Acupressure is an ancient Chinese technique which relies on pressing certain points on the body to promote relaxation and wellness and treat diseases and conditions. It is seen as acupuncture without the needles, but do you know how does it work?
What’s the theory behind the practice?
Acupressure has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine and is similar to Shiatsu or medical qigong. Acupressure stimulates acupoints in the body that are located on certain meridians through which energy flows. These are the same meridians targeted with acupuncture. The energy that flows through these channels is called chi (qi). Traditional Chinese Medicine also believes that there are 12 major meridians in the body connected to a network of organs which they can influence.
The meridians are in your fingertips, connect to your brain and of course, to different organs. Here are 5 simple acupressure exercises that can improve your balance, strengthen your feet and reduce the pain:
- Toe press
Warm up your legs first, then stand upright, bend the knees a bit to grip the floor with the toes and hold the position to the count of 3. Repeat 10 sets of the exercise 3 times a day.
- Toe pencil pickups
Put a pencil on the ground and lift it off with your toes. Hold the position for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat the exercise 5 times for both feet.
- Toe walking
This exercise can reinforce the toe muscles, ligaments and tendons – just stay on your tiptoes and move forward for 20 seconds, then rest for 15 and repeat 5 times. We recommend doing the exercise twice a day for best results.
- Resisted flexion
This exercise targets the tiny muscles in your feet which are responsible for balance. Sit on the floor and straighten the feet, then wrap an exercise band around the bedpost. Put the band on top of your feet, then lean back to tighten it, hold the position for 5 seconds and rest. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
- Ankle circles
Proper mobility of your ankles is of great importance for your balance and to prevent injuries. Tight and restricted ankles are not an innocent problem – they can result in muscle, joint, hip, knee and back pain. To prevent these problem, try the following exercise:
Lie on your back on the floor, then extend one leg over your head and rotate it clockwise. Count to 10 then repeat the exercise with your other leg.