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30Aug/09Off

Techniques of foot acupressure

This post is a continuation of the introduction of foot acupressure from last post. The techniques of foot acupressure is pretty much the same as hand acupressure. Just more techniques for tougher and bigger reflexive area on foot.  Let's have some revisions here. One thing to remember is that do not apply foot acupressure when you have fever, nausea, pregnancy and some disease that really needs a doctor to take care of.

Ways of stimulation:

1. Thumb acupressure – use your whorled surface of thumb to rub or massage the reflexive area and acupoints. There are two ways to massage, one is direct press, another is press and rub around the acupoint with the thumb tip. The method depends on what kind of illnesses. Usually press and count 1, 2, 3 and release, press  and count 1, 2, 3 and release, repeat for as long as needed for different case.  The strength of massage is usually hard, but some illness can’t take too much stimulation.  You can also use your thumb tip or finger knuckle and apply pressure gradually to the reflexive areas and acupoints. Rubbing will be pressure applied to the reflexive area with a circular motion. If it's for pain relief, acupressure can be applied until that pain is relieved or until the acupoints or reflexive area turned red or heated up.

2. Cigarette moxibustion – use a lighted cigarette or the Chinese medical moxibustion to approach the acupoints for heating stimulation. Be sure not to burn the skin. Horizontally held cigarette is actually better then pointing the acupoints vertically. Make sure you don’t burn your skin, 5mm distance should be close enough. Approach, and then away. Repeat 7-15 times. Depends on what kind of illnesses, sometimes we’ll have to do it every day. Note that we never do this after shower or a bath.

3. Toothpick/pointy device – this is to replace the acupuncture needle while this gives a stronger stimulation then acupressure or cigarette. It’s easier to use a bunch of toothpicks (5-10) for stimulation because normally we’re not that accurate pointing to the acupoints. Although we don’t want to hurt our skin, feeling pain and stimulation during the process is important. Otherwise it’s not going to be effective. Usually 1, 2 press, 3, 4 away, 1, 2 press, 3, 4 away, keep repeating in this tempo. First timer can try like 10 times.

4. Various devices for bigger areas - Other than the above techniques, rubbing the reflexive areas with brush, comb, toothbrush, or use a hair dryer to heat up the areas can work too.

29Aug/09Off

Introduction of Foot Acupressure – Reflexology

reflexology01_x

About a month ago I posted about 12+2 meridians or channels carrying Qi and Blood Flow, and the 365 major acupoints (or acupuncture points, or "xue dao" in Mandarin). About two weeks ago I talked about hand acupressure and some techniques for healing some common illness like toothache, diarrhea or motion sickness through massaging the reflexive area or the stimulating certain acupoints. Before I list more different illnesses that can be healed through the hands, I decided to introduce foot acupressure as well, so I have both to talk about later.

The therapy on feet are actually the same on the hands. The healing based on the stimulation of the reflexive areas (or reflecting areas, reflective areas....whatever they're called in English) is called reflexology. Usually stimulations include massage, acupuncture, acupressure, moxabustion etc. The purpose is to adjust the function of internal organs and enhance the flow of Qi and blood through the meridians. Basically I kinda talked about all these in the introduction of hand acupressure.

There are about 20% of major acupoints on our feet and legs. Massaging these areas and stimulating those points not only can cure common illness like headache or toothache, even high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes these serious diseases can be controlled and relieved. Foot or hand acupressure therapy doesn't have any side effects and always safe. Not just the hands, feet work as a forecast for our health as well.

When we're done with exercises, massaging our legs and feet not only help us to avoid the sore, we're actually helping the internal organs and Yin Yang balance as well. Foot acupressure can be done by ourselves without others help, anywhere and anytime we like.

I bought a "carpet with rocks" which is actually made for foot acupressure therapy. Walking on this carpet is painful, but it's also a nice therapy for our health. If you walk on some little stones and you find your feet really painful, that means your health is just so-so. If you feel ok, that means you're quite healthy. I'll try to post the photo of this thing I bought and talk about this later. Also I'll talk about the techniques of massage on foot as well.

(Sources: Diagram from tcmadvisory.com/Reflexology)

13Aug/09Off

A brief introduction of Hand Acupressure

I shared 3 different hand acupressure I learned in the last 3 posts. Some friends started to ask me questions about hand acupressure.I figured may be I should share some knowledgeable introduction about hand acupressure from my research so it makes more sense.

"Acupoints" are the critical points on the 12+2 major channels (or called meridians) for Qi (Chi) and blood flow to run. They're all over our body. If we call our internal organs the power house, then the acupoints are adapters. By stimulating these acupoints through acupuncture or acupressure, Qi (Chi) and blow flow got adjusted and balance better. So as a metaphor, sickness is like a sudden change of charge/current, healing through acupoints are like controlling the adapter to adjust voltage. As long as we keep the power flow stable, we're healthy.

About half of the starting points of those channels locate on our finger tips. Some call our hands as a thermometer of internal organs, or even a forecast channel of health, because our hands can tell our sickness in advance. For example, if the color of the palm looks uneven, the blood circulation may have  problem. If fingernails show red dots or even gray dots, it can be a sign of blood clot in the brain. If the color of the convex part below the root of the thumb turn purple, it's a sign of a coming flu. Because there are many acupoints on the hand that are related to sickness, stimulating reflexive areas or acupoints on our hand can help healing. That's really "natural" healing.

Ways of stimulation:

1. Thumb acupressure - use your fingers (usually the thumb on the front and four fingers at the back to support) to rub or massage the reflexive area and acupoints. It's a very convenient stimulation. But it's not strong enough for certain illnesses that needs stronger stimulation. There are two ways to massage, one is direct press, another is press and rub around the acupoint. Which way to use depends on what kind of illnesses. Usually press 1, 2, 3 and release, press 1, 2, 3 and release, repeat for as long as needed for different case.  The strength of massage is usually hard, but some illness can't take too much stimulation.

2. Cigarette moxibustion - use a lighted cigarette or the Chinese medical moxibustion to approach the acupoints for heating stimulation. Be sure not to burn the skin. Horizontally held cigarette is actually better then pointing the acupoints vertically. Make sure you don't burn your skin, 5mm distance should be close enough. Approach, and then away. Repeat 7-15 times. Depends on what kind of illnesses, sometimes we'll have to do it everyday. Note that we never do this after shower or a bath.

3. Toothpick/pointy device - this is to replace the acupuncture needle while this gives a stronger stimulation then acupressure or cigarette. It's easier to use a bunch of toothpicks (5-10) for stimulation because normally we're not that accurate pointing to the acupoints. Although we don't want to hurt our skin, feeling pain and stimulation during the process is important. Otherwise it's not going to be effective. Usually 1, 2 press, 3, 4 away, 1, 2 press, 3, 4 away, keep repeating in this tempo. First timer can try like 10 times.

A normal question asked is about which hand to stimulate. The answer is that we stimulate both acupoints on both hands - they're supposed to be the same. If we find that one acupoint on one hand feels more painful than the other during the stimulation, then we stimulate longer and more on that point.

We can do this hand stimulation anytime, or when we feel more relaxed. But after bath, exercise, drinking, or during fever, these are when we should NOT do this hand acupoints stimulation. Pregnant woman should never do it, especially the "He Gu" acupoint I mentioned last post for toothache. Strong stimulation on "He Gu" can cause miscarriage.

(sources: Hand natural healing)

12Aug/09Off

Hand Acupressure for toothache

I was supposed to talk about something different today, but my mom got toothache lately so I tried to find if there's any reflexive area on the hand that can help sooth her pain. It turns out I found a few acupoints and a reflexive area on this hand acupressure therapy book. So again, I'm going to translate and share here.

Acupressure on hand can only reduce the pain of toothache, it doesn't cure the teeth problem. Toothache can be caused by infection or tooth decay. After all, dentist is needed for the real cure.

Stimulate the following acupoints and reflexive area in the diagrams, just remember you have to use a pointy device to stimulate the acupoints until PAINFUL in order to be effective.

1. For pulpitis (or neuralgia), use a pointy device to stimulate the "Kidney Acupoint" at the middle of the first line of little finger, palm side --- this may sound like a little weird, but according to TCM, Kidney "channel" is related to toothache.

2. For apical inflammatory, stimulate the acupoint called "He Gu" at back of the hand almost the conjunction of thumb bone and index finger bone (see diagram). Or massage hard on the reflexive area for Oral and Bronchitis (see diagram).

3. For periodontitis, stimulate "He Gu" and also the "toothache point" between the root of middle finger and ringer finger within 1cm below.

The Oral and Bronchitis reflexive area is a very helpful massage area for temporary relief of toothache. The key is to massage that area HARD with your other thumb and index finger.  Also, stimulate the "Liver Acupoint" as the diagram shown helps tooth pain caused by coldness. For "He Gu", if you stick a little bean at that acupoint for few minutes, that would help too.

scan0006

toothache_reflexive_area

(sources: Hand natural healing)

11Aug/09Off

Hand Acupressure for Diarrhea

Since last post, I can't help but post more about hand acupressure therapy because that sounds so interesting and easy to do. Just as a reminder, usually both hands should do the massage, unless one is more painful than another, then the massage on the painful hand needs to be longer.  I turned to a page of the book I mentioned about how to treat diarrhea with stimulation of the "acupoints" on hand. I wish I knew this earlier so I wouldn't be so painful when I went on a long road trip to Yellowstone about a month ago. Although I was totally healthy, getting stuck in the car looking for a restroom when I really needed to go, accompanied by 3 cute girls, were not a very nice experience.

According to the practitioner who wrote that book, there are many different reasons that can cause diarrhea. I'm not going to list what causes diarrhea because those terms are difficult to translate, and I guess everyone only cares about the tricks. These tricks can help digestive movements of the intestines back to normal. The most effective acupoint is literally called "Diarrhea acupoint". It's located on the lower back of the hand, about the point between the ringer finger bone and the middle finger bone.

The other two acupoints called "Large Intestine" and "Kidney Point"(which connects to small intestines) are also helpful for curing diarrhea. If one goes on a meeting in the morning when diarrhea happens, stimulate the "diarrhea point" should help "postpone" for some time. If the problem lasts longer, all three points should be stimulated for 2-3 days, then the function of intestines should be back to normal. These three acupoints are especially useful for diarrhea caused by too much intake of alcohol.

diarrhea_acupoints

Another version of hand acupressure would be reflection areas. Just keep massaging the areas like the diagram shown below strongly on both hands until painful and that should stop your diarrhea "rush" for a while. Massage in order of the long narrow Diaphragm Reflexive Area (where the Diarrhea acupoint located) first, and then "Tai Yang" nerves reflexive area at the center of the palm. There's an optional Pancreas Reflexive area which will help as well. The pain caused by the strong massage on these areas is the key to stop the diarrhea effectively.

diarrhea_reflexive_areas

(sources: Hand natural healing)

10Aug/09Off

Hand Acupressure for Car sickness or Sea sickness

Today I just started reading an interesting book about stimulating "acupoints" on hand in order to cure or heal certain illnesses. "Acupoints" means the reflection area or points used in Acupuncture and Acupressure. For Acupressure, usually we can use our fingers to press certain points, or a toothpick, a bunch of toothpick, a pen or certain pointy devices for stronger stimulations. Also we can use a lighted cigarette to approach these acupoints, heat up the area and the acupoints without burning or hurting the skin.

Motion sickness (Carsickness ,Seasickness) is caused by the imbalance of inner ear sense from rocking or swaying motion. So there are always certain people who feel carsick or seasick on a trip when we're traveling with a group. I believe most people have experienced carsickness or seasickness at least once in their life. Some people only get sick on a car but never on the sea, or other way around. Some people get sick when reading during the travel. Some people only get carsick or seasick because they didn't sleep well. Some people refused to go to any long trip just because they're easy to get motion sickness.

There's a guy who came to this Acupressure practitioner for help of his back pain. He's not very good at social talks. However, he was assigned to organize a road trip for his company this year.  He's quite nervous about that. This practitioner told him not to worry about it and taught him some easy hand massage for motion sickness just in case.

Few days later, this guy came back happily and told this practitioner the hand massage helped two of his coworkers feel better from the carsickness. They're so thankful and hence helped his relationship with his coworkers as well.

A lot of people who're easy to get motion sickness  are usually not very healthy. If inner ear and intestine got infected at the same time, motion sickness will occur as well. For these people, they can gently massage their little finger, 30 minutes before going on a road trip. This could help prevent the motion sickness.

If they don't get prepared and motion sickness really happens, they can strongly stimulate the reflection area of the little finger and also the reflection area of the neck on the thumb. People who tend to crook their neck are also easier to get motion sickness. It's more helpful if they massage their neck as well.

motionsickness_reflexive_area

There's another version of reflexive area massage for motion sicknesses. There are three acupoints you can stimulate together when you feel carsick or seasick: the center of the palm, the root of your ring fingernails, the end of the wrist close to the little finger side.  As shown below:

motionsickness_acupoints

You can also stimulate them with pointy device about 3-7 times before going on a ride to prevent the motions sickness.

(sources: Hand natural healing)