Sunday, September 23, 2007

Acupressure Techniques

Various techniques applied in an acupressure treatment include pressing, rubbing, gentle stretching, and rolling, chafing, kneading, wiping and grasping, as well as corrective exercises. Varying levels of pressure are used, most often starting by applying light pressure and gradually working deeper. The practitioner may focus more energy or pressure on a specific point or series of points, depending on the individual`s chief complaint, or the entire course of a meridian may be addressed.

Acupressure Techniques and methodsWhen the point is located and your fingers are comfortably positioned right on the spot gradually lean your weight toward the point to apply the pressure. Using the weight of your upper body (and not just your hands) enables you to apply firm pressure without strain. Direct the pressure perpendicularly to the surface of the skin as you take several long, slow, deep breaths. Hold for a few minutes until you feel a regular pulse or until the soreness at the point decreases. Then gradually release the pressure, finishing with a soothing touch.


Deep touch

At each impulse our body reacts, adjusting in order to restore the balance. The soft tissue, in this case, relaxes or contracts leading to movement in the muscles or in the joints. The stimulus, that could be a sound, a thought or an intention, provokes a number of body forms which, for their natural tendency, express themselves. To prevent this natural response would be an unnecessary waste of energy. In fact, when the body doesn`t adapt to the stimulus, it produces stress. By pin-pointing the deep touch technique on the relevant reflex points, a specialist in this unique treatment can encourage self-healing to begin by channeling vital energy to flow to the most adversely affected areas.

Various techniques applied in an acupressure treatment include pressing, rubbing, gentle stretching, and rolling, chafing, kneading, wiping and grasping, as well as corrective exercises. Varying levels of pressure are used, most often starting by applying light pressure and gradually working deeper. The practitioner may focus more energy or pressure on a specific point or series of points, depending on the individual`s chief complaint, or the entire course of a meridian may be addressed.

The meridians, or channels, connect the internal organs through 12 primary and 8 extra meridians. These meridians, through which qi travels, emerge at the surface of the body. Therapeutically, deep touch is considered better for chronic conditions. Though deep touch may provide an intense sensation, it should always be within the client`s tolerance of discomfort.

A deep touch technique is used to find the tender and nodular areas in the feet and relate them to the relevant anatomical areas of the body. These nodules are treated by applying a precise deep touch technique, thereby helping the related the distant areas of the body to receive energy for healing. It is used to concentrate on the tender and nodular areas in the feet - those areas which are under the most stress - and relate them to specific areas of the body.

With subtle but deep touch stimulate acupuncture channels (meridians) using thumbs, fingers, elbows and knees. Gentle or dynamic stretches and joint rotations promote deep relaxation, helping your vital body energy (qi) back to balance. It can be a very deep touch to disperse energy that stimulates to encourage energy flow.

Imbalances at particular points along the meridian lines and within the organs themselves can be perceived with a deep touch sensitivity and particular technique, equilibrium can be restored. Holding tension points located on the face and body with a deep touch can help to relieve bodily aches and pains, reducing muscular and emotional stress and providing relaxation of both body and psyche. At times treatment may be deeply relaxing and other times it can be deep, direct causing soreness often described by clients as `good pain`. It is important to communicate if you are not comfortable with deep, releasing and effective pressure however, it is equally important to ask for more pressure and not shy away from the deep touch.



Gentle massage

Gentle massage has many benefits for those with arthritis. Massage therapy can provide pain relief, soothe stiff sore muscles and reduce inflammation and swelling. Massage and gentle stretching help maintain range of motion for your joints. By applying gentle massage to your reflexes, this therapy improves circulation and relieves stress and tension. When your body is in this natural state of relaxation, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self-healing may occur.

Reflexology is an ancient, natural, non-invasive therapy that is based on the principle that there are reflex areas in the hands and feet, which correspond to all glands, organs and parts of the body. Stimulation of these reflexes by applying gentle massage and specific pressure point techniques helps create a relaxed, healthy and harmonious state of being. Reflexology improves blood and nerve supply, removing congestion and blockages, restoring balance, improving energy and relieving stress and tension.


Light touch

Therapeutically, light touch is recognized as more effective for treating acute conditions while deep touch is considered better for chronic conditions. Though deep touch may provide an intense sensation, it should always be within the client`s tolerance of discomfort. Although you may be tempted to massage or rub the entire area, it is best just to hold the point steadily with direct finger pressure.

The rule of thumb is to apply slow, firm pressure on the point at a 90 degree angle from the surface of the skin. If you are pulling the skin, then the angle of pressure is incorrect. Consciously and gradually direct the pressure into the center of the part of the body you are working on. It`s important to apply and release finger pressure gradually because this allows the tissues time to respond, promoting healing. The better your concentration as you move your fingers slowly into and out of the point, the more effective the treatment will be.

After repeated acupressure sessions using different degrees of pressure, you will begin to feel a pulse at the point. This pulsation is a good sign - it means that circulation has increased. Pay attention to the type of pulse you feel. If it`s very faint or throbbing, hold the point longer until the pulse balances.

If your hand gets tired, slowly withdraw pressure from the point, gently shake out your hand, and take a few deep breaths. When you`re ready, go back to the point and gradually apply pressure until you reach the depth where it hurts good. Again, press directly on painful site (which often moves, so follow and stay with it) until you feel a clear, regular pulse or until the pain diminishes. Then slowly decrease the finger pressure, ending with about twenty seconds of light touch.

Each body and each area of the body requires a different amount of pressure. If it hurts a great deal when you apply pressure on a point, then use light touch instead of pressure. The calves, the face, and genital areas are sensitive. The back, buttocks, and shoulders, especially if the musculature is developed, usually need deeper, firmer pressure.

After repeated acupressure sessions using different degrees of pressure, you will begin to feel a pulse at the point. This pulsation is a good sign - it means that circulation has increased. Pay attention to the type of pulse you feel. If it`s very faint or throbbing, hold the point longer until the pulse balances.