Acupressure is also known as tui na (which translates as "press, rub"). This therapy is performed on the same acupuncture points that are used to stimulate the flow of qi (pronounced "chee", which loosely translated means the vital force or life energy) and xue (pronounced "shway", which refers to blood and its functions). After repeated acupressure sessions using different degrees of pressure, you will begin to feel a pulse at the point. This pulsation is a good sign - it means that circulation has increased. Pay attention to the type of pulse you feel. If it`s very faint or throbbing, hold the point longer until the pulse balances.
When you have located the point and your fingers are comfortably positioned right on the spot gradually lean your weight toward the point to apply the pressure. If you`re pressing a point on your foot, for instance, bend your leg and apply pressure by slowly leaning forward. Using the weight of your upper body (and not just your hands) enables you to apply firm pressure without strain. Direct the pressure perpendicularly to the surface of the skin as you take several long, slow, deep breaths. Hold for a few minutes until you feel a regular pulse or until the soreness at the point decreases. Then gradually release the pressure, finishing with a soothing touch.
It is important not to just rub the skin over the area but to apply firm downwards pressure with your thumb, knuckle or elbow. When using your thumbs, the pressure needs to come from your arm rather than the thumb joint, otherwise the support person will end up with sore thumbs.
To stimulate an acupoint properly, you must apply deep probing pressure. Therefore, only apply pressure with:
Before beginning, try to classify your problem accurately. Explore the area with a deep probing pressure, until the exact point announces itself to you with a sharp twinge. It starts as a jolt, and after a moment becomes a numbing sensation, or a tingling radiating from the point. It can be quite a shock the first time, but sensitivity decreases with experience. When you have found the point, apply pressure for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat using the same point on the other side of your body. You should feel immediate relief. You may feel a release of tension, sinus drainage or perspiration. If symptoms increase, do not use that point.
If the first point doesn`t work, try the next point or points until you find one that does. When you find a point that helps, use that point. If the relief is temporary, re-stimulate the point. Sometimes a pain will go away and return three or four times, lesser each time.
You are trying to harmonize your inner environment, so isolate yourself from the external environment as much as possible. Find a quiet place, sit down, and try to relax. Avoid loud music, exercise, food, and any drugs, while stimulating your acupoints.