be used by itself or in combination with herbs to treat musculo-skeletal pain and many internal conditions. When receiving an acupressure session, one often experiences a deep release of tension.
An “Acupressure Assessment” provides useful diagnostic information to the Natural Healthcare Practitioner. According to Oriental medical theory, each acupressure point relates to a particular tissue area in the body. Each point reflects – by it’s characteristics – the health condition of the area of the body, that it relates to. Is it soft, recessed, full, or tight; achy, numb, or painfully sharp ? Each means something. Acupressure Assessment helps to determine which form of acupressure to treat with, and which herbs, flower essences and homeopathic preparations will be helpful for a person.
Here is a description of the main styles of acupressure, that I have been trained in. I use these in a unique combination, when treating each patient.
SHIATSU is a double finger pressure technique developed in Japan from Anma massage – a folk massage method. This method uses organized finger pressure patterns to traverse almost all of the surfaces of the body. In the process, all the main acupuncture meridians, also known as, energy flow pathways, are balanced.
TSUBO THERAPY: Tsubo means ‘energy point’ in Japanese. Tsubo Therapy is the use of double thumb pressure technique, applied over specific pivotal points, that have a profound therapeutic effect. These points are chosen after performing a basic ‘diagnostic’ shiatsu pattern that reveals the patient’s underlying condition, including areas of energy blockage. This is a very holistic method of body-care.
JIN SHIN DO, literally translated “the Way of the Compassionate Spirit”, was discovered by Jirou Mirai of Japan and further developed by Iona Teeguarden in the United States. In this acupressure system, the practitioner uses one finger from one hand at one point, and another finger from another hand at a second point, to manually re-connect or rebalance energy in the acupuncture meridians. A series of point patterns is created, using this method. A Jin Shin Do session can be deeply centering. It is an excellent method for healing the physical – emotional – mental continuum.
REFLEXOLOGY is acupressure applied to a small region of the body in which the entire body is represented. The most popular reflexology zone is on the bottom of the feet. A thorough reflexology treatment on the bottom of the feet opens many pathways very simply and efficiently, and increases the effectiveness of other treatments. (Other total body reflex zones include the hands, the ears, the top of the head, the back and the abdomen.)
TUI NA is a Chinese traditional massage system that uses various techniques such as grasping (Na), pressing (An), palm rubbing (Mo), kneading (Rou), rolling (Gun), etc. to invigorate the circulation in the joints, muscles and acupuncture meridians. Like Shiatsu, it is used to treat many medical conditions.