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Acupressure is an ancient Chinese practice that involves directed application of pressure to various parts of the body. Hand acupressure focuses on the pressure points, or acupoints, which are found in the hand. The use of pressure points in the hand for treating various ailments is believed to have originated in Korea.
This form of alternative medicine can be practiced by a professional who is trained in the acupoints on the hands, or by a novice interested in exploring this distinct form of treatment. Those who do not have formal training may not reap the full extent of the available benefits, and may find no benefits at all if they are not stimulating the pressure points correctly.
Pain relief is one of the main objectives of hand acupressure. The pain does not need to be localized in or near the hand for this type of treatment to work. By stimulating various parts of the hand, pain can be relieved from the back and joints.
The thumb and little finger on each hand correspond to the lower half of the body. Specifically they correspond to the hips, knees, and ankles. The ring finger and index finger correspond to the joints on the upper extremities, which are the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The middle finger can be used to stimulate or relax the center of the body, along the spine, neck, and head.
Stress relief is another popular use of hand acupressure. Various points can help to calm and relax the individual. This may assist in the treatment of depression, mood disorders, insomnia, and anxiety. Stress-related headaches and severe migraines can be treated with acupressure of the hands as well.
The exact process by which acupressure points in the hands are able to soothe other parts of the body is not completely understood. Many points are believed to release endorphins into the body. These powerful chemicals can then affect many problem areas of the body. The ancient Chinese belief is that acupressure helps to restore one’s internal balance of yin and yang, thereby curing the body’s ailments.
Hand acupressure is an alternative medicine and is not commonly used as a sole form of medical treatment. Consultation with a doctor is still deemed necessary for serious health problems. Acupressure may be used in conjunction with other treatments, however, and can be explored as the sole treatment option for less serious conditions.