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Pressure Point Massage

Pressure point therapy

The concept of pressure point massage is actually based on Eastern medicine which uses finger pressure on specific points, often affiliated with various meridians.  The body’s vital energy (also known as chi or qi in Mandarin) is believed to follow these invisible meridians, connecting every gland and organ with a pressure point or ending on the hands, feet or another part of the body. In fact, the body’s meridians are mapped out in various Oriental medicine practices as a visual guide.

In addition, trigger point therapies are focused on releasing neurologic triggers to reduce pain; improve function, range of motion, flexibility; and reduce various disease states. Massage therapy, as mentioned earlier in the chapter, is a natural offshoot from earlier pressure point therapy.

Other Chinese trigger point therapies

There are a variety of Chinese trigger point therapies, which include energizing and relaxing techniques. Variations of these therapies include:

  • “Ma” (the rubbing of various body rubs with the palmar fingertips)
  • “Pi” (tapping with the palmar fingertips)
  • “Tao” (pinching with the thumb and the fingertip)
  • “An” (rhythmical pressing with the thumb, palm, or the entire clenched hand)
  • “Ning” (pinching and lifting motion)
  • “Tui” (pushing, often associated with vibration type approach).

These techniques are used in combination to relieve muscle pressures, and can be addressed for a variety of symptoms; but for our purposes, we focus on the use of these modalities for treatment of headache, migraine,  stiff neck, and pain.

Other forms of pressure point therapies

The general concept is that energy is usually focused in the ears, hands and feet hence many acupressure and acupuncture points are mainly located in these regions.  The belief is basing on the fact that these therapeutic interventions can release various neurotransmitters which then travel along the invisible meridians or nerve lines hence ultimately affecting a variety of processes.  The treatment and the release of these pressure points is believed to ultimately result in health improvement and beyond just merely the migraine pain relief.

There are a wide variety of pressure point therapy approaches that are natural and yet can be really effective for migraine headache relief such as: