CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME – ACUPRESSURE
Acupressure can be used to relieve the pain and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Like Acupuncture, Acupressure is an ancient healing art but in this case using the fingers rather than needles to press key healing points. This stimulates the body’s natural self-curative abilities. Acupuncture and acupressure were developed in Asia over 5,000 years ago – some say even earlier, around 8,000 years ago.
Acupuncture and acupressure use the same pressure points and meridians; however, whereas acupuncture employs needles, acupressure uses gentle to firm pressure of the fingers.
Different styles of massaging the pressure points:
All Acupressure massage techniques, methods and styles use the same ancient acupressure trigger points. The techniques vary by using different rhythms and pressures to stimulate the acupressure points. This means not only using the fingers but also the hands, arms, legs and even feet.
Some massage styles also incorporate other healing techniques. Shiatsu Therapy, the traditional Japanese form of acupressure, can be quite vigorous, with deep pressure applied to each point for three to five seconds. In Jin Shin Acupressure, at least two points are gently held for a minute or more. This style also uses the Extra Meridians or Extraordinary Vessels, which balance the meridians. Tuina Chinese Massage and Thai Massage stimulate the Qi (Chi) healing energy using acupressure hand movements, full body stretches and Chinese massage techniques.
Skilled therapist …
A skilled acupressure therapist can integrate many complementary health care methods and therapies into a complete treatment. Examples include therapeutic touch, somatic work, healing imagery, acupressure meridian therapy, five element assessments, pulse reading, Asian bodywork therapy, energy psychology (which involves tapping acupressure points), and acupressure massage therapy techniques.
Acupressure at home: self-acupressure
You don’t have to understand the whole system of acupressure and acupuncture – nor even know the names or numbers of all the pressure points – to be able to get some good results form carrying out acupressure at home. However, as with many things, a little tuition can make it easier to more accurately find the points you want to massage. And this means your results will be better.
Pressure is applied by the fingers at appropriate acupressure points in the body. Simply firmly compress the points for at least two minutes at a time, 3 to 5 times daily.
Pressure can also be applied with your fingers using circular rubbing, pinching lightly or tapping.
Pressure on these acupressure points releases muscular tension, promotes the circulation of blood and enhances the body’s life force energy to aid healing.
Acupressure therapy can be very effective in treating stress-related ailments and is ideal for self-treatment and preventive health care – and particularly boosting the immune system.
Five key pressure points:
There are 5 acupressure points that are relevant to wrist, hand and arm pain – and specifically to carpal tunnel syndrome. These are:
TW5 (Triple Warmer 5);
P6 (Pericardium 6);
TW4 (Triple Warmer 4);
P7 (Pericardium 7);
Li 10 (Large Intestine 10).
This last acupressure point is extremely good for treating wrist and arm pain such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
These acupressure points are the same on both arms. TW6 is also known as the Outer Gate, while P6 is the Inner Gate.
Experience shows that firm pressure on the Inner Gates and Outer Gates can alleviate most of the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and relieve the wrist pain. These points are both 3 finger widths from the wrist crease, in between the two bones on one side and the tendons on the opposite side. P 6, the Inner Gate is on the inside of the forearm; TW 5, the Outer Gate is in the same location but on the outside of the forearm.
Relief can be obtained by pressing them together, using your fingers on one side and your thumb on the other side. However, once you get relief, wrist aches and pains can often return. In order to maintain long lasting results most people need to retrain the musculature by applying firm, deep pressure for at least two minutes per session on these Acupressure points several times a day, possibly for months.
Locating acupressure points:
Inner Gate, P6 or Pericardium 6: this is is an acupressure point for wrist pain relief that is located in the central part of the inner side of the forearm, two finger widths above the wrist crease. Stimulating this point on both arms using the fingertips can help in relieving carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist pain and nausea.
Outer Gate, TW5 or Triple Warmer 5: this is a local pressure point in both acupuncture and acupressure treatment of wrist pain and is located on the outer side of the forearm, midway between the two bones (radius and ulna) some two and a half finger widths above the wrist joint.
Stimulating this point on both arms using fingertips is useful in relieving wrist pain, rheumatism and tendinitis. This point is especially effective in boosting immunity so that the body can fight better against colds and allergies.
TW4 or Triple Warmer4: this is a local acupressure point on the wrist that is especially useful for treating neck, shoulder and arm pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. This point is located on the outer side of the arm, in the hollow in the center of the wrist at the crease. Stimulating this point also helps in relieving rheumatism, tendinitis and tennis wrist pain and can also be used to strengthens the wrist.
P7 or Pericardium7: is also known as the Great Mound, and this point is really effective in treating wrist and thumb pain. This point can be found in the middle of the inner side of the wrist crease. This point aids the relief of all types of wrist problems like wrist tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and rheumatism.
LI10 or Large Intestine10: also known as the Arm Three Li. Pressure on this point is extremely beneficial for the treatment of wrist and arm pain. This point is located on the outer side of the wrist crease, two finger widths away from the crease. This point is very effective in treating wrist, elbow and shoulder pain issues along with general ache in these areas and paralysis in the upper limbs. This point is also helpful in treating nausea, vomiting, ulcer pains and digestive disorders and building of energy level in the body.
Once relief has been obtained from the wrist pain, a program of prevention and maintenance is necessary or the wrist pain is likely to come back. Once you get relief, therefore you will need to continue to apply pressure to these same Acupressure points whenever you get a chance.
For more information on acupressure points.
Dr Mark Wiley – self acupressure system
In his clinical practice, Dr Mark Wiley developed a self-acupressure method that has proven successful with his own clients and those of his colleagues. In a nutshell, here is the technique he suggests:
- Extend your forearm, wrist and palm muscles to stimulate blood flow and reduce muscle contraction pain and tightness.
- Press specific acu-points to remove energetic stagnations and promote free flow of qi or energy.
- Restore range of motion.
- Reduce inflammation, pain and stagnation in the carpal tunnel, hand, wrist and forearm.
There is a video below that shows you the steps. Repeat this procedure several times a day for best results. If you are in an early stage of the condition, you get best results. But even long-term sufferers can find relief.
It sure beats surgery for maintaining the health of your wrist!
Acupressure can be used on its own or as a supportive self-help treatment to alleviate pain and discomfort alongside other treatments or medications. As with acupuncture, it is always best to seek the guidance of a qualified acupressure therapist who can advise on the treatment required for specific symptoms.