Find Top 10 Best Acupuncture and Massage Therapist Near Me
Used for thousands of years in China, acupressure applies the same principles as acupuncture to promote relaxation and wellness and to treat disease. Sometimes called pressure acupuncture, Acupressure is often thought of as simply acupuncture without the needles. But what exactly is acupressure and how does it work?
The combination of acupuncture and massage is a powerful method of treatment. Research has shown that both acupuncture and massage individually are excellent for the reduction of pain and muscle spasm, but combining the treatments can enhance the effects.
According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 70 conditions, diseases and symptoms that acupuncture treats. Here, we will discuss how the combination of massage and acupuncture can be substantially helpful in the treatment of orthopedic, pain, and sports injuries.
Massage therapy aids in the recovery of soft tissue conditions such as muscle spasm, muscle tightness, tissue restriction and scar tissue, as well as imbalances in the positioning of body parts relative to other body parts, muscle weakness, and synergistic or opposing muscles or muscle groups. Massage therapy mobilizes tissues that may require separation from other tissues in the form of scars, tissue adhesions and potential contractures. There is no substitute for the direct impact of working locally on these issues with massage.
Just like massage therapy, acupuncture is excellent at pain relief and decreasing muscle spasm. Acupuncture improves blood flow to an area, pushing out fluids that may contain chemicals that cause pain and discomfort.
An acupuncture treatment can enhance a massage therapy session in several ways. Acupuncture needles can work into deeper tissues, such as the multifidus muscles in the spine, which no fingers, elbows, or palms can access. Acupuncture can also directly influence nerves and blood vessels with greater impact.
A perfect example of a patient benefiting from both massage and acupuncture is the treatment of a previous injury where the tissues are “stuck” and immobile. The patient experiences low-grade pain or tightness regardless of how much the individual stretches. Here, massage techniques can work to loosen up scar tissue. Then, acupuncture can work onmanipulating muscle tone and improving blood flow to the area. This moves chemicals that may have pooled due to the scar tissue. The increased blood flow also brings nutrients to the area which positively impact healing. If the scar tissue is deep, acupuncture can access those tissues to augment the work the soft tissue techniques have accomplished, additionally loosening up the scar.
If one treatment or another has provided limited results, give both treatments a try. Book a massage and an acupuncture treatment one after the other, and maximize your pain relief.
According to this theory, when one of these meridians is blocked or out of balance, illness can occur. Acupressure and acupuncture are among the types of TCM that are thought to help restore balance.
How Does Acupressure Work?
Acupressure practitioners use their fingers, palms, elbows or feet, or special devices to apply pressure to acupoints on the body's meridians. Sometimes, acupressure also involves stretching or acupressure massage, as well as other methods.
During an acupressure session, you lie fully clothed on a soft massage table. The practitioner gently presses on acupressure points on your body. A session typically lasts about one hour. You may need several sessions for the best results.
The goal of acupressure or other types of Asian bodywork is to restore health and balance to the body's channels of energy and to regulate opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). Some proponents claim acupressure not only treats the energy fields and body but also the mind, emotions, and spirit. Some even believe that therapists can transmit the vital energy (external qi) to another person.
Not all Western practitioners believe that this is possible or even that these meridians exist. Instead, they attribute any results to other factors, such as reduced muscle tension, improved circulation, or stimulation of endorphins, which are natural pain relievers.
What Are Common Acupuncture Points?
There are literally hundreds of acupuncture points on the body -- too many to name. Here are three that are commonly used by acupuncturists and acupressure practitioners:
- Large intestine 4 (LI 4): This is in the soft, fleshy web between your thumb and forefinger.
- Liver 3 (LR-3): Located on the top of your foot up from the space between your big toe and next toe.
- Spleen 6 (SP-6): This is about three finger widths above your inner ankle bone.
Which Health Problems Benefit From Acupressure?
- After surgery
- During spinal anesthesia
- After chemotherapy
- From motion sickness
- Related to pregnancy
The PC 6 acupressure point is located in the groove between the two large tendons on the inside of the wrist that start at the base of the palm. There are special wristbands that are sold over the counter. These press on similar pressure points and work for some people.
Arthritis. Some studies suggest that acupressure releases endorphins and promotes anti-inflammatory effects, helping with certain types of arthritis.
Depression and anxiety. More than one study suggests that fatigue and mood may improve from the use of acupressure. Better designed trials are needed to be sure.
Are There Any Precautions With Acupressure?
In general, acupressure is very safe. If you have cancer, arthritis, heart disease, or a chronic condition, be sure to have a discussion with your doctor before trying any therapy that involves moving joints and muscles, such as acupressure. And, make sure your acupressure practitioner is licensed and certified.
Deep tissue work such as acupressure may need to be avoided if any of the following conditions apply:
- The treatment is in the area of a cancerous tumor or if the cancer has spread to bones
- You have rheumatoid arthritis, a spinal injury, or a bone disease that could be made worse by physical manipulation
- You have varicose veins
- You are pregnant (because certain points may induce contractions)