2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Knowledge Base

Welcome to our extensive library of articles on health concerns and ailments, alternative therapies, nutritional supplements, and much more. Please mouse over the letters to get started. We hope you enjoy browsing.

Acupressure

What Is It?
Acupressure is a type of bodywork that involves pressing specific points on the body with the fingers, knuckles, and palms (and sometimes the elbows and feet) to relieve pain, reduce stress, and promote general good health. Developed in China some 5,000 years ago, perhaps out of the natural human instinct to hold or rub a place on the body that hurts, acupressure is part of the holistic system of traditional chinese medicine (TCM) that also includes acupuncture. (Interestingly, the use of acupressure predates acupuncture by some 2,500 years.)

In the United States acupressure is primarily used to relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. In China, the technique is used more like first-aid: The Chinese typically practice it on themselves or on family members to treat everyday ailments such as colds, headaches, sore muscles, and hangovers. Specialists are consulted for more complicated problems.

While many people prefer to go to a trained therapist to get acupressure treatments, the techniques, once learned, can be performed on oneself or by a friend.

How Does It Work?
Traditional Chinese medicine views health as the constantly changing flow of vital energy, or qi (pronounced “chee”) throughout the body. If that flow is hindered, sickness may develop. The goal of acupressure (and acupuncture) is to release blocked energy by stimulating specific points–called acupoints–along the body’s 14 primary meridians, or energy channels. Pressing firmly and steadily on the proper acupoints, it is suggested, can promote energy flow to a part of the body that is experiencing disease or discomfort, enabling it to heal itself more readily. While acupuncture involves stimulation with needles, acupressure typically uses only the practitioner’s hands to restore the balance of qi.

Although Western science has found no evidence that meridians actually exist in the body, studies do suggest that pressing on acupoints can release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.

What You Can Expect
During a treatment, which can last anywhere from 15 minutes to nearly an hour depending on the severity of the problem, an acupressure therapist may have you sit or lie on a massage table. Some acupressure therapists will work through clothing; others will ask you to undress (you will be covered with a towel).

The therapist will then locate and work on the specific acupoints that relate to your condition. Pressing a point behind your knee, for example, can help address low back pain. Or pressing a point on the top of the foot may help ease the pain of migraine.

Typically, the therapist will press each point for about three to ten seconds (longer in some cases). The points may be pressed and released repeatedly. If the problem doesn’t respond after about 20 to 30 minutes of treatment, acupressure may not be effective for you on that particular day, or for that particular ailment.

After a treatment, you will probably feel looser and more relaxed. You may experience a slight achiness, but you shouldn’t be in pain. Within three to eight visits, you should know whether the treatment is working for your ailment. Stress management usually requires a series of about six regular (weekly or monthly) treatments.

There are many different types of acupressure, and each practitioner may draw from a variety of methods. One of the most popular is shiatsu, a Japanese technique based on ancient Chinese principles. Practitioners of Zen shiatsu use their whole bodies as leverage to apply strong pressure. Barefoot shiatsu practitioners bring the feet into play, as well as the hands, to rub and press acupressure points. In the Chinese acupressure variation known as Tui Na, practitioners use their hands for massagelike kneading motions. Reflexology is a type of acupressure that involves pressure points on the feet and sometimes the hands.

Even if you prefer to do acupressure on yourself, you may wish to see an acupressure practitioner for a visit or two first, particularly if you are addressing a chronic or complex medical problem. These visits can help you learn where the particular acupoints are on your body.

Health Benefit
Many people have reported success using acupressure to relieve pain, reduce muscle tension, and promote relaxation. A number have found the therapy especially helpful for easing back pain and for certain types of headaches, including migraine. Post-operative pain and nausea has been found to respond to pressure point massage. Chronic sinusitis sufferers have also found it useful for easing congestion. Although research results are mixed, acupressure is also commonly used for morning sickness, motion sickness, and other types of nausea.

Some people find that treatments improve their overall vitality and well-being.

How To Choose a Practitione
There is no licensing procedure for acupressure therapists. Because acupressure involves massage, it is important to find someone you feel comfortable with. A word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend or co-worker may be the best place to start. Having a short phone conversation with the therapist before you go in for a visit may help you find out if you at least like the person.

Cautions

  • Never press on an open wound, swollen or inflamed skin, a bruise, surgery scar, varicose vein, or broken bone.
  • Avoid acupressure if you have a contagious disease, an infectious skin disease, or a serious heart, kidney, or lung disorder.
  • Avoid acupressure in the area of a known tumor.
  • Acupressure should not be applied directly over the lymph nodes.
  • Certain acupressure points must be avoided during pregnancy. Be sure to tell your practitioner if you are or may be pregnant.

For practitioner information and biographies click here or call 773-296-6700.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Upcoming Workshops

Shamanic Healing Clinic with Katie Oberlin, HTCP/I
Monday, February 27, 2017, 10:30 am – 6:00 pm

30-Minute Sessions ~ $35.00 (regularly $50.00)

Harness the power of nature. Connect with your inner wisdom. Take a journey to welcome back parts of you that have been left behind. Learn about the oldest form of spirituality and healing on the planet.
More>>

 

Facial Guasha Class
The Ultimate DIY Anti-Aging Facial!

Join us and learn a traditional Chinese facial rejuvenation technique that you can do yourself!

Facial guasha is an easy to learn technique that:
* encourages blood flow and promotes radiance
* prevents wrinkles
* activates cells to regain facial elasticity
* drains fluids to detoxify skin and reduce puffiness
* sloughs off dead skin cells
* uplifts and tones skin
* firms up facial muscles
* minimizes dark circles
* promotes a healthy, younger and more radiant look

Your skin will thank you and will look more radiant, smooth and younger!

When: Monday, March 20th, 7-8:30
Where: WholeHealth Chicago, 2265 N. Clybourn Avenue
Cost: $50 includes guasha tool and anti-aging facial oil

Space is limited, pre-registration required by calling 773-296-6700.
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • Nutritional Supplement Shotgun Therapy

    Nutritional Supplement Shotgun Therapy

    I once had a new patient arrive with her forms completed, a stack of medical records under her arm, and a large bulging gym bag in tow, saying “I brought all the supplements I’m taking. I’m hoping you can suggest a few I might not …Read More »
  • A Lifetime Of Experience With Abortion

    A Lifetime Of Experience With Abortion

    Let me start by saying the opinions on the topic of abortion are mine alone and not necessarily those of any staff at WholeHealth Chicago. For Health Tip readers who have commented that I should not voice political opinions and stick to my work as …Read More »

February Sale: 20% Off True Botanica’s AKBA Plus and Berberine Plus

AKBA Plus is the richest, full spectrum, frankincense (boswellia, AKBA) formula available.

Berberine Plus is the most full spectrum barberry root formula available.

Read more>>