January 30, 2009

Need to relieve some stress? Try Traditional Chinese Acupressure Massage

With the recession as depressing and stressful as it is, it is not the end of the world. Relaxation by way of sleep, proper nourishment, hanging close to home with friends & family and some body pampering may be all you need to get by.  I highly recommend trying traditional Chinese acupressure massage. This may work for you or it may not but it doesn’t hurt to try. I swear by it. If you suffer from tension, headaches, TMD, swelling, aches & pains and insomnia this type of massage may be just the thing.

While traditional Chinese methods of acupuncture and cupping can be helpful they may also (to some) be stressful to the body and not relaxing at all depending on who the therapist is. A few years back while I was working long hours on location for a TV show I got sick and extremely stressed out. I was not used to the fast paced world of Hollywood film production and I burnt out after about 2 months with an estimated 3 hours of sleep a night. I had heard from one of the crew that there was an old Chinese woman in the middle of a nearby town that could help me. I went to see her, she barely spoke English so I underwent a short session of charades to let her know what was wrong. I was also suffering from a chest cold and being a smoker as I was then, a few chest colds a year were common. I was a mess basically. She took me in and started me with a massage, it was wonderful Then she stopped and did acupuncture, I did not really enjoy this procedure but I felt that it would help and so I went along with the slight discomfort.

Just when I thought she was done she rolled me over on my stomach and began to put hot suction cups all over my back, moving them around, pulling and pushing. This was excruciatingly painful. I hated it. I just wanted it to be over, all I originally wanted was the massage! I learned from her that this was for my chest cold and that it was fine and I would be okay and to just relax while the cups enhanced blood circulation and excreted toxins from my body. Later that day my back began to bruise all over with 3″ wide circles. Luckily I did not experience the bleeding that some of my coworkers had. She also gave me a tea that would expel more toxins. Well let me just say I was up all night on the toilet with sever stomach cramps.

Traditional Chinese cupping therapy after-bruising.

The next morning, tired, stressed and still sick I threw the tea out and I never went back.

I do not want to scare you though as this was not a terrible experience, it was brutally helpful in the long run. I did get better soon after, but I also had started taking multi-vitamins everyday and sleeping better as we moved into production. Years later, I was told by my current therapist that because she was Chinese she may have been used to working on mainly Chinese patients who could possibly take more pain than a Westerner. So please do not let this experience scare you into not going and getting traditional Chinese therapies.

Last year, I went to see a local traditionally trained (western) Chinese acupressure massage therapist for my TMD. I saw her for a good 3 months, once a week. She absolutely helped me 100%. It was relaxing, felt good and took away all my pain and tension. I would leave floating on a cloud and all day I was a happier less stressed out human being. I am not saying this works for everyone but I would seriously recommend trying it out. This winter has been a hard one so I went back to my therapist for 2 weeks now and I feel better already.

Acupressure massage is an ancient part of traditional Chinese medicine, which uses the fingers to apply firm but gentle pressure along a system of acupuncture points. These acupoints are located along the body’s meridians or energy (Chi) pathways. When these points are stimulated, it releases tension, promotes the circulation of blood and the body’s internal energy, Chi.

To find out more about an Acupressure therapist near you check out http://www.holisticmed.com/www/acupuncture.html for more info.

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Anna Gilkerson  |  Contribution: 7,000