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How does acupressure points work for weight loss
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Acupressure is an ancient healing art where the fingers are used to press key points that stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms. Using the power and sensitivity of the hand, this 5,000-year old technique effectively relieves pain, balances body energy, and promotes good health and well-being. Acupressure, just like any other energy healing therapy, relieves stress by reducing muscular tension, increasing circulation, and enabling deep relaxation.

How does acupressure work?
Our energy flow affects how we feel, how we think, and our health situation. The energy or the life force energy flows through definite channels in the body, called meridians or energy pathways. When the body’s life-force energy becomes blocked, various imbalances result. Life force energy gets blocked from stress, trauma or injury, and bad lifestyle habits. This is the cause of all ill health.

The meridian pathways thus govern the functions of all body systems, for example, the nervous system, digestive system, reproductive system, endocrine system, etc. The meridian pathways have special meridian points that are linked to various organs in the body. When one or more meridian is blocked, you will have problems in that area.

The basis of acupressure is that massaging and applying pressure to specific pressure points in the meridian pathway will allow the energy to flow freely and restore balance to the affected organ.

When the meridians for the digestive system are blocked, you will have various problems with digestion and hormone secretion, leading you to gain weight. Massaging the pressure points will make the energy flow and balance will be restored.

Without going into the complexities of the acupressure theory, suffice it to say that 12 major meridians and 8 subsidiary ones in the body work as the pressure points. These are shown in the diagram below. Pressing these key pressure points will bring about ‘digestive balance’ in your body.

How will pressure points help you lose weight?
A weight loss program with acupressure involves massaging the pressure point area and then applying pressure for specified time on that point. Acupressure will help the digestive system to function properly by -
Reducing craving for food
Achieving a balanced appetite
Increasing body awareness for conscious eating
To see results, you need to practice the given techniques for half an hour every day.
First, massage the pressure point area.Find the same pressure point and massage it on the other side too (wherever required).
Then, apply pressure on these areas for the mentioned time.
End it with another light massage on the same area.
Before starting acupressure therapy for weight loss, you must consult your doctor to discuss the risks and benefits of acupressure and whether your body will be able to handle and respond to the therapy.
Acupressure pressure points for weight loss
Here are the key pressure points that will help you lose weight.

1. Ear point: It is also called auricular pressure point. To find the point, place your finger against your jaw on both sides, move your jaw up and down, and shift your fingers till you find the point where the jaw has maximum movement. Apply pressure for one minute (or up to 3 minutes).
Benefits –
Controls appetite, helps stop overeating
Research has however shown that although auricular acupressure does reduce your BMI, you could reduce more by using vaccaria seeds on the ear points. What you do here is tape the seeds to the ear point and apply pressure.
Another study published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine: BMJ, found that auricular acupressure combined with a low-calorie diet significantly reduced leptin (uncontrolled food intake hormone) levels. But they were not sure about the mechanism of this reduction.

2. Abdomen point: This is situated 3cm below your belly button. Use two fingers to massage the area (move your fingers up and down gently). Press the pressure point for 2 minutes. Massage again. Do this twice a day.
Benefits –
Enhances digestive system functioning
Reduces constipation

3. Abdominal sorrow point: This pressure point is situated in line with the ear lobe under the last rib of the ribcage in front of your body. Massage gently and then curve your fingers and apply pressure to the point for 5 minutes every day.
Benefits –
Relieves indigestion, ulcers, and pain in the ribs
Balances appetite

4. Knee point: This is the pressure point for the stomach. It is located 5cm below the knee cap on the outer side of the leg. To find the pressure point, place your fingers one-hand-width down. Then move towards the outside of your leg, 1-finger-width off the shin bone. You know you’ve found the correct spot if you flex your foot up and down and can feel the muscle move beneath your finger. Apply pressure for 1 to 2 minutes.
Benefits –
Improves digestion in the stomach
Decreases hunger
Nourishes the blood

5. Ankle point: This is the pressure point for the spleen, an organ that aids digestion. The point is located on the inner side of the leg, 5cm (one hand width) above your ankle. Massage the area and apply pressure on the point with your knuckle or thumb for 1 minute. Release slowly.  It is safer not to use this pressure point if you are pregnant.
Benefits –
Strengthens your digestive system for better functioning.
Helps elimination of wastes.

6. Elbow point: This is the pressure point for stimulating the function of the large intestine. To locate the pressure point move a thumb-width distance from your elbow joint to the inside crease of your elbow. Keep your hand close to your chest. Apply pressure for 1 minute. Repeat with the other arm.
Benefits –
Removes excess heat and waste water from the body.

7. Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT): Although this acupressure technique is used to release /remove trauma and fear, studies have shown that it could help with weight loss and more so with weight loss maintenance. The technique is as follows –
With your thumb and fourth finger, lightly press the soft portion of the inner corner of each eye.
With the middle finger of the same hand, lightly touch your third eye (directly above the nose and half-inch above the eyebrow level).
Place your other hand at the back of your head, the palm cradling the occiput (area where the head sits on the neck) and the thumb pointing down.
Focus on a series of affirmations / statements, reducing weight in this case, while holding the TAT pose.
Practice this every day. You can do it for 20 to 30 minutes at a time or use it throughout the day.
Acupressure does help with weight loss, but to really see the difference you need to exercise and consume a healthy and balanced diet as well.

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