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 conditions, alternative therapies, nutrition, nutritional supplements, and much more. Acupuncture / Traditional Chinese Medicine Aging Allergies & Food Sensitivities Alternative Therapies Big Pharma Evils Bone Health Candida (Yeast) and Parasites Cardiovascular Health Case Studies Chiropractic & Physical Medicine Dermatology Digestion Diseases Ear, Nose & Throat Environmental Sensitivities Eye Care Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Fitness & Exercise Health Insurance Issues Healthy Lifestyle Immune System Inflammation Integrative Medicine Lyme Disease & Morgellons Men's Health Mental Health Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Vitamins, & Herbal Remedies Pain Management Sexual Health Thyroid, Adrenal, & Sex Hormone Issues Weight Issues Women's Health

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

**An Introduction to Healing Touch
Wednesday, July 26th
5:30-6pm – Light refreshments
6-7:30pm – Workshop
Registration Fee: $40

Would you like to find relief from pain and anxiety without medicine?
Are you interested in releasing old patterns and stepping into a new sense of health and vitality?
Would you like to experience optimum performance with more focus, creativity, purpose, and meaning in your life?

Introduction to Healing Touch; A Gift for Self and Others
with WholeHealth Chicago’s Healing Touch Practitioner, Katie Oberlin, HTCP/I

The workshop offers:

  • an overview of energy medicine
  • specific methods that can be administered to others and utilized for self care
  • support for health and well being in body, mind, and spirit

Space is limited and registration is required.
Register online or call WholeHealth Chicago at 773-296-6700

 

**Yoga Therapy for Sleep Disturbance
Wednesday, August 16th
6pm – 7:30pm
Registration Fee: $60 (take home materials included)
Instructor: WholeHealth Chicago’s Yoga Therapist Renee Zambo, RYT

From getting to sleep to staying asleep, sleep disturbances plague many of us. Our brains and bodies require a complete cycle of thorough rest to properly detox and rejuvenate.

Yoga Therapy for Sleep Disturbance will discuss underlying causes for sleep disturbance, and ways to properly unwind at the close of a day. Specific methods to support participants with conditions such as chronic pain, high blood pressure, and elevated stress will be highlighted for improving rest and recovery.  Read more>>

Space is limited and registration is required.
Register online or call WholeHealth Chicago at 773-296-6700

 

**Join us for a demonstration of Taoist Tai Chi® internal arts of health
Saturday, August 26th at 11:00AM – 12:00PM
There is no fee for this program
WholeHealth Chicago
2265 North Clybourn Ave.
773-296-6700

This demonstration of Taoist Tai Chi® arts will give you an opportunity to learn more about this ancient path to good health of body and mind. Taoist Tai Chi® arts help to promote a healthy, balanced life style and a simple way to manage stress. Taoist Tai Chi® arts offers a chance to discover a powerful adaptable, and accessible tool for all ages, including seniors, and people with specific health concerns. These arts can be used to help people take responsibility for their health on its own or as a complement to medical treatment they may be receiving.

Recent Health Tips

  • Lyme Disease Fundraiser, Just When We Need It Most

    Lyme Disease Fundraiser, Just When We Need It Most

    Here are some well known people who have chronic Lyme disease: singer-songwriter-fashion designer Kelly Osbourne, TV star Ally Hilfiger (Tommy’s daughter), singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson, punk singer Kathleen Hanna, Marisol Thomas (wife of Rob Thomas), Real Housewife Yolanda Hadid and supermodel Bella Hadid, as well as …Read More »
  • Your Smartphone Is Stealing Your Brain

    Your Smartphone Is Stealing Your Brain

    Spoiler alert: I don’t own a smartphone. Also, I’ve been reluctant to write a Health Tip on smartphones lest two of my least desirable characteristics–smugness and self-righteousness– surface. But now a very well-conducted research study on how smartphones lead to cognitive decline compels me to …Read More »

July Sale: 20% Off Metagenic OmegaGenic Products

No one looks at quality quite the way Metagenics does. They devote the time and personnel to verify ingredient safety, ensure proper ingredient form/identity, and then test for purity and quality at multiple steps. This diligence may not change the way products look, but Metagenics knows it makes a measurable difference in the way their products perform.

Take 20% off these OmegaGenic products during July. Read more>>