How Acupressure Works to Relieve Pain

Acupressure Therapy provides a natural way to cope with pain and stress, through the Acupressure points. These are places on the skin that are especially sensitive to bioelectrical impulses in the body, and readily conduct those impulses.


Traditionally, Asian cultures conceived of the points as junctures of special pathways that carried the human energy that the Chinese call Chi and the Japanese call Ki. Western scientists have also mapped out and proven the existence of this system of body points by using sensitive electrical devices.


Muscular pain and tension tend to concentrate around Acupressure points. By holding the points, energy can be balanced and the muscle tension and pain reduced.


In addition, a person’s focus on pain can be distracted by the relaxation that comes from touching and stimulating the corresponding Acupressure points.


There are two ideas about how Acupressure works to relieve pain — through the Endorphins and the Pain Gateways. It’s likely that they both point to the mechanism of Acupressure pain relief.

Self-Healing To learn how to use Acupressure to relieve pain in many areas of the body, here is the book, Acupressure Pain Relief. It’s available both as a printed book and an eBook.


The Endorphins

Prolonged pressure on the Acupressure points triggers the release of endorphins. These are the natural pain and stress relievers, the body’s own chemicals that relieve pain.


Endorphins are neurotransmitters that are produced by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. Acupressure stimulates the pituitary gland to release the endorphins.


As a result, pain is blocked and the flow of blood and oxygen to the affected area is increased. This causes the muscles to relax and promotes healing.


Endorphins don’t entirely block the sensation of pain, but they do alter a person’s perception of the sensation, similar to the effect of narcotics. This might explain why Acupressure Therapy often brings about a “natural high” after self-treatment or a session with an Acupressure Practitioner.


The Pain Gateway

This ideas is that the transmission of pain impulses can be modulated by a gating mechanism in the pain-signaling system. An open gate results in pain; a partially open gate, less intense pain; and a closed gate, no pain.


Because Acupressure inhibits the pain signals sent to the brain through a mild, fairly painless stimulation, it has been described as closing the “gates” of the pain-signaling system, preventing painful sensations from reaching the brain.


This “gating” is affected in part by the activity of sensory nerves. Stimulation of these large cutaneous fibers tends to close the gate, inhibiting the pain impulses from passing through the spinal cord to the brain. Acupressure’s mild stimulation causes the gates to close, so painful sensations can’t pass through.


Pain perception is closely related to the amount of bodily stress, tension, and emotional anxiety that is present. Acupressure increases circulation, which decreases lactic acid, carbon dioxide, histamines, bradykinins (mediators for pain reception), and a variety of toxins. Enhanced blood flow brings oxygen and other nutrients to the affected areas.

Self-Healing To learn how to use Acupressure to relieve pain in many areas of the body, here is the book, Acupressure Pain Relief. It’s available both as a printed book and an eBook.

Besides relieving pain, Acupressure can help rebalance the body by dissolving tensions and stresses that keep it from functioning smoothly and that inhibit the immune system. Acupressure enables the body to adapt to environmental changes, to resist illness, and to promote overall health and well-being.


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