What is acupressure?
Acupressure is a therapy developed over 5,000 years ago as an important aspect of Asian, especially Chinese, medicine. It uses precise finger placement and pressure over specific points along the body. These points follow specific channels, known as meridians – the same channels used in acupuncture. According to Asian medical philosophy, activation of these points with pressure (or needles) can improve blood flow, release tension, and enhance or unblock life-energy, known in China as "qi" or in the English-speaking world as "chi." This release allows energy to flow more freely through the meridians, promoting relaxation, healing and the restoration of proper function.
It should be noted that the existence of qi and meridians is doubted by many Western scientists. According to this skeptical view, any healing effect from acupuncture or acupressure sessions is not due to the alteration of subtle energy flows along invisible channels, but rather to the same gross physical effects that happen during any kind of massage therapy, including muscular relaxation and improved regional blood flow.
What conditions is acupressure used for?
Acupressure therapy can be used to relieve pain, reduce tension in muscles, improve circulation and promote deep states of relaxation. It is often done by massage therapists and other bodyworkers, but can also be learned as a technique to be done oneself. Individuals can be treated, then trained in various self-care applications and pressure-point formulas for specific conditions. These include nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, headaches, neck and back pain, as well as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, mental and emotional stress, even addiction recovery and learning disorders.
For centuries, the Chinese have used acupressure points as a beauty treatment to enhance muscle tone and increase circulation, especially of facial muscles. This can reportedly improve the condition and appearance of the skin, lessening wrinkles and sagging of the face without drugs or surgery, although clinical trials are needed to confirm this. Acupressure points have also been employed to increase arousal, decrease sexual tension and reportedly aid in alleviating sexual dysfunction, including infertility, decreased sexual desire, premature ejaculation, and impotency.
Acupressure sessions usually last about 30 minutes but can last for up to 2 hours; the duration is up to the patient. Acupressure sessions are $40/30 min and $60/60 min. Patients should inform their acupressure practitioner if they are wearing a pacemaker, if they are pregnant, or if they have open wounds, lesions, infectious conditions, phlebitis, fractures, or other injuries.