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
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
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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Michael Reed Gach
Pressure Point Therapy
Jack Forem and Steve Shimer
Prentice Hall Press 1999
Penguin Books 1992
ISBN 0 14 019.351 0
J. V. Cerney D.C., A.B.,
Prentice Hall 1974
Julian Kenyon M.D.
Healing Arts Press 1988
Vital Points for Oriental Therapy
Katsusuke Serizawa, Sc.D.
Japan Publications 1998
Books on Acupuncture can be
useful as well, for learning the meridian system and the details
of each point