Acupuncture, simply stated, is a health science which is used to successfully treat both pain and dysfunction in the body. Acupuncture offers tremendous career opportunities as one of the fastest growing forms of health care in the United States. This explosion is due to recognition of consumers and regulators of the safety, effectiveness and low-cost of this form of healthcare. Acupuncturists work in hospitals, medical clinics, holistic health care centers, chiropractic offices, medical health spas, and as private practice consultants.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as an effective treatment modality for many conditions, including:
- Diseases of the muscles, bones and joints, including back pain, repetitive stress injury, shoulder and neck problems, whiplash, sprains, and arthritis.
- Headaches, migraines.
- Fibromyalgia, insomnia, fatigue.
- Anxiety, depression and other nervous disorders.
- Indigestion, stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal disorders, constipation, diarrhea.
- Asthma, bronchitis, frequent colds and flus.
- High blood pressure.
- Menstrual problems, painful periods, infertility, fetal malposition, labor and delivery.
In Chinese medicine, the hand is seen as a macrocosm of the body, and the thumbs, in particular, are regarded as having a direct relationship with the spine.
Because clear circulation of the energies along the spine is important in both martial arts and energy therapies, as well as for overall health, it is not uncommon to see the following exercise being performed as part of a warm-up routine for both therapists, and sportsmen.
With your spine straight, in a comfortable position:
1) Close your fists, thumbs on the outside.
2) Join them, so that your thumbs would be side by side.
3) Rub the sides of your thumbs against each other, for thirty seconds to one minute at a time.
Additionally, you can also rub the palms of your hands against each other, which further facilitates the flow of energy throughout the whole body (by stimulating both the inner organs, and extremities of the limbs – both hands and feet).
Repeat these exercises a few times throughout the day for maximum benefit.
Acupressure is a healing art based on traditional Japanese and Chinese medicine. Acupressure is similar to acupuncture because it treats blockages of energy at specific points along fourteen meridians, or channels, along the body. While acupuncture uses needles placed at strategic points along the meridians, acupressure utilizes manual pressure. The practitioner uses fingers, hands and elbows to put pressure on the specific points in order to relieve pain and discomfort, prevent tension-related ailments, and promote good health.
The purpose of acupressure is to promote the body’s own healing power and restore balance. Acupressure can be used to treat numerous conditions such as stress: headaches, neck and shoulder pain, allergies, menstrual difficulties, insomnia, digestive problems, nausea and back pain.