Although an ideal way to prevent gout, exercise isn’t the best option when it comes to relieving a gout attack. This doesn’t mean, however, that drugs are necessarily the answer to your discomfort and pain. You may want to try various complementary and alternative remedies available that are safer and just as effective. One of the easiest, most inexpensive, and effective of these alternative therapies is acupressure.
What is acupressure?
More commonly known as Shiatsu massage, acupressure, is a Chinese medicine procedure that has been practiced over a thousand years ago that is grounded on the same theory as acupuncture. According to this theory, the human body has about 2000 pressure points that are connected throughout the body through 20 major energy channels called meridians. These meridians are vessels wherein life energy called Qi or Chi flows through between the internal organs and the surface of the body. Chi affects all of the pressure points in a unique way and its flow brings balance to both the body and mind.
Chi becomes unbalanced when the body suffers illness or injury. If acupressure is done on the specific pressure points associated with the affected part of the body, these points can be utilized to influence the nervous system to enhance blood circulation and release muscle tension to the injured parts, essentially restoring balance in the body and relieving gout pain.
The methodology of the treatment is the main difference between acupressure and acupuncture. In acupressure, the thumbs or fingers are used to bear pressure on the pressure points, while acupuncture uses needles to promote blood flow and self-healing in the body.
What are Acupressure’s Benefits for Gout Sufferers?
Acupressure can provide gout sufferers relief from pain brought about by inflammation of the joints infected by gout. Besides this, acupressure can also:
• Maintain health
• Help the body experience deep relaxation
• Alleviate stress
• Relieve tension
• Boost blood flow
How is Acupressure Performed?
Acupressure involves the application of firm but gentle pressure over a certain pressure point using the knuckle, thumb, or finger. This pressure is maintained for about 15 to 30 seconds. You have discovered a pressure point when you feel a sharp jolt on the point followed quickly by a numbing or tingling sensation. This sensation is typical and usually lessens over time. When you release pressure to the point, you often experience instant pain relief.
Despite being a treatment that doesn’t use any oils, equipment, or tools to work, it is important to know that acupressure should be properly administered by a professional. You can also perform the treatment on yourself provided you have been properly educated about the procedure. You can find lots of self-help guides and online resources that can instruct you on how to perform acupressure. However, the best way to learn this therapy is from an experienced and qualified acupressure therapist.
For example, you can look at a diagram that shows every acupressure pressure point on the body. But not all points can lead to a cure from the gout discomfort and pain. Every sickness has unique pressure points associated with it.
The following are some of the acupressure points that can be stimulated to alleviate gout pain:
1. Leg Three Li point (Stomach 36 point) – This point is found between the femur and tibia in the knee. Besides relieving gout pain and discomfort, the Stomach 36 point can also treat weak digestion, constipation and diarrhea, nausea, bloating, general weakness, and poor immunity.
2. Three Yin Intersection point (Spleen 6 point) – This point is located at the intersection of the Spleen, Liver, and Kidney meridians three fingers width above the medial malleolus. This point is used for many types of diseases including gout.
3. Middle of the Back of the Knee Point
4. The Beautiful Bulge point (Stomach 40) – This point is located a finger’s width lateral to the tibia, moving towards the fibula near the knee. This point can also be useful for treating breathing problems like laryngitis, sore throat, and asthma.
5. The Supreme White point (Spleen 3) – Found at the big toe’s head. This location has a small depression; hold the point about 1½ minutes.
However, based on the kind of gout symptom you are experiencing, not all of these pressure points need to be treated.
You can go online and search for a qualified acupressure therapist in using “acupressure therapist” and your city name as the keyword search or check the yellow pages or talk to a physiotherapist or doctor.
Amy-SuiQun Lui, L.Ac.
Asian Health Center
27059 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy
Cleveland, OH 44143
Tel: (440) 833-0983