There are many offshoots of acupuncture that are lesser known to the population at large and one of these is acupoint therapy. Acupoint therapy is an extension of akupunkt massage which was created by Willy Penzel and is a part of his modern APM system.
Acupoint therapy allows for the stimulation of a variety of acupuncture points not with needles but by way of a therapy stick.
Both acupressure and shiatsu are similar to acupoint therapy in that they utilize the practice of massage whereas acupuncture solely makes use of needles. Although many people espouse the value of acupoint therapy, scientifically speaking there is no evidence to support its effectiveness. The country that makes most use of this form of natural therapy is Sweden.
Meridians and Acupoint
Acupoint therapy starts from the premise of traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that the body has a collection of what is known as meridians.
Each individual meridian has its own special function and each meridian has its own points and these points correspond to a variety of areas on the body as well as the system of energy.
According to acupoint therapists, half of the meridians of the human body correspond to yin and half correspond to yang. The half that corresponds to yin relates to the parasympathetic nervous system and this is associated with a reduced level of blood pressure, a slower heartbeat, the release of stress from the muscles and a deeper feeling of relaxation.
The meridians that correspond to yang are associated with increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which is to say a faster heartbeat, a higher level of blood pressure, tension and stress as well as more as opposed to fewer contractions taking place in the muscles.
Balance is the Key
The main goal of acupoint therapy is to bring the two nervous systems, the parasympathetic and the sympathetic (which is to say the Chinese yin and yang) to a point where they can be in balance as well as perfect harmony with one another.
The therapy stick that is used in acupoint therapy looks a lot like an implement you would see at a dentist’s office although at its end it has a small ball. This ball has a diameter of approximately a few millimetres.
In one version of acupoint therapy, the therapy stick is used to stimulate along a specific meridian line. It works by way of vasodilation which then causes the stimulation.
Try It Out
To test this out on yourself to see how it works simply take any blunt object that is pointy (such as for example a match stick) and run it along your inner forearm and watch carefully about what happens. It will take a few minutes but you should eventually see a red line appear where you traced the line along your arm.
If you see the line then this is known as vasoconstriction. There is also another version of acupoint therapy and in this instance, individual points on the skin are stimulated with the therapy stick as opposed to any particular length along the meridian.