Most of us are no strangers to a foot massage, but what about acupressure? This therapy traces its roots back to ancient China. The country is famous for this approach to natural healing. Traditional Chinese medicine centers around nature, energies, and the overall functioning of the human body. It’s considered a popular alternative to western medicine. Today, we’re delving into acupressure for the feet, and how pressure points can affect your health.
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What is acupressure for the feet?
Acupressure, massage—what’s the difference? They’re similar where they both aim at treating body pain or tension. But unlike massage, acupressure is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese medicine like the qi. The qi is essentially thought to be the energy life force that flows through the human body.
Wondering what a first massage appointment is like? Take a peek in this blog.
Eastern specialists base their practice on the flow of energy, while Western specialists use the anatomy of the muscle system and nerve pathways. Though acupressure can include some of the same strokes or movements as a massage, it primarily involves applying pressure to trigger points. In Traditional Chinese medicine, the feet are referred to as the “second heart”. The theory of acupressure for the feet stems from the belief that pressure on a specific point on the foot will stimulate an organ that’s associated with that receptor.
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Acupressure vs. reflexology
Reflexology and acupressure support the theory of the flow of the qi and use pressure and stimulation, their pressure points don’t always coincide with one another.
The reflexology “foot map” allows the practitioner to target general zones. On the other hand, acupressure targets more than 800 individual pressure points along the body. This allows for more specialized treatment.
What’s a foot acupressure session like?
First-session acupressure treatments are divided into several stages. The first step is a patient interview. A consult with your acupressure therapist allows them to get to know your body’s ailments and tailor your treatment to your needs.
This is followed by a diagnostic massage which includes elements of stroking and receptor testing. During your diagnostic foot examination, your acupressure therapist will also check for any pressure points that may need extra attention. Then, they will follow up with your acupressure session by applying pressure to the affected points.
What’s interesting here is, that the order in which your therapist presses the points is also important. Some therapists will target pressure points connected to the kidney and bladder because it is believed to help cleanse the body’s toxins faster.
The head and stomach receptors follow. Then is the liver, and the pancreas—which aim to stimulate the metabolism. The lymphatic system is the next step. The service concludes by targeting any other area that is painful.
Is acupressure safe?
Acupressure touts wide-ranging benefits. Recipients report improved circulation, reduced stress, and better sleep. It is also one of the safest therapies available. However, foot acupressure should not be provided to people who have:
– feet with ulcers
– feet with open wounds
– nerve damage
– obstructed blood vessels
How often should you get acupressure?
There isn’t one treatment recipe that works for everyone, so your therapist should consider your needs and conditions and work with you on a treatment schedule.
Scheduling an appointment with a professional acupressure therapist is always the best choice—and you can do it in just a few clicks on Booksy. But in between professional acupressure sessions, you can also learn how to do it yourself, at home, if you’re willing to put a little time into learning the basic movements and pressure receptors.