How Acupressure Relieves Pain
Acupressure pain relief can be as simple as gently holding the Acupressure points directly on painful or aching areas. Hold the points for two to three minutes to significantly reduce pain.
On this page, you’ll learn why the Acupressure points and meridians can help with pain relief. Then you’ll find many resources you can use for self-healing.
After that, you’ll be introduced to both the Eastern and the Western theories of Acupressure pain relief. This includes discussions of the endorphins and the pain gateway system. Finally, you’ll get ideas about dealing with chronic pain.
Muscular tension and pain tend to concentrate around Acupressure points. The Chi, the body’s life energy, can also become blocked there. By holding the points, the muscle tension can be released. In addition, the circulation of the blood can be increased and the Chi energy can be balanced. These all contribute to the pain being reduced.
Another positive result is that a person’s focus on pain can be dispersed by relaxation. This calmness comes from touching and stimulating the corresponding Acupressure points.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have severe or prolonged pain, you should seek medical assistance. Acupressure is not a substitution for any needed medical care.
You can still help yourself with Acupressure, as it’s a good complement to any medical treatment. It provides another avenue of healing — one you can do for yourself any time you need it.
The Acupressure Points are places on the skin that have a high electrical conductivity. They are especially sensitive to the bioelectrical impulses in the body, and readily conduct those impulses.
Traditionally, Asian cultures conceived of the points as junctures of special pathways, known as the meridians. They carry the human life force energy that the Chinese call Chi or Qi and the Japanese call Ki.
Western scientists have also mapped out and proven the existence of this system of body points. They use sensitive high-tech electrical devices, known as microvolt meters.
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Theories of Acupressure Pain Relief
The Eastern view is that pain results from blockages in the Chi. Acupressure releases these blockages and allows for the Chi to flow freely through the meridians.
The Western view offers two ideas about how Acupressure works physically to relieve pain: through the Endorphins and the Pain Gateways. They both contribute to the mechanism of Acupressure pain relief.
Prolonged pressure on the Acupressure points — two to three minutes — 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 theory describes the transmission of pain impulses being 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. This prevents 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. Thus, the pain impulses are inhibited 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 also 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.
Most people experience some relief fairly quickly once they learn to use Acupressure. However, people with a history of chronic pain usually have waves of progress as well as setbacks. So do not expect an immediate resolution of chronic pain.
From my clinical experience, I’ve found that people with chronic pain must consistently practice the methods of Acupressure pain relief. These techniques are holding points, specific stretching exercises, and deep breathing. It does take work to relieve pain naturally, without drugs.
To learn these methods for reducing chronic pain, here is the fully-illustrated book, Acupressure Pain Relief. It’s available both as a printed book and an eBook. You’ll also find a number of techniques to use Acupressure to relieve pain in many areas of the body.
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.
Self-Healing Acupressure Pain Relief Resources
This website has many Acupressure resources for you. Aches and pains can be relieved naturally, without drugs.
This book teaches you how to use Acupressure to relieve many conditions, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. You’ll learn how to relieve body pain through this fully-illustrated book. It’s available both in print and an eBook.
This audio program is available as an mp3 download and a CD. Practice Self-Healing through the techniques you’ll find, including easy stretching, Acupressure points, and gentle spinal exercises.
Relieve your stress with this instructional program, showing you clearly how to practice self-acupressure. Similar to an aerobic exercise video; you’ll be able to use and repeat this routine at your convenience at home.