Active points, also known as trigger points, are the spots on the body targeted by both acupressure and acupuncture. The system of active point stimulation developed over 5,000 years ago in China. The active points lie on meridians in the body, which the Chinese believed were the courses through which the body's chi, or energy, flows. According to India Network's "History of Acupressure," illness results when the body's meridian lines are blocked. Manipulation of the active points relieves the blockage and restores the proper flow of the chi. In addition to alleviating illness, certain active points can be manipulated to assist weight loss.
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Study the acupressure points on the chart or card. You will need to know where the points are located on the body to properly perform acupressure. Acupressure expert Dr. Michael Reed Gach says that fatigue, trauma, stress, poor circulation or chemical imbalances may lead to lactic acid buildup in the muscles, causing spasms or chronically tense muscles. Dr. Gach says holding an acupressure point causes the muscle to relax, thereby allowing the blood to flow freely and toxins to be released and eliminated.
Increase oxygen in your body. Before performing acupressure on yourself, take a few deep breaths to help calm and relax your body and increase the oxygen levels in your body. The Wellness Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago suggests inhaling through your nose for 8 counts, then exhaling slowly for 16 counts, repeating these two steps 10 times.
Press firmly on the acupressure point located at the top of your trapezius muscle. This point is near the point on your body where your neck meets your shoulder, directly in line with your nipple. Use small downward strokes when applying pressure. Hold pressure on this point for 1 minute. Repeat on the other side of your body.
Place your finger on the point between the inside corner of your eye and the bridge of your nose. Apply pressure here, stroking upward toward the bridge of the nose. Continue to apply pressure for 1 minute. Repeat on the other side.
Probe the area midway between your eyebrows with the tip of your finger. Locate the slight dip and hold your finger there. Apply pressure and stroke upward for 1 minute.
Place your fingertip on the dip between your nose and upper lip. Press your finger into this trigger point and slowly stroke downward. Continue to apply pressure for 1 minute.
Locate the midpoint of your breastbone. This is found on your sternum directly between both nipples. Place your finger on this point and stroke upward while applying constant pressure. Continue for 2 minutes.