Ahh. . . the wonderful feeling of having someone gently press your shoulder tensions away after a stressful day.
The benefits of acupressure are known to most of us, and the methods are simple to master. By stimulating specific acupressure points daily, you can improve your overall condition and gain greater energy. It is easy to understand why these classical exercises and techniques have survived over five-thousand years in China.
One of the main physiological benefits of acupressure is the improvement of circulation. Acupressure creates an "alpha-wave" response in the brain and releases muscular tension, enabling the blood to flow freely. An increase of circulation also brings more oxygen and other nutrients to affected areas, which removes toxins from the body and increases overall energy as well as resistance to illness.
Acupressure helps to build vitality, strength, and endurance by stimulating the pituitary gland to release endorphins. These natural neurochemicals manufactured within the body function to inhibit pain, promote healing, heighten self-esteem, and increase energy.
Locating Acupressure Points
Many of the primary acupressure points are located in muscular areas. Tension often accumulates around these points, resulting in depression, sluggishness, or fatigue. Sometimes the area is quite large and covers major muscles, particularly around the back and shoulders. You can actually locate a point by feeling for this tension, which usually occurs in the form of a tight muscular band, cord, or knot surrounding the point.
Often a point is indicated by some degree of soreness upon pressure. Look for a spot approximately the size of a dime located near the center of tight areas. It will feel sore when pressure is applied. If there is extreme sensitivity or pain, gradually decrease the pressure until a balance is achieved between pain and pleasure.
The more exactly you stimulate the correct point, the stronger the effect will be. Look carefully at the photographs and then try to find the point on your own body. Locate the most sensitive spot in the area illustrated.
The following is a self-acupressure routine that works on some of the most important acupressure points. For best results, press these points while lying down in a relaxed, comfortable position. Close your eyes and hold the points for one or two minutes, breathing deeply into your abdomen; the breathing helps open the flow of energy throughout the body. Visualize the energy in the points and feel the circulation of this energy throughout your whole body. Relaxation and a feeling of well-being will emerge the more you follow a daily self-acupressure routine.
1. Stand with your arms crossed in front of your upper chest. Keep the chin tucked into the hollow of the throat, stretching the back of the neck.
2. Inhale deeply, open your arms to a 45-degree angle from
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