Acupressure for Beginners
As early as 3000 bc, the Chinese practised massage to cure ailments and improve general health. Records of this can be found in the British Museum. Ancient Chinese books record lists of massage movements with descriptions of their technique. One of these books, The Cong Fau of Tao-Tse, also contains lists of exercises and massage used to improve general health and well-being. The Chinese found that pressure techniques were very effective on specific points and they developed special techniques called amma (see Figure 0.1). This was the beginning of the development of acupressure and acupuncture.
Symptoms include an irresistible urge to move the legs, sensations of creeping, crawling, numbness, itching, tugging, and tingling. These symptoms tend to become worse during prolonged sitting or at night and improve when the legs are moved. Severe RLS can also involve the arms and even the trunk. RLS is thought to be occasionally associated with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and commonly occurs with end-stage renal (kidney) disease dialysis. The diagnosis is based on history and physical exam, and sometimes a sleep study will be ordered to check for other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. For those whose RLS disrupts or prevents their sleep, medications used to promote sleep might include anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines, opioids, and dopamine agonists. People who do not respond to treatment with sleep medications also may benefit from iron, B-12, and folic acid supplements. Pregnant and perimenopausal women are at higher risk for RLS due to iron...
And don't forget about the promise of alternative remedies People with fibromyalgia have some very intriguing choices to consider, including acupuncture, acupressure, biofeedback, herbal or homeopathic remedies, and neurofeedback. Read more details about all these different choices in Chapter 12.
Studies have shown that electro-acupuncture, in which pressure points are stimulated by a tiny electric current, may have real value in reducing the nausea that accompanies chemotherapy. Acupressure, where the patient applies pressure to acupuncture points, has also been found valuable in reducing nausea after chemotherapy.
There are over 100 massages or body energy therapies such as deep tissue Swedish, craniosacral, acupressure or Shiatsu, rolfing, myofacial release, reflexology, hot rock, and soft light tissue techniques such as Rekki. Although there are no double-blind, controlled studies supporting massage as a specific treatment of PD, it may have a role as an adjunctive treatment of muscle rigidity and associated pain as well as stress reduction and promotion of a sense of well being.
Meridians are invisible pathways through which energy or life force flows in the human body. These channels are connected to specific organs that can become diseased if the energy to them is blocked. Acupressure, shiatsu, qigong, t'ai chi, and polarity therapy use various techniques in restoring energy flow. Acupressure manipulates the same points as acupuncture but uses the hands and fingers instead of needles. Shiatsu is a Japanese therapy and a form of acupressure. Qigong is practiced by millions in China. It is a system of gentle exercise and breathing techniques that restore the circulation of energy. The theory behind qigong is that the energy or life force that is inherent in all matter has two aspects, yin and yang. Illness, whether physical or emotional, develops when the energy flow between these two opposites moves out of balance or is depleted. Because of its ease and slowness, qigong can be practiced by all ages including the elderly, helping them maintain their strength...