Quest for knowledge and practical experience teaches man new things. Thousands of
years ago, man discovered that there is a connection between certain ailments in the human body and a tenderness on certain
areas of the body. This discovery dates as far back as 5000 years ago. In the
epics, we find references of strange cures of disorders in the body of certain soldiers, people, that during the wars, the
arrows that were shot at them, relieved them of their ailments when they hit certain spots in their bodies.
A warrior, who had stammering,
got instant relief when he was shot in the neck by an arrow. In the epic, Mahabharata, Bhishma was shot in the back by a thousand
arrows by Arjun and made to lie on this bed of arrows for a hundred days, relieving him of pain.
The list is endless…
We know, that when we
have a mild headache, we tend to rub the temples, and the forehead, in a massage like manner, thus causing relief.
When there is a backache,
a gentle massage, brings immediate relief.
Many people have been
doing this for centuries without knowing what causes relief. The Chinese discovered that using fine needles on certain parts
of the body, relieves a lot of ailments including acute and chronic pains, breathlessness, colds, cough, asthma, frozen shoulder,
sciatica, nerve problems, etc. This they called Acupuncture.
Slowly this art of acupuncture
took shape into pointed pressure massage therapy, or Acupressure. This form of pointed finger pressure had an edge over acupuncture,
in the way that, there is no need of needles, which have to be sterilized for every patient.
Today, acupuncture needles
are available as disposable needles.
Again, the cost of needles
is also high compared to finger pressure, which is practically free. A skilled
practitioner, can use his finger pressure massage on a patient and relieve him of most of his ailments at a cost which is
less than half of that of acupuncture. Hence acupressure has gained more popularity among people in general.
There are a lot of theories
about how this type of pressure techniques works. Among the common ones are :
The pressure on the response
area is thought to transmit repair messages to the brain center causing the body to mobilize its forces. With this theory,
a suitable means of connection between the disorder and the response area is
Lymph vessels provide
drainage channels into the lymph nodes. These channels drain the toxic products from our body. Applying adequate and proper
pressure in these areas will enhance their function, which in turn will restore the chemical imbalance caused by the toxic
Our circulatory system
is a large connective tissue by itself. Blood carries a lot of products in its stream. Impaired circulation, or partial blockage,
is the key factors in waste removal. Application of acupressure, or pressure therapy, rushes more blood in the respective
areas thereby bringing relief.
Nerve endings are unable
to transmit their impulses because of a buildup of a crystalline deposit, which blocks the pathway. Acupressure breaks these
crystals and restores the normal flow of the impulses again.
A reflex action is a
response to a sensory stimulus initiated somewhere in the body to cause a reaction elsewhere in the body usually occurring
without immediate involvement of the brain.
The reflex arc consists
of five components:
a sensory receptor,
a sensory neuron,
one or more internuncial neurons,
a motor neuron and
an effector such as a gland or a muscle.
The human body has the
ability to speed up repair when it receives any harm to its equilibrium. Acupressure or pointed pressure massage causes slight
irritation to the body and therefore this irritation summons the defenses into action.
These theories have been
suggested in the oriental chronicles since ages. Unfortunately, none can be used as a technical explanation of the manner
in which the actual healing is brought about. It is not known how it works, but it does and has for millions of people over
the globe for centuries.