For the past three weeks I’ve been experimenting weekly with both acupuncture and acupressure. Acupuncture is the Chinese medicine where someone sticks little needles in you at special points that are supposed to connect to something else in the body. For example, stick a needle in your elbow, get rid of insomnia. Acupressure on the other hand, is the belief that pressing on certain points through massage will affect target areas in the body. Feet are a big acupressure zone; massage the big toe, get the intestine working regularly. Both are fairly similar in theory, but I’ve noticed very different results.
Acupuncture lowers my energy level. I go into the office and climb up onto the table. My acupuncturist talks to me for a bit about what we want to accomplish and then she chooses a size of needles. Needles with red plastic on the ends have smaller heads, blue plastic on the end means bigger. I don’t know if there are any other colors like green for gargantuan because I haven’t graduated that far. All I know is that the red needles are so tiny I don’t even feel them. Denise, my acupuncturist puts the needles in and then I lie there on the table in the semi-dark with Gregorian chanting or bells playing in the background. I’m there for about an hour and I usually, but not always fall asleep.
After the session I’m always hungry, which Denise tells me is a common result. All I want to do is to go home, have a snack, and zone out on the sofa. I’m not sure why this happens, but my best guess is that my body is working hard. That needle in my elbow has triggered something deeper and the desired effect of why I went in there in the first place is on its way.
Acupressure on the other hand, is a fairly relaxing experience and once the fog clears from my head, I feel pretty much up for anything. My masseuse, Angie comes over to the house and we set up on my bed. After turning on a fan and closing the shades, she and I get to work for the next hour and a half. The session usually begins with some massage work just to get my body relaxed and supple. Then slowly, but surely she turns on the pressure stuff. At first, Angie presses lightly to test out the areas and to see what happens. She can tell before I do when an area is going to be sensitive. If I don’t jump from the bed like a scalded cat, she presses the spots harder and harder in a a type of concentric pattern until she somehow discerns when I’ve had enough. Believe it or not, despite the hurt, I usually drift off during our sessions. Somehow the release of pressure drags me under into a light, floating sleep.
Acupressure, in my novice opinion, doesn’t have the lasting results of acupuncture, but it does make my body feel much better. Where acupuncture leaves me feeling as if my body is working hard, acupressure leaves me feeling looser, more relaxed, and energized. I think both are equally beneficial and I’m sticking with them for a bit longer. Tuesday or Wednesday for the needles, Thursday or Friday for the rub. Now all I’ve got to do is sell a book and make millions so I can keep this up forever.