Acupressure is acupuncture minus the needles. Certain parts and organs of the body can be treated successfully through the use of pressure to the acupoints indicated by ancient Chinese medicine. In this type of medicine, the vital energy flowing in the energy channels system called Qi and Yin and Yang is brought into harmony and balance enabling the body to heal itself.
For more than two thousand years, Traditional Chinese acupuncture has been used to treat a wide range of digestive disorders. Studies conducted recently indicate that electrical acupoint stimulation, acupressure, and acupuncture applied to the P6 (Pericardium 6) acupuncture point can help lessen the relaxations of the LES or lower esophageal sphincter. LES relaxation is the main reason for acid reflux. Research on electrical acupoint stimulation revealed a 40 percent decrease of these LES relaxations in a majority of the cases studied. This is an amazing assertion and could be the start of one of the most important finding ever made for acid reflux treatment.
The P6 acupoint, which in Chinese is named the Neiguan point, is found between the two tendons on the wrist’s underside. The P6 is found in the midpoint of the middle about two finger-widths from the crease where the arm and hand meet.
What is the Lower Esophageal Sphincter?
The lower esophageal sphincter or LES is a muscular valve located between the esophagus and stomach. It opens up to enable foods and liquids to enter into the stomach. A well functioning LES shuts tightly preventing gastric fluids in the stomach to flow back to the esophagus. But if the LES relaxes when it shouldn’t acid reflux occurs. There can be several factors that can cause the LES to relax: stress, chocolate, tobacco, alcohol, carbonated beverages, alcohol, and acidic foods, to name a few.
Administering acupressure to the P6 point has been used for thousands of years to alleviate nausea and vomiting. It has been recently used to treat postsurgical nausea, morning sickness in pregnant women, sea sickness, and traveler’s motion sickness.
Your fingers are your main tools in performing acupressure. Remember that when you employ pressure to the P6 point, you should feel a sensation of slight numbness instead of a sharp pain. All the pressure points are either beside or in between tendons, ligaments, and bones. You will never find them on arteries, blood vessels, or bones, but beside or between depressions.
The Neiguan or P6 point interestingly, can also be used to treat acid reflux, nausea, vomiting, and even migraines, fever, epilepsy, chest pain, and insomnia. Activating this point may produce varying levels of health benefits to the entire body.
In Chinese medicine theory, the acupoints are connected to the internal channels of energy and when these points are stimulated, it speeds up the flow of energy. Allopathic treatments, on the other hand, are just starting to understand these principles. They ascribe the positive effects of acupuncture to chemicals released by the central nervous system and nerve signals in the body, although they cannot fully explain how it works. In due time, Western medical science will hopefully catch up with those age-old healing modalities.
Acupuncture really does work regardless if you believe in it or not. It is absolutely pain free and extremely relaxing. The acupuncture needles used are so thin that when they’re stuck in the skin, you would hardly feel any sensation. Acupressure is an alternative and simple variation of acupuncture by which we can heal illness minus expensive acupuncture sessions and the use of needles. You can use it on yourself or on others. It also works extremely well in animals and pets.
People suffering from gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) can try P6 wrist bands that can be purchased online to relieve their condition. Placing the wrist band on your wrist can help lessen acid reflux, since the wrist is where the P6 point is exactly located. This band is worth trying even if you just have a 35 percent chance of success.
Besides the internet, GERD wrist bands can also be purchased at health food stores at reasonable prices. You can also get a massage from a Edina therapist or practitioner who specializes in acupressure and ask them to perform acupressure treatment on the P6.