by guest blogger Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc, integrative medicine pioneer
Acupressure is an ancient healing art that relies upon the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) concept of energy meridians in the body. It’s the practice of applying pressure to specific points along these meridians. Acupressure achieves the same goal as acupuncture, which is to open up blocked or compromised energy pathways within the body, but acupressure doesn’t use needles.
The TCM philosophy behind acupressure and acupuncture is that we all have energy meridians, or internal lines, through which energy flows within the body. When certain symptoms or conditions arise, it may be due to a blockage in the meridian or stagnant energy, either of which causes the body to become imbalanced and manifest illness. In TCM, stimulating specific points on the body using either acupressure or acupuncture is thought to restore the proper flow. In Japan, acupressure is called shiatsu.
According to TCM, the human body has 360 main energy points and 12 main energy meridians. The energy points act as accessible surface extensions of our internal organs. By pinpointing where the energy flow is compromised, a practitioner can help to naturally restore the body’s energy balance and improve health.
Techniques that promote proper flow of energy are fundamental in many Eastern health practices, and as a TCM practitioner and a regular meditator with more than 30 years of experience, I have relied on such energy-balancing practices to help restore the health and vitality of patients at my clinic. I incorporate TCM, including acupuncture and TCM herbal formulas, extensively to address a wide variety of illness patterns and provide healing and restoration following intensive conventional therapies.
Acupressure for Nausea and Fatigue
Research has shown that acupressure is a valuable tool for combating nausea, among other common ailments. Some studies have even shown acupressure as a better remedy for nausea than antinausea and anti-vomiting drugs. By simply stimulating points on the wrist, acupressure techniques cause the brain to release feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine or endorphins that block the chemicals associated with nausea and vomiting. Acupressure can also benefit those who are suffering fatigue, as shown in studies. I have found this to be true in my clinic, where I see many cancer patients for integrative approaches to oncology.
Time-Tested Traditional Practices
The traditional practices of ancient healthcare systems are kept alive for a good reason: They help people. Combining the time-tested methods of ancient health care with the discoveries of modern science adds up to a truly unique and holistic strategy for wellness. Focusing on the whole person, rather than only the symptoms, allows the freedom to personalize a health plan best suited to treating an individual’s condition. If you have not yet found the best solution for a condition you have, consider speaking with a certified acupuncturist or acupressure therapist.
Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc, integrates Western medicine with his extensive knowledge of traditional Chinese, Tibetan, Ayurvedic, homeopathic, and complementary medical systems. With more than 25 years of clinical experience and research, Dr. Eliaz has a unique holistic approach to the relationship between health and disease, immune enhancement, detoxification, and cancer prevention and treatment. For more health and wellness information, visit dreliaz.org.