Thursday, January 19, 2012

Acupressure for Acute Low Back Pain

Chinese medical culture is replete with home remedies and it has always been about prevention and self-healing. Acupressure techniques are based on the same principals as acupuncture but involve auto-massaging the points as opposed to needling them.  When properly done, acupressure has been shown to be quite effective in treating many imbalances.

In Chinese medicine, all pain and illness are understood to be the result of blockages in the energetic system of the human body. This system is mapped out in the form of energetic pathways or meridians that flow in different directions throughout the body. On each of these meridians are points where energy can accumulate and, when stimulated, can regulate the energetic flow. 

When performing acupressure on yourself or others, be sure you are as calm as possible, that your shoulders are relaxed and that your breathing is even.

Urinary Bladder 40

The bladder meridian is often used to reinforce the kidneys. Stimulation of the 40th point on the Urinary Bladder or UB 40, (Wei Zhong, meaning “bend middle”) is used for acute low back pain, sprain, muscle spasms, etc.

To find this point: Sit down with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.  UB 40  is at the midpoint of the transverse crease behind the knee.  This point is good if you have lower back pain, sore feet, plantar fasciitis and /or cramped calf muscles.

If you have pain on one side of the body, begin stimulating UB 40 on the opposite side. This is a general rule in acupressure.  Massage point in circular motions with one or two fingers for a few minutes until point feels almost numb. Then brush the area with your hands gently and repeat on the other side.

I was taught acupressure in 1999 by Dr Effie Chow, licensed acupuncturist and Qi Gong Grandmaster.  It is a worthwhile self-care practice and can also be used to help others.