Acupressure is based on the same concept as acupuncture, but without the needles. Instead of inserting needles, you apply pressure with your fingers and hands on meridian pathways to restore the normal flow of energy, or chi.
One of the best things about acupressure is that you can practice it on yourself. It is great for stress-related problems, like headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, motion sickness and constipation.
How to Do Acupressure
1. To massage an “acupoint”, apply steady, firm pressure for about thirty seconds with your thumb, finger, elbow or palm.
2. Steadily press deeper for up to three minutes and then release and move on to your next point. If you can’t reach an area (your back, for instance), you can lie on a massage ball or a tennis ball, but go easy. If the acupressure point is really sore, you want to go very slowly.
3. If you have difficulty locating an acupoint, move your fingers around the area until you find where it is sensitive.
There are many different acupressure solutions for common ailments. Here are four common ailments and ways to relieve the symptoms:
Using the thumb and forefinger of one hand, pinch the webbed flesh between your thumb and forefinger (about an inch and a half in from the edge where the thumb and forefinger meet) of your other hand. Massage the point for two minutes. Then do the same on the other hand and repeat three times. This technique is also good for sinus ailments and toothaches.
Constipation and Indigestion
Put your right forefinger on top of your shin, just below your right knee, and then rest your other three fingers on your leg. Your pinkie will come to rest on a very powerful stomach point. When you press slightly, most likely the area will feel sensitive. Press firmly for one minute, take a break and do this three more times. Change to the left leg.
Do small circular movements on top of your foot two finger widths down from your ankle and between your big toe and the second toe. It will feel tender. Apply pressure there with deep strokes. This technique is also good if you have sore feet!
PMS and Menstrual Cramps
There are a few points that relieve these symptoms. This is an easy one. On the inside of your leg, measure three or four finger widths up from the ankle toward the knee. You will notice that this area is tender. Apply pressure for a minute and then release. Do this three times and repeat as needed.