Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body’s life force (sometimes known as qi or chi) to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses the gentle but firm pressure of hands and feet.
Sol Benson loathed her body. It went beyond mere embarrassment at how “fat” she was. Deeper still was the conviction that her body was unworthy of love, was deserving of nothing that felt pleasurable or nurturing.
As a consumer of massage, you already know there are wonderful benefits to receiving therapeutic touch. And you’ve likely tried one or two variations of massage or bodywork as you’ve meandered along this path of complementary healthcare. But did you know there are at least 250 kinds of therapies that are part of this growing massage and bodywork tradition? From acupressure to Zero Balancing, there are a multitude of lush, leaf-filled branches on this bodywork tree, making it a perfect spot under which to throw a blanket and sit a while.
Arthritis is an insidious disease, eating its way into the joints of nearly 70 million Americans, or nearly one out of every three U.S. adults. It is considered one of our most prevalent chronic health problems, costing the economy more than $124 billion in healthcare and lost wages each year.1 One of the more unnerving aspects of this disease is the fact its prevalence has nearly doubled in the past two decades,2 adding 23 million more to its “hit list” in the past seven years alone.
After months of hot flashes, fatigue, and irritability, oftentimes the last thing a woman in the throes of menopause wants is to be touched. Yet, this is exactly when a woman needs to experience touch, especially massage and bodywork. When she most needs to be nurtured, comforted, and reminded of her beauty and inner spirit, is often when a woman’s body rebels and begins fighting against her.
To hold, press, or rub an area of the body that hurts is a natural response. We do it without thinking — for headaches, stomachaches, back pain, bumped knees, cramps — and such contact usually offers relief. Acupressure is a skillful way of relieving pain and disharmony through simple, intentional touch.
Aromatherapy is unique among the various forms of natural healthcare for its chameleon-like ability to adapt to a wide range of contexts. It flourishes as a research-based branch of botanical medicine, as a natural partner of therapeutic massage, as a vital component of natural skin care, and as a marketing device for the cosmetics industry. No other natural therapy is so multifaceted, versatile, and — to the frustration of the purists — so exploited.
Energy healing is often discussed as a new, somewhat unexplainable therapy. Truth is, energy work is an effective bodywork that is as ancient as healing itself.
Two years ago, researchers Patricia Sohn and Cynthia Loveland Cook surveyed nurse practitioners (NPs) in Missouri and Oregon to assess their knowledge and use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The results of their study, published in a 2002 Journal of Advanced Nursing, revealed that while respondents appeared to embrace CAM on a large scale, a much smaller number actually based that acceptance on formal education.