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TEN MASTER PRESSURE POINTS from Healing with Pressure Point Therapy / Forem & Shimer L.Ac.

1  Li4

2  Li11

3  Sp6

4  St36

5  Lv3

6  Kd3

7  B23

8  GB20

9  Sp10

10  St40

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Acupressure and acupuncture operate from the same principles. Both are based on a system of meridians, or energy channels, which travel throughout the body and intersect with internal organs and muscle groups. Both stimulate points along these meridians to remove blockages and increase flow of energy so the body's natural healing can take over. The main difference is in the application - needles in acupuncture versus finger pressure or occasionally a dull point in acupressure - and in degree. 

I received acupuncture from several sources, all good. My first healer, Brian Schulz, practiced acupuncture in conjunction with macrobiotics and bio-energetic therapy. Christine Simmons also worked on me and my family for quite a few years. In the hands of an intuitive, well-studied healer, these techniques are very powerful. It is NOT something for amateurs to practice. Acupressure, on the other hand, is relatively easy to put into practice, and is very effective for day-to-day treatments and tonification. 

The way to get up and running quickly is to purchase a book or two with preset routines in them for particular problems and situations. My personal favorite is Acupressure's Potent Points by Michael Reed Gach (see references above right). This volume shows black and white photos of the point locations, as well as having very good verbal descriptions of how to find and work on them. The routines seem to work very well, and are easy to remember. This is important because the effect of acupressure is often cumulative, so the more repetitions of the routine you perform, the more effective the treatment. There are several other volumes recommended; I have found that the more you read about it the more clear the massive amount of information becomes. There is much to learn about yin and yang, various theories of balancing, and the meridian systems and their application, but it is well worth it. 

Healing with Pressure Point Therapy by Jack Forem and Steve Shimer L.Ac. (see references above right) describes ten master pressure points (page 49-54 pbk.) as being the most helpful and frequently prescribed (see above left). These are a good set to memorize and learn to apply for general use. I use acupressure on myself and my family and (close) friends, and it is nice to have a few general points at hand, so to speak. Obviously, you need to know what each point does, and how to use it (apply pressure, etc.). Avoid pressure on LI4 or SP6 with pregnant women, without specific recommendation from an experienced, licensed practitioner. 

Acupressure works well in conjunction with reflexology, and when treating yourself, stretching, yoga and meditation all go together in a self-healing routine. If you are starting from a healthy place, so much the better. If we constantly encourage our body through lifestyle and conditioning to be healthy, we avoid the discomfort, lost time, and sometimes extreme pain of illness and disease. 

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Acupressure's Potent Points
Michael Reed Gach
Bantam 1990
ISBN 0-553-34970-8  

Healing with Pressure Point Therapy
Jack Forem and Steve Shimer L.Ac.
Prentice Hall Press 1999
ISBN 0-7352-0006-8

Wataru Ohashi
Penguin Books 1992
ISBN 0 14 019.351 0

Acupuncture Without Needles
J. V. Cerney  D.C., A.B., D.M., D.P.M.
Prentice Hall 1974
ISBN 0-13-003848-2

Acupressure Techniques
Julian Kenyon M.D.
Healing Arts Press 1988
ISBN 0-89281-280-X

Vital Points for Oriental Therapy
Katsusuke Serizawa, Sc.D.
Japan Publications 1998
ISBN 0-87040-900-X

Books on Acupuncture can be useful as well, for learning the meridian system and the details of each point



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