Acupressure balances the body's energy by applying pressure to specific points along energy channels. A practitioner uses her fingertips to make contact with the body. It's the location of the contact that's important, not the amount of pressure.

A highly skilled therapist can use acupressure to release tension, increase the circulation of blood, and heighten the body's life force energy to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same healing pressure points, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure therapy uses gentle but firm pressure.

Acupressure techniques

Firm pressure is the most fundamental technique. Use thumbs, fingers, palms, the side of the hand, or knuckles to apply steady, stationary pressure.
Slow motion kneading uses the thumbs and fingers along with the heels of the hands to squeeze large muscle groups firmly.
Brisk rubbing uses friction to stimulate the blood and lymph.
Quick tapping with fingertips stimulates muscles. For larger areas of the body, such as the back or buttocks, a loose fist may be used. This can improve the functioning of nerves and sluggish muscles in the area


Conditions responding to cupping

Cupping is a treatment used in TCM to stimulate acupoints without needles. Special glass vessels are used to provide the right amount of suction for a therapeutic effect. Gentle heat is used inside the cups to warm the air. The cups are then applied onto the skin and give a sensation of mild pressure.

Cupping relieves the stagnation of circulation and energy in muscles and body tissues.
Once the cups are attached, they are generally left in place for 5-15 minutes and are removed by simply pressing down on the skin and letting the air out. They do leave a mark, which can last up to 4-10 days but which frequently disappear in an hour or two.

Shoulder or neck pain
Muscle spasms
Soft tissue injuries
Stress and anxiety
Colds and flu

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