Chartered Physiotherapist and Clinical Director of Bridgend-based one2one, Rhian Davies, explains how the gentle art of self-acupressure can deliver natural relief for minor ailments.
Whilst acupuncture is strictly for the clinic, did you know acupressure can help self-treat minor ailments at home?
Many people don’t realise that one2one offer acupuncture – in fact, it’s really popular. Our chartered physiotherapists use acupuncture alongside other forms of treatment to deliver maximum pain relief, healing and recovery for our clients.
I’m a firm believer in natural remedies, and the same points we use with needles for acupuncture can also be stimulated with gentle pressure from the fingers to help with very minor ailments – no needles, I promise!
Acupressure can be learned quickly and is very safe. It can help ease minor headaches, hangovers, insomnia, and more and is a great drug-free way to treat everyday aches and pains.
How does acupuncture and acupressure work?
The eastern theory is that we have energy flowing through us called chi, and when chi gets blocked, symptoms result. Placing the right level of pressure in key areas (or stimulating these areas with a needle) releases the energy and relieves tension, thus alleviating the discomfort.
Explaining the techniques from a Western perspective, using needles or pressure in certain areas triggers the release of endorphins, neurochemicals that help relieve pain.
Either way, the result is often a reduction in symptoms.
What type of conditions is self-acupressure good for?
The following points can help with some of the most common ailments we see at this time of year.
Feeling a little sick after too much to eat or drink? A point just above the crease of your wristcould help.In fact, Boots actually sell ‘sea bands’ for travel sickness, which apply pressure to this point.To locate it, feel two fingers’ width above the inner wrist crease between the tendons. Apply pressure here with two fingertips for a few minutes (you may need to treat both sides) and the nausea should subside.
Looking at the back of your hand, place your other thumb at the webbing between your thumb and index finger with your fingertips on the palm directly behind. Firmly press into the webbing for two minutes; this can relieve headaches due to overindulging.
3. Mild Lower Back Pain
For mild to moderate back pain, pressing at the centre of the back of the knee crease can bring some relief – however, acupressure is no substitute for proper medical care and if in doubt, seek professional advice.
With so much going on, excited nerves can prevent sleep – light pressure on the spot in between the eyebrows can help promote relaxation, which could in turn help soothe you off to sleep
5. Shoulder Tension
If your shoulders get tense with all the stress of Christmas, you can try this:
Curve fingers on both hands and place them over the tops of your shoulders. On both sides, press the points directly above the top of your shoulder blade with your index, middle, and ring fingers. This helps the shoulders relax, but if tension persists, book yourself in for a massage or acupuncture session in the New Year.
While acupressure is no substitution for a full acupuncture treatment, it is gentle and safe to use at home alongside any other self-treatments and I hope it will help to keep you feeling tip-top.
Have a great Christmas everyone, I look forward to seeing you all in the new year