Preparing to Do Acupressure on Yourself: Some Do's and Dont's

February 1, 2023
5 min

Acupuncture Points Mentioned in this Article

Acupressure is an ancient healing technique rooted in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body. This form of therapy aims to promote balance within the body's energy flow, known as Qi, and stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. If you're new to acupressure or simply looking for some tips to enhance your practice, read on for some dos and don'ts to keep in mind.

Preparing for the Session

Before beginning an acupressure session, it's important to prepare yourself and create a safe and hygienic environment. Here are a few key steps to follow:

1. Wash Your Hands: As an acupressure practitioner, it's crucial to keep your hands clean and hygienic. Before starting the massage, thoroughly wash your hands to ensure that your fingers are free from dirt and germs.

2. Trim Your Nails: To avoid any accidental skin damage, make sure to trim your nails before performing acupressure. Keep them rounded and dull to prevent scratching or injuring the skin.

3. Remove Hindrances: Remove any jewelry or items that may obstruct the massage. This will help prevent discomfort for both the practitioner and the patient.

DO's During Acupressure

Once you've prepared yourself for the acupressure session, it's essential to focus on the technique itself. Here are some important factors to consider while performing acupressure:

1. Maintain a Comfortable Temperature: Ensure that the indoor temperature is suitable, usually around 20-25°C. This will prevent the patient from feeling cold and potentially causing illness during the massage.

2. Adapt Techniques and Meridian Routes: Depending on the time of day, adjust the techniques and meridian routes accordingly. For a morning massage, the goal is to invigorate the body tissues, so use slightly lighter pressure and focus on specific acupoints. In contrast, an evening massage aims to promote the elimination of metabolic waste and aid in muscle recovery. Use slightly stronger pressure and target a broader range of acupoints.

3. Focus on Gentle and Comfortable Techniques: Acupressure should be gentle and comfortable, not rough or painful. Pay special attention to delicate areas like the eyes, using only gentle pressure. For individuals with loose skin, consider employing a tapping technique to achieve the desired effects.

4. Warm Up the Skin: Prior to the massage, ensure that the skin is slightly warm. Applying a massage cream or oil locally can enhance the effects of acupressure and provide a protective layer for the skin. Additionally, this can help absorb the heat generated during the massage, preventing any potential skin damage from excessive temperatures.

5. Consider the Use of Essential Oils: Essential oils can be a beneficial addition to acupressure sessions. They can be applied topically or diffused to enhance the overall experience. However, it's important to exercise caution when using essential oils due to their high concentration. They should not be directly applied to the skin. Instead, mix a drop of essential oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, before use.

DON'Ts During Acupressure

While acupressure can provide numerous benefits, there are certain conditions in which it is not suitable. These include:

Orthopedic Diseases: Patients with fractures, joint dislocations, or bone tumors should avoid acupressure on affected areas. It's important to prioritize medical treatment for these conditions.

Open Wounds, Scars, or Sensitive Skin: Avoid applying pressure to areas with wounds, scars, or sensitive skin. Instead, focus on other acupoints that are unaffected.

Direct Pressure on Tumors: Acupressure should not be applied directly on tumors. However, it's important to note that acupressure primarily involves superficial pressure, so direct contact with a tumor is highly unlikely.

Pregnancy and Menstruation: Women who are pregnant or menstruating should exercise caution when doing acupressure. Certain acupuncture points may not be suitable during these times, so it's important to consult with a trained acupressure practitioner before proceeding.

Post Exercise, Alcohol Consumption, or High Fever: It's advisable to avoid acupressure immediately after vigorous exercise, consuming alcohol, or during periods of high fever. Allowing your body to rest and recover before engaging in acupressure is essential.

Remember, acupressure is a valuable practice, but it's crucial to respect the limits of your body and seek professional advice when needed. By following these dos and don'ts, you can ensure a safe and effective acupressure experience.

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