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HEALTH BENEFITS OF ACUPRESSURE TREATMENT

Acupressure is one of the most ancient therapeutic methods that have clear roots in the practice of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). It is an alternative medicine approach to improve the flow of energy by applying pressure at specific points on the body for a short period of time. It activates the body’s self-healing mechanism to address a number of body’s physiological and psychological conditions, treat illnesses, and alleviate stress and pain. 

Like reflexology and acupuncture, acupressure is based on the theory of vital energy (“qi” in TCM, "prana" in Hindu philosophy) which says that certain environmental factors like stress, injuries, diseases, infections and physical or emotional trauma impedes the flow of natural energy in the human body and affects its natural functions and abilities. Applying pressure at specific body points known as acupressure points reduces stress and thus helps the body regulate its natural energy to perform optimal functions. 

There are numerous health benefits of acupressure. In general, acupressure can help to alleviate body pains and muscular aches, boost circulation, release tension, and reduce anxiety. Rather than turning to traditional painkillers, more and more people are adopting acupressure as an alternative, non-invasive and safe method to fight health conditions. Read on to find out some interesting and valuable health benefits of acupressure. 

1. Relieving Pain and Body Aches

Pain relief and alleviating body aches are one of the most popular uses of acupressure. In fact, acupressure was only known for this benefit for centuries. According to a study [1], the effectiveness and safety of acupressure techniques for alleviating pain were studied & evaluated and found to have promising pain-relieving effects. In this study, acupressure was found to reduce pain for multiple health conditions including chronic headaches, labor pains, dysmenorrhea, lower back pains, and other traumatic pains. It is also known to have a potent therapeutic effect on treating muscle sores and pains after sports injuries.

2. Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Most people experience mild to severe symptoms of stress and anxiety at some point in their life. These might include feelings of panic, worry, or fear, restlessness, difficulty falling or staying asleep, and difficulty concentrating.

Acupressure may provide relief from stress and anxiety symptoms. There is  limited research about the use of acupressure for stress relief. However, most of the studies and clinical trials that do exist have focused on stimulating acupressure points before a medical procedure or potentially stressful situation, rather than general stress or anxiety. Although they are a few in numbers, their results are promising.

For instance, a 2015 review [2] of several studies found that both acupressure and acupuncture seemed to help relieve stress and anxiety before a surgical intervention or a stressful situation. Another study [3] of 85 adults hospitalized for treatment of cancer found that stimulating acupressure points helped to reduce their anxiety.

3. Treating Insomnia

Although it is an ancient practice, it has not been until recently that the scientific community started to confirm the effects of acupressure on insomnia. Ranging from children all the way to cancer patients and the elderly, this technique has been shown to improve the general quality of sleep and reduce the need for sedatives.

There is a growing body of research that has investigated the effectiveness of acupressure on sleep and insomnia, and the scientific community is still expanding their knowledge on this topic. However, they all agree that acupressure is an excellent non-invasive method that can help you to fight insomnia and achieve better sleep.

A study published in 2013 [4] assessed the efficacy of acupressure therapy in a sample of adolescents affected by psycho-physiological insomnia and the conclusion was that acupressure could be considered as a non-invasive, safe, and effective method to treat insomnia with good compliance and no adverse effects. Another study from 2008 [5] confirmed the previous clinical data showing the efficacy of acupressure in the treatment of sleep disorders, particularly in cancer-related insomnia. Yet another study from 2008 [6] confirmed the effectiveness of acupressure in improving the quality of sleep of elderly people and offered a non-pharmacological therapy method for sleep-disturbed elderly people.

4. Reducing PMS Symptoms

PMS or premenstrual syndrome is a dreaded thing for most women that causes troublesome symptoms like abdominal pain, vaginal discharge, hot flushes, and pelvic heaviness for months to years. It can also result in long-standing depression and anxiety in most women. There are multiple invasive as well as non-invasive procedures you can do to reduce the symptoms of PMS that include diet control, exercise, medication, and surgery.

According to a 2014 study [7], acupressure is found to have a potent role in improving menstrual stress, lower back pain, and preventing the unwanted symptoms of PMS. Besides reducing pain, continuously applying this technique at specific acupoints has been found to reduce associated symptoms like depression and anxiety.

5. Calming Nausea

Nausea and vomiting is a common feeling to experience during a disease or an infection, after taking certain medications & surgery and during the course of chemotherapy. According to new studies, acupressure can calm nausea among women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer [8] and in Patients With Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia [9].

 

 

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23415783/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26002571
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4441788/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3559075/
  5. https://europepmc.org/article/med/19034252
  6. http://rehabilitationj.uswr.ac.ir/browse.php?a_code=A-10-1-207&slc_lang=en&sid=1&sw=adults
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25175554/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10660922/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27501207/