Integrative Acupressure treats the whole person where body, spirit, and mind Connect.
Integrative Acupressure calms the spirit, balances the emotions, and soothes bodymind tensions. It is pleasant and deeply relaxing.
Benefits of Acupressure
Acupressure assists the Qi, the body's natural energy to flow in a balanced and free way. Chinese texts say that blocked Qi produces pain and discomfort and weakens the body's natural defenses.
- Calms the Spirit
- Balances the Emotions
- Reduces and Releases Muscular Tension
- Relaxes and Soothes the Bodymind
- Strengthens and Tones the Body's Defenses
Qi imbalance happens during stress and in times of great change.
Integrative Acupressure is one of the most effective and relaxing therapies I offer.
Here is a link to an article about acupressure points and the benefits of acupressure at WebMD.
The Acupressure Session
After a medical history intake interview, I take organ pulses at your wrist. Based on these and other assessments I devise a treatment plan using Chinese Medicine acupoints.
Integrative Acupressure is a clothes-on modality. For this session, you lie face-up and clothed on a comfortable massage table.
I hold points on energy meridians of the Chinese Medicine system using my fingers. I use points on the 8 Extraordinary Vessels, and the 12 Organ Meridians. I may also use body-focusing statements and 5-Element theory to deepen your experience. We work together to help you find balance and maintain greater health and balanced Qi flow.
How are Shiatsu and Acupressure Different?
Shiatsu is a Japanese word meaning "finger pressure." Shiatsu and Acupressure are closely related, as are Amma/Anma finger pressure techniques. Acupressure balances body energy by dispersing excessive Qi and bringing Qi to depleted areas. Shiatsu treatments disperse excessive Qi but do not encourage flow of Qi to depleted areas.
Acupressure vs. Acupuncture
Acupressure and Acupuncture are closely related. Acupuncture uses needles at acupoints to affect and balance Qi in the bodymind. Both acupuncture and acupressure use the same theory and the same points on the body. They just use them in different ways.
In an Acupuncture session there may be more than ten needles in the body at one time. An acupuncturist inserts needles at acupoints based on his or her assessment. The client is then left to 'cook' for about forty minutes while the Qi in the bodymind rebalances. After the needles have done their work, the acupuncturist returns to re-assess the new state of the energies of the client's bodymind.
Acupressure uses finger pressure instead of needles to balance the Qi and emotional energy of the client's bodymind. An acupressurist holds two points at a time during an Acupressure session. The acupressurist holds points for the entire session, moving to new points as the bodymind changes. The acupressurist also uses body focusing statements to continually check in as changes occur. While an acupuncture session is a bit static, an acupressure session is more dynamic and interactive. And less scary for those who hate needles!
the Eight Extraordinary Vessels
The eight extraordinary vessels act as storage and shortcuts for the flow of the body's Qi. They are also called the Extraordinary Meridians, and the Strange Flows. These vessels are energy storage and transfer conduits that balance the twelve organ meridians. The organ meridians govern the twelve Zang Fu (internal organ pairs, both zang and fu). The Extraordinary Vessels balance the body's defensive and nourishing energies.
Here is a link to an excellent page about the eight extraordinary meridians with pictures.
Acupressure Chart showing the Twelve Organ Meridians
click the chart for a closer look ...
Where Did This Acupressure Method Come From?
It is unknown who held the very first acupressure session. Finger pressure on acupoints certainly happened many thousands of years ago. The Integrative Acupressure work I practice was synthesized by Iona Marsaa Teeguarden MA LMFT from personal study in Japan and from several other streams. Ms. Teeguarden, her licensed senior teachers Steve Sommers LMFT LMT and Deborah Valentine Smith were my Acupressure teachers.