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classes and treatments - treatments


Acupressure/Tuina/Reflexology/Manual and Energy Healing, Physical Touch

Background: What is Acupressure?

Acupressure is a form of manual healing and physical touch in which fingers apply pressure to specific points on the body. The practice of applying pressure to specific acupoints throughout the body has been used in China since 2000 B.C., prior to the use of acupuncture. Using the power and sensitivity of the hand, acupressure is effective in the relief of stress-related ailments, in self-treatments, and in preventive health care.

Acupressure techniques are widely practiced internationally for releasing tension, improving blood circulation, reducing pain, relieving common ailments, and the treatment of various health conditions such as headaches, backaches, insomnia, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome, and more. Multiple human studies suggest effectiveness of wrist-point (P6) acupressure for treating nausea. Tuina (Chinese for "pushing and pulling") is soft tissue manipulation and structural realignment. Tuina is a common form of Asian bodywork used in Chinese American communities.

Theory: How does Acupressure work?

Several traditional Asian medical philosophies consider health to be a state of balance in the body which is maintained by the flow of life energy along specific meridians. A disease state is believed to occur when energy flow is blocked, is deficient, or in excess. A goal of acupressure is to restore normal life energy flow using finger and palm pressure, stretching, massage, and other bodywork techniques. It is believed that there are 12 primary channels and 8 additional pathways circulating life force energy throughout the body, maintaining the balance of yin and yang.

It is proposed that acupressure may reduce muscle pain and tension, improve blood circulation, metabolism, strengthen the immune system, release endorphins, and release/eliminate toxins to restore and maintain one's health. The mechanism of action may be similar to other techniques such as acupuncture (stimulation of acupoints with needles), moxa (burning with a stick including dried mugwort leaves), or other forms of manual stimulation. Techniques that involve soft tissue manipulation may have similar effects on the body as therapeutic massage.