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Acupuncture & Acupressure

December 11, 2014

M. Virginia Kelly MS. L. AC.

Today I will talk about acupuncture and acupressure, her younger sister. Both modalities were developed as an integral part of Chinese medicine empirically through millenniums, based on observation, trial, and error. Today, with advances in bio-medicine, there is sufficient scientific rigor studies that prove the effectiveness of these disciplines.

How it works:


The needle produces a domino effect, by sending signals to the brain through the nervous system, causing the release of endorphins and serotonin, and affecting hormones and neurotransmitters for pain relief and restore bodily functions.


By inserting a needle into a spastic muscle, fasciculation of the muscle occurs through the manipulation of the needle, triggering a response of muscular excitation and post-releasing lactic acid, thereby restoring circulation, oxygenation and proper nutrition for the tissues, and a speedy recovery.


Acupuncture points are centers of high body energy: bio-conductivity. The needle (metal), acts like an antenna inside the body, (a saline solution), restoring cell perfusion. Otherwise, the exchange of positive and negative ions accumulate on each side of the cell membrane when tissues are damaged. According to Chinese medicine, these points are energy vortexes network connected by meridians, which are the channels through which this vital energy flows. When disease occurs, this flow is interrupted and vice versa.

The acupressure, is manual "acupuncture" without needles, ideal practice as homework and self-help to implement from the comfort of your home at any time, to boost the acupuncture treatment. Stimulated (or disperse) these points with a finger, through a circular massage or vibration. Stimulation is used when there is a deficient condition (Yin), and dispersion, when an excess condition (Yang), but you can also make a neutral stimulation, to them balance out. The stimulation is typically done with clockwise motion, while dispersion, with counterclockwise circles. For a neutral stimulus, vibrating a finger on the point is sufficient.

How do we know when a condition is excessive vs. deficient? In general, when a disease is acute, it tends to be excessive, whereas when the disease becomes chronic, it tends to be deficient. But each particular case depends on several factors and other elements of diagnostic determination. If it can not determine the nature of the condition, a neutral stimulation is indicated, since it tends to counteract the imbalance.

A point of homeostatic nature, meaning that regulates the excesses and deficiencies, normalizes. A point that is known as He Gu, meaning "meeting of the Valley," also known as Colon 4 being the fourth point on that meridian, is located between the thumb and forefinger, where the hand when closed, bulges and enters when open.

His name represents the image of a mountain eroding to form a valley, which then gets filled, leveling the ground. Thus expresses homeostatic nature, the energy source of the colon meridian (Yang), paired with the lung meridian (Yin). The functions of these organs: Colon, waste manager to remove toxins, and Lung, to exchange air for gas, manifest the energies of giving and receiving, accepting and letting go, assimilate and dispose of, thus representing the Yin and Yang of the Tao, (which can be described as the whole).


From a somatic (or body) viewpoint, the point may be used:

-Relevant to the intestines, to be located on the meridian of the Colon.

-Related to the respiratory system through the Lung meridian.

-Related to the face, because it is a facial command point.

It can be explicitly used for the following disorders:

Excess (Yang):

Fever, headache, nosebleed, colds, chills, cough, sneezing, sore throat, pains in the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth (dental pain), etc..

Weaknesses (Yin):

Sweating, diarrhea, lack of energy, general, etc..


This is a point that facilitates the induction of labor, it is advisable to avoid in case of pregnancy.

From a Psycho-Spiritual view:

This is a point that helps develop change processes where necessary detach, remove, or letting go is essential, as often happens with the death of a loved one, or in situations of separation, divorce, job loss, etc.

By contrast, this point also helps to accept, receive, or assimilate, ideal for self-sufficient individuals who have difficulty requesting or receiving aid and those who mistakenly believe not to deserve it.


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