Release the Pressure

Release the Pressure….



This month I will be taking a break from the internal organ tour, to answer a couple of related questions that seem to keep cropping up. Firstly people often ask what it is that they can do themselves between treatments, to aid with the healing process. I often recommend lifestyle and dietary changes that could help from a Chinese Medicine point of view and sometimes I suggest some simple acupressure techniques that will back up what I am trying to achieve with the needles. This inevitably leads on to the second question which is… ‘What is the difference between acupuncture and acupressure?’

This may seem obvious at first in that acupressure doesn’t use needles and instead uses pressure from a finger, thumb or some other pointy thing. The meridians and the points used are exactly the same, they are just stimulated in a different way.  So why use the needles at all I hear you ask? After all not many of us enjoy being pierced no matter how fine the needles. Well for starters the acupuncture points themselves can be pretty small, only a millimetre or so across, and in some cases they actually lie quite deep from the surface of the body. The needle therefore is far more accurate and exact when trying to get to the point.

Secondly and possibly more importantly, you can generally only do acupressure at one point at a time, whilst with the needles you can do many. I often use the analogy of music to describe this idea. Imagine each acupuncture point has having a certain vibration or frequency, rather like a musical note. Now imagine that some of these ‘notes’ go together better than others, they resonate with each other, similar to notes in a scale. So when all the needles of a particular acupuncture pattern are put in place, all the notes are played together and it is as if you have a created a ‘song’. Like in life, some ‘songs’ I find particularly pleasing.

Many acupuncture points do indeed work better together than others, as they are connected through the deeper pathways and through the five-element dynamics. The acupuncturist can therefore seek points that resonate together, creating a ‘song’ that is greater than its component parts. This can then bring about a change in the vibration of the body’s energetic field and hopefully a person’s health.

So how does acupressure work? Well you may only be able to do one or perhaps two notes at a time but you can certainly produce a nice melody. And the beauty of it is you can do it anywhere and anytime. Watching TV? Why not press your Liver point to help you relax further. Lying in bed? Have a go at massaging your ‘spirit gate’ to help with a good nights sleep.

Interestingly after a while you realise that the pressure is not actually necessary anyway. When you press and hold a point what you are essentially doing is bringing your awareness to particular area of the body. The meridian system is in fact a conduit for consciousness to interact with the physical body. With practice you will find that you don’t need the feeling of pressure to direct your attention and the mind can go there and stimulate the point all by itself. This is when you can start to create some music of your own!

On Thursday 14th of March, I will be running an evening workshop on acupressure first aid and will be demonstrating some useful points that you can use on yourself as well as on other people. This will be at the Goddess Hall between 7.00 and 9.30 pm. Please contact me for further details.

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