Every kid is a combination of his/her dad and mom. My dad is a scientist and does nothing unless his brain agrees. Infact his head rules his heart, rarely is he seen demonstrating his emotions without his head ruling them. That’s why the first lesson he taught me was to reason every statement made by others. Even if I was asked to drink more water and avoid soft drinks, I would ask, ‘why’? On the other hand my mom was a literary person, a writer, an artist and a talented dramatist. She let her heart and soul rule her head at times and that made her a softer person.
The rise in the number of followers of acupressure and acupuncture is globally known. Today a person may be considered backward and unaware if he does not believe in the benefits of the same. My mom’s softer genes have made me realize that matured people and many in number , if satisfied have to be doing something right. His is when I began my research on acupressure and acupuncture.
What is Acupressure?
This is a traditional Chinese system of medicine and therapy. This system recognizes certain points on the body which are responsible for the therapeutic effects of different kinds. These points are located along various imaginary lines or axis on the body which are termed as meridians. There are around 15-20 meridians on a human body. Each meridian has points on them right from the beginning to the end. It is to be realized that all the points on the meridian are not the points in this system as then the points along one axis itself would be countless and the practice would be impossible. Only those areas which are responsible for the therapeutic response in the body are considered as points.
By applying pressure on these points a therapeutic effect is created on the linked organ or body part. However it is to be appreciated that action on the throat can be achieved by pressure on a point on the wrist. This means that the points recognized in the system are not always near the organ they would effect. This may sound illogical. But I think meaning can be made out of it.
The very fact that the body is divided into meridians and a group of points on the meridian are responsible for some efficacious results means that there is a link or coordination between different areas of the body. As such we know from our scientific information that nerves and blood are all over the body and muscles are also located in wider regions of the body. That means the entire body is interconnected, we just need to find the right links to understand which would be the points responsible for the required resultant action.
Perhaps this is the reason why a point on the wrist is to be pressurized when the throat is to be cured. This pressure is applied mechanically by the hands of the expert.
What is Acupuncture?
Here the manipulation of points is done by pricking them with solid metallic needles unlike mechanical pressure. This is not painful in most cases. Some people are energise after acupuncture and some are relaxed. This has relevance to the type of points being punctured. However a specialist needs to carry out the process as a novice can cause allergies, sores and injuries along with pain by the needles pricking. Hence expert guidance and care is a must.
How are the points recognized?
The skill of practicing this system starts from the recognition and identification of the pressure points themselves. His is done by the variants in the heat on the skin, the difference in the stickiness due to perspiration on certain areas and many other tricks. Now heat, perspiration are well known to be involved with metabolic rates and hence if a point is to be recognized , it would obviously have a higher metabolic heat than other areas of the body. So there is a scientific explanation possible for each aspect of alternative medicine, we just need to explore them.
Rational in TCM
Chinese culture has been using this system much before the discovery of the blood, tissues and other organs of the body. Hence the rational they gave for the therapy was in form of energy forms – yin and yang which are both complementary to each other. For a healthy body both these energy forms need to balance each other. In a sick body on the other hand, one may be more dominant on account of interruptions in the flow of the other. These interruptions are known as ‘qui’. By acupressure or acupuncture, the qui is released and this results in unblocking of the flow of energy. Thus the subdued energy is increased to balance the dominant one. In short it is a question of balancing energies…yin and yang.
I am sure this also can be linked with modern medicine as all diseases involve loss of homeostasis and equilibrium. How we understand and interpret this is up to us. The facts remain.