How Acupressure Can Ease Back Pain

See original Healthline article here

By Tony Hicks on September 2, 2019

  • A new study concludes that acupressure can help ease chronic back pain.
  • Acupressure uses fingers to massage pressure points in comparison to acupuncture that uses needles.
  • Acupressure supporters say the technique is a safe way to ease pain and a healthy alternative to opioids.

A new study from the University of Michigan says acupressure can alleviate chronic pain in your lower back.

“Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, but instead of needles, pressure is applied with a finger, thumb, or device to specific points on the body,” said Susan Murphy, ScD, OTR, the lead author of the study and an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at University of Michigan.

Murphy told the Michigan Medicine website that previous research showed acupressure is beneficial to people with cancer and osteoarthritis.

The new study, published in the journal Pain Medicine, looked at 67 people with chronic lower back pain and divided them into three groups: those using relaxing acupressure, those using stimulating acupressure, and people sticking to their prescribed treatment method from their primary care doctor.

The two acupressure groups applied the technique to certain body parts about 30 minutes a day over 6 weeks.

“Compared to the usual care group, we found that people who performed stimulating acupressure experienced pain and fatigue improvement and those that performed relaxing acupressure felt their pain had improved after 6 weeks,” Murphy said.

Up to now, there hasn’t been much official research on acupressure.

Mark Frost, a licensed acupuncturist and the chairman of the herbal medicine department of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, said the timing is finally right for science to recognize the benefits of acupressure.

“Western medicine is waking up to the validity of Chinese medicine,” Frost told Healthline. “Certainly, as generation after generation of younger doctors come into their practice, they’re more open-minded. We’re at an interesting period of medicine. In 10 years, we’re just going to have ‘medicine’ instead of ‘Chinese medicine.’”https://405c4905823e501dd1f1a0f5c84102bc.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

How acupressure works

Acupressure goes back thousands of years. It originated in either India or China, depending on the source.

The technique became popular in China as a natural extension of acupuncture, only with pressure from the fingers replacing needles piercing skin.

As time went on, practitioners discovered areas of pain and other health problems could be helped by maneuvering the problem areas or other parts of the body.

“The theories are the same, or very similar,” Eric Karchmer, PhD, a practitioner of Chinese medicine in North Carolina and the chief Chinese medicine officer at DAO Labs, told Healthline. “Acupressure is a subset of acupuncture. Acupressure can be really powerful.”

Frost said acupressure, like acupuncture, works two ways.

The first is direct application, “actually massaging and stretching out the muscles and increasing blood flow and healing oxygen to the problem area,” Karchmer said.

The other is pressure points in seemingly unrelated areas connected to the problem through meridians, also known as energy channels.

“That’s very powerful,” Frost said. “It relaxes the nervous system and muscles along the body. It can influence digestion. These points can influence local points… what acupressure does is relax the nervous system. When blood flow increases, healing happens. All acupressure points have a systemic effect.”

Karchmer said acupressure is also a good alternative for those not crazy about someone sticking multiple needles into their body.

“It’s very common to select points far from the problem,” he said. “With acupuncture, you might use a needle in the feet for a migraine. If a patient is needle-phobic, you can use the same points for relief.”

An alternative to opioids

The University of Michigan study also addresses acupressure’s effect on conditions besides chronic pain, including insomnia, fatigue reduction, and depression.

With rising opioid addiction rates, acupressure can be a healthy pain management alternative to drugs.

“Better treatments are needed for chronic pain,” Murphy said. “Most treatments offered are medications, which have side effects and, in some cases, may increase the risk of abuse and addiction.”

“People need to be doing an array of things, as opposed to just taking a pill,” Karchmer said. He added it wouldn’t be the worst idea to first seek out of professional’s guidance.

The results of the study will likely spur more research into specific methods and benefits of acupressure.

“Although larger studies are needed, acupressure may be a useful pain management strategy, given that it’s low risk.” Murphy said. “We also recommend additional studies into the different types of acupressure and how they could more specifically be targeted to patients based on their symptoms.”

Please see our Available Services  and Deals and Special Offers at Brooke Chang Reiki Therapy. Contact Brooke Chang Certified Reiki Master for a consultation or appointment for Reikiatsu Therapy, a form of acupressure treatment at (951) 821-0825brookechangreiki@outlook.com, or Contact Form.

Please Note: This article is provided for informational purposes only, and not intended as specific holistic health advice to the reader. Therefore, reading this article does not create a practitioner/client relationship. Reiki Therapy is meant to be used as a complement to traditional care, and does not substitute for qualified medical or traditional care.

How Reflexology Helps with Peripheral Neuropathy Nerve Damage

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By Bipasha Mukherjee 

What is Peripheral neuropathy? It is a result of damage to your peripheral nerves, which often causes weakness, numbness, and pain, mostly in your hands and feet. It can also affect other areas of your body. Your peripheral nervous system sends information from your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to the rest of your body. Peripheral neuropathy causes can range from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes and exposure to toxins. Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common causes.

People with peripheral neuropathy generally experience an intense searing pain which feels like stabbing, burning or tingling. In many cases, symptoms tend to improve, especially if caused by a treatable condition. Some medicines can reduce the pain associated with peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms

Each nerve in your peripheral system has a particular function to perform, so peripheral neuropathy symptoms depend on the type of nerves affected. Nerves are classified into several divisions like:

  • Sensory nerves receiving sensation, such as temperature, pain, vibration or touch, from the skin.
  • Motor nerves, which are in control of the motor nerves.
  • Autonomic nerves, which control important functions like blood pressure, digestion, bladder and heart.
Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are as follows:

  • Gradual onset of numbness and prickling or tingling in your feet or hands, which can even spread to the entire length of your legs and feet.
  • Sharp shooting, jabbing, throbbing, freezing or burning pain
  • Unable to control movements.
  • Touch sensitivity which sometimes reaches extreme levels.
  • Weakness of muscles or paralysis if motor nerves are affected.

If autonomic nerves are affected, the signs and symptoms might include:

  • Intolerance to heat and change in sweating habits.
  • Bowel problems, bladder disorders or digestive problems.
  • Fluctuations in blood pressure, causing dizziness or lightheadedness.

Peripheral neuropathy can affect one nerve (mononeuropathy), two or more nerves in different areas (multiple mononeuropathies) or many nerves (polyneuropathy). Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of mononeuropathy. People with peripheral neuropathy may suffer from polyneuropathy.

Take Care of your Feet

Incorporating a few lifestyle changes is the first thing you should do to minimize your symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

  • Take care of your feet by wearing soft cotton socks and well-padded
  • Exercise is must as it helps control blood sugar levels
  • Quit smoking to improve blood circulation
  • Eat healthy meals to maximize your intake of vitamins, minerals from low-fat food sources like low-fat meats, dairy products, whole grains and fruits
  • Avoid putting undue pressure by making a conscious effort to not cross your legs or lean on your elbows
  • Massage your hands and feet or better still request someone to massage them for you.
Acupressure Points which are Most Popular

Why Reflexology is Important for Peripheral Neuropathy

Reflexology is a technique based on a system of points on the hands, feet, and ears that correspond, or “reflex,” to other areas of the body. In similitude to the theory to acupressure, reflexologists believe that applying appropriate pressure to these points stimulates the flow of energy, thus helping to relieve pain or congestions throughout the entire body. A very pleasurable form of bodywork, reflexology is also used to ease stress and promote relaxation.

Reflexology for neuropathy works with the help of chemical, electrical, and nervous systems of the body – sending messages across to balance organs and parts in far reaching areas of the body. With neuropathy, reflexology has a great option of gently activating the damaged nerve fibers to send and receive correct nerve signals. Through light to moderate pressure techniques, a stable rhythm of information is sent and received through the Central Nervous System. We see  a marked improvement in blood and lymph circulation throughout the body, an improvement in nerve response, and a general sense of wellbeing after a Reflexology treatment. Research shows that using Reflexology for peripheral neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, phantom limb pain and other forms of neuropathic pain, may benefit people who are reeling under the effects of such conditions.

Please see our Available Services  and Deals and Special Offers at Brooke Chang Reiki Therapy. Contact Brooke Chang Certified Reiki Master for a consultation or appointment for Reiki Zone Therapy, a form of Reflexology used to treat peripheral neuropathy at (951) 821-0825brookechangreiki@outlook.com, or Contact Form

Please Note: This article is provided for informational purposes only, and not intended as specific holistic health advice to the reader. Therefore, reading this article does not create a practitioner/client relationship. Reiki Therapy is meant to be used as a complement to traditional care, and does not substitute for qualified medical or traditional care.

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Please see Available Services  at Brooke Chang Reiki Therapy.  Please contact Certified Reiki Master Brooke Chang about this special offer or for a consultation or appointment at (951) 821-0825brookechangreiki@outlook.com, or Contact Form