If you are unfamiliar with the term acupressure therapy, you probably assume that it is similar to acupuncture, the ancient Eastern medical practice using needles. Although acupressure massage therapy uses some of the same principles as acupuncture, acupressure does not incorporate needles but uses massage to activate key points of the body.
Acupressure therapy is very similar to a shiatsu massage that applies pressure to specific areas on the body. This form of therapy utilizes the traditional Chinese map of the body’s “meridians” which are blockage points in the body’s life energy circulation. Although modern medicine has been slow to accept acupressure therapy, more medical authorities are beginning to embrace the practice. A 2011 meta-study found that 35 of 43 acupressure therapy trials produced some symptom relief, but researchers conceded that there was a significant likelihood of bias.
For many who have not experienced an acupressure therapy session, it is easy to be skeptical of its benefits, but here are five benefits that many acupressure clients swear by.
- Relaxation—Any deep tissue massage will produce a more relaxed body and mind. Acupressure therapy merely applies these massage techniques like strong pressure, stretching or rhythmic tapping to acupoints derived from centuries of observation. These techniques soothe contracted muscles, enhancing circulation to oxygen-starved areas. A decrease in muscular tension often produces a more relaxed mental state as well. At least in the case of chronic headache pain, it has been found that acupressure therapy can be as or more effective than medicinal muscle relaxants.
- Pain relief—For many chronic pain sufferers, acupressure therapy is a potent pain relief solution. Pain not only produces unpleasant nerve signals, it can often be accompanied by more tension in musculature. If this contraction continues for long periods, it may produce secondary pain symptoms. Acupressure therapy will help relieve this tension as well as promote the body’s production of endorphins, natural pain killers.
- Faster healing—A more relaxed body allows your circulatory system to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissue. A more efficient circulation promotes healing by empowering your natural healing ability. This improved healing rate will also provide pain relief by repairing damaged tissue that is prompting the pain sensations.
- Better sleep—If you are like many people who struggle with chronic pain, you probably have sleep issues directly related to those pain symptoms or due to anxiety or depression that your health condition engenders. A 2017 study found that people who had acupressure therapy over four weeks had improved sleep. These benefits are likely linked to a more relaxed body and mind that is more conducive for sleep.
- Nausea remedy—Nausea is a common symptom of many chronic pain conditions like migraines or may accompany certain medical treatments like chemotherapy. Acupressure can provide relief from nausea and vomiting. This form of treatment for nausea has proven so effective that the renowned Sloan Kettering Cancer Center now recommends acupressure therapy for its chemotherapy patients.
If you or someone you know thinks they might benefit from Acupressure Massage Therapy, contact the pain relief experts at Colorado Pain Care for additional information.
Article written by: Dr. Robert Moghim – CEO/Founder Colorado Pain Care
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