Finger Pressure treats the Whole Person where body, spirit, and mind Come Together. This is called the Bodymind.
Integrative Acupressure is specialized bodywork which calms the spirit, balances the emotions, and soothes tensions in the bodymind. Acupressure is pleasant and deeply relaxing and works at the somato-emotional connection.
Benefits of Acupressure
Acupressure massage assists the Qi, the body's natural energy to flow in a balanced and free way. Chinese texts say that blocked Qi produces pain and discomfort and weakens our natural defenses.
- Calms the Spirit
- Balances the Emotions (this is the somato-emotional part)
- Reduces and Releases Muscular Tension
- Relaxes and Soothes the Bodymind
- Acupressure Strengthens and Tones Body Defenses
Qi imbalance happens during stress and in times of great change.
Integrative Acupressure is one of the most effective and relaxing bodywork massage therapies I offer.
Here is a link to an article about acupressure points and the benefits of acupressure at WebMD.
Description of The Acupressure Session
After a medical history intake interview, I take organ pulses at your wrist. Based on these and other assessments I devise a treatment plan using Chinese Medicine acupoints to treat your bodymind.
Acupressure is a clothes-on modality. For this session, you lie face-up and clothed on a comfortable massage table.
I hold points on energy meridians of the Chinese Medicine system using my fingers. I use points on the 8 Extraordinary Vessels, and the 12 Organ Meridians. I may also use body-focusing statements and 5-Element theory to deepen your experience. We work together to help you find balance and maintain greater health and balanced Qi flow.
How are Shiatsu and Acupressure Different?
Shiatsu is a Japanese word meaning "finger pressure." Shiatsu and Acupressure are closely related, as are Amma/Anma finger pressure techniques. Acupressure balances body energy by dispersing excessive Qi and bringing Qi to depleted areas. Shiatsu treatments stress dispersing excessive Qi. Acupressure also encourages inflow of Qi to depleted areas.
How Acupressure is related to Acupuncture
Acupuncture uses needles at acupoints to affect and balance Qi in the bodymind. Acupressure and Acupuncture both use the same theory and the same points on the body. In Acupuncture there may be more than ten needles in the body at one time. An acupuncturist inserts needles at acupoints based on his or her assessment. The client is then left to 'cook' for about forty minutes while the Qi in the bodymind rebalances. After the needles have done their work, the acupuncturist returns to re-assess the new state of the energies of the client's bodymind.
Acupressure uses finger pressure instead of needles to balance the Qi and emotional energy of the client's bodymind. An acupressurist holds two points at a time during an Acupressure session. The acupressurist continuously holds points for the duration of the session, moving to new points to follow the changes that are happening in the bodymind.
Acupressure bodywork treatments sometimes include body focusing statements to check in as changes occur. While an acupuncture session is a bit static, an acupressure session is more dynamic and interactive. And less scary for those who hate needles!
the Eight Extraordinary Vessels
The eight extraordinary vessels act as storage and shortcuts for the flow of Qi in the body. They are variously called the Extraordinary Meridians, and also the Strange Flows. These vessels are energy storage and transfer conduits that balance the twelve organ meridians. The organ meridians govern the twelve Zang Fu (internal organ pairs, both zang and fu). The Extraordinary Vessels balance defensive and nourishing energies.
Here is a link to an excellent page about the eight extraordinary meridians with pictures.
Acupressure Chart showing the Twelve Organ Meridians
click the chart for a closer look ...
Where Did This Acupressure Method Come From?
It is unknown who held the very first acupressure session. Finger pressure on acupoints certainly happened many thousands of years ago. The Integrative Acupressure work I practice was synthesized by Iona Marsaa Teeguarden MA LMFT from personal study in Japan and from several other streams. Ms. Teeguarden, her licensed senior teachers Steve Sommers LMFT LMT, and Deborah Valentine Smith were my Acupressure teachers.