Acupressure & Shiatsu
Acupressure and Shiatsu are Chinese and Japanese Eastern physical massage techniques respectively that are based on tender pressure points (or power points), that lie on meridians (energy channels). They both use the same principles and points as used in acupuncture, but instead of needle insertion, fingers and palms of hand are used. Shiatsu applies a shorter length of time (5-10 seconds) and a deeper pressure point with the finger, whereas in acupressure, pressure points are held for 1-3 minutes and the breath is also used. Pressure is not as deep or painful as most new clients expect. A shakti mat - a modern bed of nails - can also be tried here in the suite, which stimulates the blood supply to the whole back and neck (or legs) with pinpoint pressure with thousands of spikes.
Acupressure with fingers can be seen as halfway between acupuncture and massage in that it incorporates the beauty and power of touch alongside specific body energy points of high electrical conductivity. In Chinese Traditional Medicine, when you open healing energy through meridians, all systems of the body are balanced (vascular, nervous, endocrine, skeletal, muscular, and immune systems). With over 365 traditional points, connected to the 12 meridians, the use of flow patterns, or point recipes, heal through the free flow of energy through the body (similar in theory to a yogic practice of movements).
Acupressure meridians are a key principle behind Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping), Indian Head Massage, Japanese Hand Massage, Thai Foot Massage, Reflexology, Facial Massage, Thai Yoga Massage, and Marma Chikitsa. Many more treatments incorporate elements of acupressure principles alongside other practices to create the holistic treatment. All these treatments are complementary therapies and so are not used to replace normal medical or psychological treatment, but can act to supplement the healing effect of such treatments.
Key conditions helped by acupressure includes stress (often symptomised by skin disorders, insomnia, irritability, frustration, dealing with change and other mental health conditions), pain (eg arthiritis, inflammatory problems, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome), headaches (memory and concentration issues, eyestrain, tooth or jaw ache, ear ache, wrist pain), premature ejaculation/fertility/potency, allergies, depression, hormonal Imbalances (eg hot flushes), immune system conditions (eg colds), oedema, nausea, motion sickness, and respiratory/breathing problems. Many clients often turn to acupressure for all their conditions.
The way it works can be explained in three ways – 1) points are gateways of energy (you feel erratic or steady pulsations with light pressure on a point), 2) via meridians (healing channels flowing through the body), and 3) release of endorphins (neurochemicals), which mediate pain relief.
Acupressure can be taught and demonstrated during a treatment, for self help at home inbetween professional treatments.
Steve is qualified at Acupressure Mastery from the profilic American trainer and author Michael Reed Gach PhD.