Some years ago, in Taiwan’s China Medical University School of Nursing, a double-blind clinical trial involving acupressure meridian massage was performed on premature infants. The treatment was administered on some of these infants three times a day for ten days 15 minute per session. Before the feeding, the treatment group during the sessions was given stomach meridian massage and acupressure kneading applications and had their stomachs rubbed.
Researchers compared the treatment group and the control group (who were given conventional care) and made some impressive observations. While the initial week of the study resulted in no significant difference between the two groups; the week after showed that the infants experienced some improvements, which was markedly higher in the treatment group. These outcomes are encouraging as they show acupressure to be a natural and effective treatment, that neonatal nurses can perform on acupressure therapy on premature babies to promote their growth and improve their health.
What is acupressure?
Acupressure is a similar form of Chinese medicine treatment as acupuncture. Both are designed to stimulate pressure points along the energy channels (called meridians) of the body. Acupressure is a natural noninvasive form of treatment that helps eliminate blockages in the flow of vital energy or chi which then activates the body’s self-healing promoting abilities and restores balance to the body.
Being a type of massage therapy as well as a form of energy medicine, acupressure is a totally pain-free technique. It does not require the use of needles like acupuncture but only the firm and gentle touch of the healer’s hands.
The Positive Effects of Acupressure
Aside from fostering wellness and health among premature infants, acupressure is also used to boost blood flow in the body, enhance the function of the immune system, eliminate stress, bring back proper balance to the body, ameliorate pain, and bolster overall health in both adults and children.
Acupressure has been proven to resolve various health conditions such as arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, and nausea (especially related to cancer), and others illnesses.
Who can Practice Acupressure?
While there are community courses offering basic self healing acupressure methods, an increasing number of schools of Oriental medicine and schools of massage therapy also offer certificate programs for the therapy. Acupressure studies often include traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) philosophies and the history and use of this healing technique regardless if they’re offered as an individual training program or as an advanced study. Also included in the studies are subjects in pathology, physiology, anatomy, meridian therapy, and the theories of the Five Elements.
On a national level, you can attain professional certification in acupressure by passing the Asian Bodywork Therapy or ABT exam, which is given by the NCCAOM or National Certificate Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Since massage therapy is an increasingly popular form of therapy, diverse training of specialized techniques such as acupressure is an indispensible component of holistic health and conventional health practitioners. With regards to the aforementioned clinical trial, nurses can gain an advantage working in neonatal units if they have received training in infant acupressure. More and more veterinary technicians, veterinarians and other conventional medicine professionals are now studying acupressure therapy training to provide better treatments to their canine, feline, and equine patients. After achieving certification to practice acupressure, massage therapists are far better equipped to provide greater in-depth bodywork therapies to their clients; which translates to a significantly higher income.