Acupressure is the most ancient and simplest of the various oriental therapies such as acupressure, acupuncture, shiatsu, zone therapy and…
Chapter 3 The science of acupressure
For centuries , in India, China, Japan and other countries, life has been considered as a bio-electrical phenomenon, that is, our life relies on the bioelectricity that exists in our body. It is only because of the existence of this energy in our body that we can move, breathe, digest food or think. We call this bioenergy ‘Prana’ or ‘Chetana’. The Chinese call it ‘Chi’. This bioenergy is composed of two kinds of forces: ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’. Yin is a negative force whiIe Yangis a positive one. A person remains in good health if there is co-ordination, harmony and balance between these two forces. If the balance is disturbed or ‘warped’, that is, if the flow of one force in the-body is greater than the other, illness arises. These forces (bioenergy) flow through definite courses or channels in the body. We shall call these courses ‘meridians’. The Chinese call them ‘ling’.
It is believed that there are in all 14 meridians in our body for the flow of bioelectricity or bioenergy (Chetana), Out of these 14 meridians, 12 meridians are present in pairs, each on the right side and the left side of the body, while the remaining two are single. One is on the vertical midline in front of the body and the other on the vertically central line on the backside of the body.
The 12 paired meridians comprise of 6 ‘Yin’ meridians and 6 ‘Yang’ meridians. ‘Yin’ meridians start from the toes or from the middle part of the body and go to the head or to the fingers of the hands. The ‘Yang’ meridians start from the head, the face or the fingers and go downside or to the middle part of the body.
These meridians which maintain the flow of bioelectricity have connection with the main organs (or systems) of the body. Eachmeridian has been given the name of the organ with which it is connected. One end of each meridian lies in the hand, the leg or the face and the other in one main organ. That is the reason why pressure applied to a particular point on the hand or the leg,’ affects the remote organ connected with this point. The names of the main 14 meridians are as follows :
|lung meridian||shoutàiyin fèijing||LU|
|large intestine meridian||shouyángmíng dàchángjing||LI|
|stomach meridian||zúyángmíng wèijing||ST|
|spleen meridian||zútàiyin píjing||SP|
|heart meridian||shoushàoyin xinjing||HT|
|small intestine meridian||shoutàiyáng xiaochángjing||SI|
|bladder meridian||zútàiyáng pángguangjing||BL|
|kidney meridian||zúshàoyin shènjing||KI|
|pericardium meridian||shoujuéyin xinbaojing||PC|
|triple energizer meridian||shoushàoyáng sanjiaojing||TE|
|gallbladder meridian||zúshàoyáng danjing||GB|
|liver meridian||zújuéyin ganjing||LR|
The intensity of the flow of bioenergy In a particular meridian is notthe same throughout the day. The flow of bioenergy in a meridian is maximum only once at a definite time during twenty-four hours. Twelve hours after that time the bioenergy flowing in that meridian is the minimum. This has been explained in the following figure which can be termed ‘the organ-clock’ :
The figure shows that the lungs have the maximum flow of bioenergy during 3 to 5. ·o’clock in the morning; the kidneys, during 5 to 7in the evening; the gall bladder, during 11 to 1 at night and the liver’ during 1 to 3 after midnight. Attacks of asthma mostly occur during 3, to 5 in the morning, renal colic occurs during.S t07 in the evening, the pain in the gallbladder occurs during 11 to 1 at night and the headache and insomnia which are caused by malfunctioning of the liver occur during 1 to 3 after midnight. These facts are significant and any doctor will confirm them. Modern physicians are unable to explain the reason for the radiation of chest-pain to the shoulder and the whole arm in cases of many patients who have suffered from a heart attack.
But an acupressure or acupuncture expert finds no difficulty in explaining the reasonfor this pain. Eventhe oldest books on acupressure and acupuncture show the location of the heart meridian in that very part of the arm in which a person with heart-attack experiences the radiating pain. Each of the 14 main meridians has subsidiary meridians.
One part of this subsidiary meridian passes through the lungs and blood-vessels of the heart and then penetrating the diaphragm joins the small intestine. The other part of this meridian passes through the neck and reaches the eye. The figure shows that the arena of the influence of the main meridian gets expanded due to its subsidiary meridians.
One of the subsidiary meridians of the Heart Meridian proceeds to the eye. On the basis of this fact eye ailments can be treated through the Heart Meridian also.The medical philosophy of the eastern countries gives sale importance to ‘body-meridians. On the other hand, the western medical science, following Dr. Virchov, approaches to the minute study for finding out the diseased tissue. It even tries to discover which particular cells in the tissue have been diseased (bone cells, nerves, muscle-cells, cells of blood vessels, etc.), Management and medicines to be given change’ according to the type of diseased cells. But acupressure therapy is different from the above therapy. A particular part of the body may suffer from any disease such as arthritis, wound, odema or skin-disease, but the acupressure treatment is the same. The reason is simply that the meridian itself is the main controlling force of the part of the body through which it passes. This meridian controls all types of cells present in its corresponding part of the body. This is why the acupressure therapy is simple and easy to apply. When there is any disorder in an organ of the body; the whole of its corresponding meridian does not become tender or painful but only some points lying on that meridian become tender. Severe pain is felt when these points are pressed. How does this happen? Why is the whole meridian not painful? The reason is that acupressure points work as regulators. They regulate and direct the energy flowing in the meridians. A meridian and its acupressure points can be compared to a telephone exchange and operators respectively. In a telephone exchange the operators regulate the incoming and outgoing telephone calls. In the Same way acupressure points regulate bioenergy which flows through the meridian.
If the flow or circulation of bioenergy in a meridian is not proper, it can be corrected and made proper by stimulating certain points lying on that meridian by applying pressure on them and thus the disease of that organ can be eliminated. The decisive proof of this fact is that as soon as the disease is eliminated, the pain in the acupressure points is relieved.
This implies the following three facts :
(1) If an organ of the body is diseased, pain is experienced in the points of the meridian connected with that-organ.
(2) A disease is eliminated by applying pressure on the painful points. In short, the relation between the organ and its meridian is not one-sided. The meridian is influenced by the organ and the organ is influenced by its meridian; e.g. in heart-disease; the points lying on its meridian become tender. Similarly, if anyone of these points is hurt or stung,the heart is affected. This is one of the great advantages of the acupressure therapy, because the diagnosis and treatment become practically the same. It means that if definite diagnosis becomes possible with the help of a point, the same point becomes useful for the treatment for the disease. On the other hand, if the definite diagnosis is not possible and the treatment given on the basis of inference succeeds, the inference in respect of diagnosis proves to be correct.
(3) Pain in the points is relieved as soon as the disease is eliminated. The disease might have been cured by anyone of the therapies:acupressure, naturopathy, homeopathy, Ayurveda or allopathy- the pain in the points is relieved with the cure of that disease.
The case of a middle-aged woman is very interesting. The woman had been suffering from headache and general malaise (indisposition) for years. All tests as regards her stool, urine and blood had been repeatedly done. But those tests proved to be of no use in diagnosing the disease. Whenever she gave a sample of her blood from the vein of her hand, an extraordinary thing used to happen. All her complaints used to vanish for a few hours. This had actually made her to look forward to fresh blood examination. Whenever she brought this matter to her doctor’s notice, the latter paid no attention to it. Once she accidently came into contact with an acupressure expert. The acupressure expert at once realized that the temporary relief from pain which the patient experienced was due to the stimulation of a certain point with the injection needle. There after this acupressure expert methodically treated her with acupressure and she was permanently relieved of her longstanding troubles. An acupressure point is a tiny sensitive circle of the Size of a finger-tip. Its diameter is about 1 sq. cm. Therefore great care is necessary to correctly locate a particular point. If only a slight touch or pressure on an acupressure point causes severe pain, it is a symptom of a severe disease. There are some acupressure points which enable one to come to the correct diagnosis of a disease; e.g., the pain on the point no. 6 on the Lung Meridian suggests piles, the pain on the point no. 39 on the Gall Bladder Meridian suggests gall stone and the pain on the point no. 4 on the Large Intestine Meridian suggests constipation. There are several acupressure points on each meridian. If an organ becomes diseased, the question that arises is which points should be pressed to eliminate the disease from the organ. For the cure of a disease some of the points on a meridian are more important than the others. One or more of the following reasons may be responsible for it : ,
(1) Bioenergy is inhibited easily and to a greater extent in some points.
(2) At some points the underlying meridian is quite near the skin.
(3) Some points can be found very easily and so treatment on these points becomes easy.
(4) There is a hard tissue (e.g., bone) below some points. Such points can easily be pressed against the hard tissue.
(5) Some points are very sensitive. If pressure is applied, on these points, the disease is eliminated rapidly.
Only such important points’ as mentioned above have been indicated in this whole book for the cure of different diseases. Pain on any point on the body is possibly a symptom of some disorder in an organ or in a system of the body. It should be assumed that the point, through pain, pleads for help. In order to help the organ or the system concerned, pressure should’ be methodically applied on it. Factors such as methods of applying pressure, timings, etc. have been discussed in the fifth chapter. To know which organ is co-related with the painful point is not always important; more important is the application of methodical pressure on that point. Accurate and methodical application of pressure on painful acupressure points gives one or more of the following benefits:
(1) One gets relief from the symptoms of the disease. Sometimes this relief is immediate. The disease itself also gradually vanishes.
(2) The strain of that part of the body or sometimes of the whole body and the mind is alleviated.
(3) Even if the symptoms of a few diseases like asthma reappear, their acuteness is considerably lessened.
(4) In diseases Iike asthma, the period between two consecutive attacks is gradually lengthened.
(5) Sometimes a critical condition (e.g., after a severe heart-attack) can be averted. When treatment is given through other manipulative therapies such as osteopathy, chiropractic or Swedish massage, at times acupressure points are unknowingly pressed. This may be the cause of the benefits, to some degree, which these therapies give.
Special note: Currently, ear-acupressure has been developed in which the organs of the body are treated by stimulating points on the ear. A reference of the fact that the ear is closely related to all parts of the human body has been found in some ancient books too. But the credit for the scientific development of ear-acupressure goes to Dr. Paul Nogier, a well-known French neurosurgeon.
It is a fact that acupressure has cured a number of patientswho could not be cured by the established method of modern medical practice. Though the doctors are aware of this fact, it is deplorable that they are not prepared to recognize this science. Observation, study, scientific researches and in numerable experiments have helped to accumulate so many evidences to prove the efficacy of acupressure that it is nigh impossible to disregard this old, traditional therapy. The doctors who deny the efficacy of acupressureor consider it to be quackery, in fact deceive themselves and deprive their patients of this simple and effective treatment. Aldous Huxley, awell-known literary person, says that acupressure, is disgarded by those very persons whose prime duty is to scrutinize such therapies. . Several principles have been put forward to explain how curative effects really take place by pressing acupressure points. Some of these principles have a support of scientific experiments, while others are basedsolely on inferences.Two of these principles are very important.
They are :
(1 ) Dr. Kim Bong Han’s Bioelectric Bong Han Corpuscles Principle and
(2) Dr. Felix Mann’s Cutaneo-Visceral Reflex Principle.
These two principles will be discussed in detail and a passing reference will be given to other principles.
(1) Bong Han Corpuscles Theory: Prof. Dr. Kim Bong ,Han presented two papers on his acupressure research at two Scientific Symposia held at Pyongyang in Korea on 30th
November 1963 and on 15th April 1965. For centuries the Koreans have believed that the body contains an independently working system called ‘Kyungrak’ which regulatesthe flow of bioenergy in the body. The belief was substantiated by Dr. Bong Han’s experiments. Dr. Bong Han succeeded in discovering inconspicuous, specific kind of Bong Han corpuscles lying beneath the skin, exactly at the site of acupressureor acupuncture points on the skin. These corpuscles are linked with tiny ducts, which, if drawn on paper, resemble meridians. Superficial Bong Han corpuscles and Deep Bong Han corpuscles are found to be slightly different in view of their composition. It can be said that the composition of these Bong Han corpuscles is quite different from any other corpuscles known so far. The same is the case with the ducts that link these corpuscles.
According to Dr. Kim Bong Han, 12 paired meridians and 2 single meridians are formed by Bong Han corpuscles located in the body and the ducts. 12 meridians which are in pairs are connected with twelve important organs or systems. This research greatly corresponds with the Chinese ancient concepts. Dr. Bong Han states that Bong Han corpuscles are the regulators of bioenergy which flows through the ducts. If the free movement of bioenergy is obstructed ln Bong Han corpuscles, the balance between ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang”forces in the body is disrupted and as a result diseases are caused. Systematic application of pressure on acupressure points directly affects Bong Han corpuscles, This leads to the reestablishment of the balance between ‘Yi n’ and Yang’ forces which ultimately results in the cure of the disease.
(2) Cutaneo-visceral Reflex and Viscero-cutaneous Reflex Theory: Most of our actions are controlled and regulated by the brain. These actions are called ‘voluntary actions’. But there are some actions which occur of their own, independent of the control of the brain or the will; e.g., if our hand, through mistake, happens to touch a very hot object, it is immediately withdrawn by itself. It is only after the hand is withdrawn that we come to realize what has happened. This sort of action is known as’reflex action’. It is a natural physical device for self-protection. Dr. Felix Mann believes that acupressure effect is a similar reflex. Dr. Mann says that a disease of an organ has an immediate reflex on specific points, which become painful to pressure. Electric-waves are produced when the painful points are pressed or pricked with a needle. These waves immediately reach the corresponding organ and start the process of curing a disease.