What is Acupressure?
Acupressure is a non-invasive energetic form of bodywork accessing the energy system of the body known through traditional Chinese Medicine as the Meridians. Acupressure can bring about a gentle yet powerful effect on our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being through light touch.
Acupressure can be conducted as a full session or incorporated into a remedial massage session as an additional technique to aid in the release of pain/tension from the muscular system and activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
How does acupressure Work?
During an acupressure session light touch is applied with the finger tips to access the energy of the meridians through acupoints. Light touch on the acupoints aids in clearing blockages of stagnant energy and assists to bring about balance and restore flow of energy alleviating physical symptoms and emotional distress.
Benefits of Acupressure
- Releases endorphins which assist to reduce pain in the body
- Balances the flow of Qi/energy in the body’s meridian/energy system of the body
- Relaxes the fascia/ connective tissues of the body
- Increases blood flow in the area and assists to release toxins from the tissue and deliver increased blood flow to the tissues
- Reduces muscular tension and discomfort
- Assists in releasing stress from the body and mind
- Promotes relaxation
- Supports emotional well being
- Supports and improves the immune function
- Nurtures mental harmony and clarity
- Fosters general well being
What are the Five Elements?
The Five Elements in traditional Chinese medicine are
Each of the Five Elements forms part of the cycle which represents the exchange of energy in nature. The most noticeable appearance of the Five Elements is in nature through the manifestation of the seasons.
Each season flows into the other and also represents the flow of energy through the cycle of the Five Element.
We all have the five elements within us. As we individuals, our blend of the elements is completely unique to us. Each element when in balance creates harmony, wellbeing and a flow in life. In times of stress, disharmony and illness an imbalance in the five elements disturbs the flow of energy resulting in physical symptoms and unease in our mind and emotions.
As a practitioner of Five Element Acupressure I am able to apply my training and knowledge to identify which element is out of balance and hold points to assist the release of energy blockages. Many things can have an effect on the balance of the five elements within your body. These include Diet and lifestyle and changes to these can help support the work of five element acupressure.
The Fire Element is associated with the season of Summer. With the season of summer, the warmth of the sun is at its fullest point in the sky. Summer is the time to enjoy the fruits from the seeds we planted and the visions and plans we made in the spring.
The most expansive of all the elements the Fire element is where we reach our full potential. Fire takes us on a path that creates greater self-awareness as our quest takes us to seek emotional harmony with self.
The element of Fire is about relationships, not only with ourself, but with others and the external world. We become more socially active and venture outside. As we engage the heart, the organ of the Fire element, we seek to bring intimacy and connection into our relationships. This can only be achieved if our hearts are open to receive. We enter the world with trust, compassion and desire.
The emotions of fire are the highest vibration – Love and Joy.
The Fire element is the most yang of all the elements.
Fire is seen as the element of divinity, transformation, passion and purification.
Fire is expansive and even explosive and denotes activity. Its movement is outward like a lover’s arms stretched out ready to embrace life.
When the element of Fire is deficient, our heart shuts down and we close ourselves off to the world. We may appear cold towards others and our life becomes joyless. We lose our sense of humour and passion for life which can lead to speech problems like stuttering. When there is too much Fire, we become over excited and laugh at the most inappropriate times. We can easily be seen as hysterical. When in balance the Fire element makes us fully conscious, with a sense of physical and emotional self-awareness. We are able to think calmly, clearly and speak openly.
The Spiritual Nature of Fire is the JOURNEY OF KNOWING THE TRUE SELF.
This journey is undertaken through the path of feeling and the ability to communicate lovingly to the self. The deep connection to the self is LOVE. Self-love can bring us into the fullness of maturity where we are able to truly share ourself with others.
There are 4 meridians of the Fire Element, Heart, Small Intestine, Heart Protector (Pericardium) and the Triple Heater. These meridians move the energy outward warming the energy/qi of the Water Element in our body. The heart is where our ability to make deep connection lies. The heart allows us to think and communicate clearly with calmness. The Small intestine is the main protector of the heart and gives us the ability to sort the truth from what is not true. It is the source of our gut feeling. The small intestine is in constant communication with the heart and listen intently to the needs of the heart.
It is the gateway to the outside world and vice versa. The Heart Protector is like the guard that stands at the gate to the city therefore opens or restricts access to the heart.
The Triple Heater gauges the safety of our environment and protects the borders surrounding our heart. The Triple heater assist us to set up boundaries that have to do with the heart.
Tips for the harmony of Fire Element during Summer
Passion- find the source of your greatest passion and dive into it
Get Active – get out of your head and into your body go hiking dancing or just play. Do what makes you happy. Have fun
Get to know others – give your time to get to know and create relationships with others. Learn to open your heart to unconditional love through connection with others
The season of the Earth Element is that of late summer. As the height of summer wanes, the season of late summer begins with the relief in the air from the intense heat of the previous season. The sun’s rays begin to decline in intensity. The fruits on the vines and trees hang full and plump ready for the last harvest. The Earth element is associated with a time of slowing down, a time to sit and reflect on the fruits of your labour and the abundance of the mother earth.
The element of Earth is the fulcrum for all the other elements and relates to the time of transition between each Season. It is a place you come home to, to be nourished and nurtured. Home gives a sense of peace and satisfaction.
When energy of the Earth element is deficient, we lose our sense of the earth beneath our feet and feel unstable. We may have trouble giving and receiving – either giving too much of ourselves to others, depleting our energy or we start to hoard that which is not needed.
In balance we find ourselves grounded and centred. We feel secure in life and are able to receive nurturing as well as nurture others. In life we are thoughtful and empathetic and are able to relate to those around us from this base.
The Spiritual Nature of the Earth Element is CULTIVATING YOUR TRUE PURPOSE
The meridians of the Earth Element are the Spleen and Stomach. These two meridians play a part in transforming the food we ingest into nutritive qi and transporting it around the body. The Spleen energy/qi upward movement hold organs and blood vessels in place.
Prolapse of organs or haemorrhoids are a sign of deficiency of the Spleen. The emotion of worry depletes the energy/qi of the Earth Element as the spleen governs the quality of our thoughts, our ability to concentrate and do mental work and our ability to memorise things
Keys to the harmony of Earth Element during Late Summer
Nourishment – The season of Earth is a time to be nourished and nourish others.
Abundance – Enjoy the abundance of fruits and vegetables. Take the time to enjoy your food.
The Fruits of Your Labour – At this time of the year spend to think about what you have harvested for yourself.
The time of the element of Metal is Autumn. As the days now get shorter and start to cool it is a time for us to accept what has come to pass. As the leaves fall from the tree everything is laid bare, the metal element inspires us to recognise the value of who we are and that which surrounds us.
The emotion of the Metal Element is grief and sadness, like with any period of letting go there is always a sense of loss. Through this experience of grief, we cleanse ourself and our life of that which no longer serves us.
When the element of metal is out of balance, we can become obsessive and hang on to things that no longer useful in our life whether they be thoughts and ideas, grief, emotions or objects. Too little of the Metal Element can result with us losing our self in daydreams, unwilling to navigate life fully. When Metal is in balance we find ourself able to let go of things we no longer need and accept what comes into our life without attachment.
The Spiritual Nature of Metal is RECOGNISING THE PRECIOUSNESS OF NOW. This reveals hidden treasures within our true nature. Within in these treasures we have the ability to see the value of ourself. Once we see our self-value we move to a place of self-respect.
The meridians of the Metal Element are the Lung and Large Intestine. These Lung meridian draws the energy in from the outside world as we inhale our breath, sending the energy downward to the kidneys to allow the energy/qi to be anchored into our body. The Lungs form the defensive energy of the body and distribute the defensive energy/qi to the skin. The Large intestine rules elimination of waste and impure substances from the body.
Tips for the harmony of Metal Element during Autumn
Clear the clutter – go though your home and dispose of belongings you no longer need. Sell them or give them away to others who might value them and use them
Clear the mind – time to let go of beliefs, attitudes and behaviours that no longer serve you. Spend time resolving situations that may still be causing you pain or pain to others. Journaling is a good way to do this.
The Water Element is associated with the season of winter. In winter the days get shorter and colder, we retreat indoors to find the comforts of our home and hearth, our body and mind crave less activity and more sleep in supporting its need to conserve energy and its resources. It this time of deep resting, our potential for the coming year is restored as our energy reservoirs fill.
The Water element is the most yin of all the elements.
When the element of Water is deficient, we can become more fearful when interacting with life. Too much of the Water element can cause us to take unnecessary risks in life – we become daredevils or adrenaline junkies. Water in balance makes us courageous and gives a strength of will and determination to take action in life.
The Water Element is about Reassuring the Self
The Spiritual Nature of Water is the JOURNEY INTO THE DEPTHS. This journey takes us deep into ourselves and our consciousness. A place of being and listening to that which lies within us.
The meridians of the Water Element are the Kidney and Urinary Bladder. These two meridians draw the energy downward and inward anchoring the energy/qi into our body. These two meridian’s rules the lower back and the lower extremity of the body and open to the ear. They also anchor our inherent energy/qi that we are born with – known as our Essence. As we age, we consume our Water energy too rapidly, depleting our reserves, we can have increasing periods of lethargy and a feeling of not being supported in life. In our physical body we can start to experience lower back, hip and knees pain or hearing issues.
Tips for the harmony of Water Element during Winter
Rest more – lower your level of activity, enjoy being at home around the warmth of the hearth
Increase intake of the foods which support the Water Element – enjoy warm winter soups and stews. Increase intake of blue or black coloured food
The Wood Element is associated with the season of spring. The energy we stored through the winter months burst forth as the days start to lengthen and warm. We venture outside to explore the world again; our activity and outdoor pursuits increase. This is a great time to start new projects. In the garden the warmth on the earth sees the start of new growth and plants sprout upwards through the earth.
The Wood element is associated with growth, expansion and forward movement.
When the element of Wood is deficient, our procrastination increases, we can become frustrated and we lose our direction in life, jumping from one thing to another. Lost in direction we lose our boundaries and may fall into victim mentality. Too much of the Wood element can cause us to plan and control everything in life. We become inflexible in our thinking, our resilience wanes and we can become stubborn. We lose sight of our direction in life. This can lead outbursts of anger. When the Wood Element is balanced, we have the clarity of where we are heading and we are able make decisions and put our plans into action with benevolence.
From a physical perspective inflexibility in the body or issues with tendons and muscles can highlight a problem within the wood element as can problems with the eyes or vision.
The Spiritual Nature of Wood is FINDING THE TRUE PATH. This journey allows us to see our true direction in life. The challenge of the wood element is to assert yourself in life with wisdom and good judgment.
The meridians of the Wood Element are the Liver and Gall Bladder. These two meridians assist the energy/qi to move upwards and outwards. They also are responsible for moving the energy/qi around our body. These two meridian’s rules the muscles and tendons of the body and open to the Eyes. The Liver is associated with our ability to see where we are going in life, staying focused and gives clarity so that we may live in harmony. The Gall Bladder’s ability to plan and carry out those plans wisely opens the doors to choices in life. The Gall Bladder gives us courage and gives us the wisdom make good decisions among the choices presented to us.
Tips for the harmony of Wood Element during Spring
Time to venture outdoor and enjoy pursuits in the warming sun.
Start new projects – spring is a great time to plan and start new projects.