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An Introduction to
Acupressure Massage

Excerpt courtesy of Michael Reed Gach, Ph.D.,and
ACUPRESSURE.COM,the official website of acupressure

Several different kinds of acupressure are currently practiced, although the same ancient trigger points are used in all of them. Varying rhythms, pressures, and techniques create different styles of acupressure, just as different forms of music use the same notes but combine them in distinctive ways.

Shiatsu, for instance, the most well-known style of acupressure, can be quite vigorous, with firm pressure applied to each point for only three to five seconds.

Another kind of acupressure gently holds each point for a minute or more. Pressing with an intermittent, fast beat is stimulating; a slower pressure creates a deeply relaxing effect on the body.

acupressure

Use the following acupressure massage and Tuina (Tui Na) Massage techniques in your healing work.

Firm pressure is the most fundamental technique. Use thumbs, fingers, palms, the side of the hand, or knuckles to apply steady, stationary pressure. To relax an area or relieve pain, apply pressure gradually and hold without any movement for several minutes at a time. One minute of steady pressure (when applied gradually) calms and relaxes the nervous system, promoting greater healing. To stimulate the area, apply pressure for only four or five seconds.

Slow motion kneading uses the thumbs and fingers along with the heels of the hands to squeeze large muscle groups firmly The motion is similar to that of kneading a large mass of dough. Simply lean the weight of your upper body into the muscle as you press to make it soft and pliable. This relieves general stiffness, shoulder and neck tension, constipation, and spasms in the calf muscles.

Brisk rubbing uses friction to stimulate the blood and lymph. Rub the skin lightly to relieve chilling, swelling, and numbness by increasing circulation, as well as to benefit the nerves and tone of the skin.

Quick tapping with fingertips stimulates muscles on unprotected, tender areas of the body such as the face. For larger areas of the body, such as the back or buttocks, use a loose fist. This can improve the functioning of nerves and sluggish muscles in the area.

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Copyright 1990 Michael Reed Gach & Bantam Books, All Rights Reserved