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An Introduction to
Pressure Point Therapy

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

The art of Pressure Point Therapy uses ancient acupressure trigger points to release tension and increase the circulation of blood, heightening the body's vital life energy to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses gentle but firm finger pressure. Acupressure relieves pain, trauma, burnout, and maintains good health through self-care. By relaxing the body and relieving stress, acupressure strengthens resistance to disease and promotes wellness.

Tension accumulates around pressure points. When a muscle is chronically tense or in spasm, the muscle fibers contract due to the secretion of lactic acid caused by fatigue, trauma, stress, chemical imbalances, or poor circulation. As a pressure point is held, the muscle tension yields to the finger pressure, enabling the fibers to elongate and relax, blood to flow freely, and toxins to be released and eliminated. Increased circulation also brings more oxygen and other nutrients to affected areas. This increases the body's resistance to illness and promotes a longer, healthier, more vital life. When the blood and bioelectrical energy circulate properly, there is a greater sense of harmony, health, and well-being.

Pressure Point Guidance: Use prolonged finger pressure directly on the point; gradual, steady, penetrating pressure for approximately three minutes is ideal. Each point will feel somewhat different when you press it; some points feel tense, while others are often sore or ache when pressed. How much pressure to apply to any point depends on how fit you are and your body?s condition.

Applying Pressure Point Therapy: A general guideline to follow is that the pressure should be firm enough so that it "hurts good" - in other words, something in between pleasant, firm pressure and pain. The more developed the muscles are, the more pressure you should apply. If you feel extreme or increasing sensitivity or pain, gradually decrease the pressure until you find a balance between pain and pleasure. Note that sometimes when you hold a point, you'll feel pain in another part of your body. This phenomenon is called referred pain and indicates that those areas are related. You should press points in these related areas as well to release energy blockages that create pressure, numbness, or pain.

Learn more about Pressure Point Therapy.

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

pressure point therapy