is the most profoundly effective tool known for purifying and
revitalizing the body. When your breath is shallow, all your body's
vital systems function at a minimum level. If your breath is long
and deep, however, the respiratory system functions properly,
and the body cells become fully oxygenated.
Deep breathing helps
the acupressure points release any pain or tension and encourages healing
energy to flow throughout the body. As you practice self-acupressure and concentrate on breathing deeply into your abdomen, you will help your body heal itself and generate
a great feeling of well-being.
breathing can especially help you better use a potent point that
is painful. Close your eyes, focus your attention on the painful
spot, breathe deeply, and imagine that you are breathing healing
energy into the affected area as you hold the point gently. Inhale
deeply into the abdomen, letting your belly expand. Feel the breath
reach into the depths of the belly. Exhale slowly, letting the
energy that you drew in now circulate throughout your body. Do
not use a massaging movement.
Focus on breathing into the pain
for three full minutes. Often, poor circulation is indicated by
a point that is sore when pressed. By taking long, deep breaths
and pressing gently for three minutes you will close the nervous
system's pain gates and help the area heal. This breathing technique
will enhance the healing benefits of all the acupressure routines
in this book.
Cautions to Consider
- Apply finger
pressure in a slow, rhythmic manner to enable the layers of
tissue and the internal organs to respond. Never press any area
in an abrupt, forceful, or jarring way.
- Use the abdominal
points cautiously, especially if you are ill. Avoid the abdominal
area entirely if you have a life-threatening disease, especially
intestinal cancer, tuberculosis, serious cardiac conditions,
and leukemia. Avoid the abdominal area during pregnancy as well.
- Pregnancy - special care
should be taken during pregnancy.
- Lymph areas,
such as the groin, the area of the throat just below the ears,
and the outer breast near the armpits, are very sensitive These
areas should be touched only lightly and not pressed.
- Burns & infections: Do not work
directly on a serious burn, an ulcerous condition, or an infection:
for these conditions, medical care alone is indicated.
- Scars and injuries: Do not work
directly on a recently formed scar. During the first month after
an injury or operation, do not apply pressure directly on the
affected site. However, gentle continuous holding a few inches
away from the periphery of the injury will stimulate the area
and help it heal.
- After an acupressure
session, your body heat is lowered; thus your resistance to
cold is also lower. Because the tensions have been released,
your body's vital energies are concentrating inward to maximize
healing. Your body will be more vulnerable, so be sure to wear
extra clothing and keep warm when you finish an acupressure
life-threatening diseases and serious medical problems should
always consult their doctor before using acupressure or other
alternative therapies. It is important for the novice to use caution
in any medical emergency situation, such as a stroke or heart
attack, or for any serious medical condition, such as arteriosclerosis
or an illness caused by bacteria. Nor is acupressure an appropriate
sole treatment for cancer, contagious skin diseases, or sexually
In conjunction with proper medical attention,
however, gentle acupressure (safely away from the diseased area
and the internal organs) can help soothe and relieve a patient's
distress and pain. According to Dr. Serizawa, a Japanese physician,
who regularly uses acupressure in his medical research and practice:
ailments from which [acupressure] can offer relief are numerous
and include the following: symptoms of chilling; flushing; pain,
and numbness; headaches; heaviness in the head; dizziness;
ringing in the ears; stiff shoulders arising from disorders of
the autonomic nervous system; constipation; sluggishness; chills
of the hands and feet; insomnia; malformations of the backbone
frequent in middle age and producing pain in the shoulders, arms,
and hands; pains in the back; pains in the knees experienced during
standing or going up or down stairs.1
chapters provide you with ways to help yourself cope with these
and other discomforts. But before you look up the specific ailments
you want to know about, take a few minutes to answer the questions
on the following form.
An Acupressure Diary
effects can be subtle and while you may often experience immediate
relief from stress and pain, sometimes it may take you a few weeks
to notice a big change in your overall condition. In the meantime,
you can use the form to the right to record your week-by-week
progress. Note your body's responses to specific points and self-help
techniques. Your account of which points you use, the techniques
that help you most, and the time it took to achieve results can
be a valuable record for learning about your body and becoming
more aware of its needs.
Keep track of
the results of your self-acupressure practice to pay close attention
to your progress and well-being.
Katsuske Serizawa, M.D., Tsubo: Vital Points for Oriental
Therapy (Tokyo: Japan Publications, 1976), 38.