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Acupressure sometimes referred to as Asian bodywork therapy (ABT) is a Traditional Chinese Medicine which involves applying pressure on specific points of the body called 'acupoints' to reduce related symptoms and improves overall wellness. Acupressure is an effective alternate healing method similar to acupuncture. While Acupuncture use needles to stimulate the pressure points, Acupressure use hands-on bodywork therapy by pressing / massaging. Acupressure may be used in combination with Reflexology which stimulate healing response on hands and feet with massaging. The integration of Reflexology and Acupressure therapy creates a more effective result.
According to the Chinese medicine theory, human body has numerous acupressure meridian points where vital energy flows. Sometimes, due to mental and physical discomfort, pain, tension or stress, the energy flow may get blocked, which results in sickness. Acupressure therapy can treat sickness by removing the energy blocks and balancing the energy flow in the body by applying pressure on the specific points of the body, related to the cause of the disease.
Acupressure points can be used to treat various diseases and conditions of the body, including headaches, migraines, mental strain, back pain, sinus problems, eyestrain, cold, flu, asthma, diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis, allergies, neck pain, ulcer pain, frozen shoulder, spondylitis, osteoarthritis, slipped disc, insomnia, fatigue, indigestion, sprain, tennis elbow and even toothaches. Disorder of joints, tissues, bones and muscles and various other discomforts caused by athletics or sports can be treated using Acupressure. Acupressure therapy is said to be one of the most useful therapies in curing various problems in children such as stress, congestion of the chest caused due to flu or cold, sleeplessness, constipation, bed wetting etc. This massage therapy had a great impact in women for treating conditions such as menstrual irregularities, menopause, pains during periods and much more.
Acupressure massage therapy is performed by a trained practitioner/acupressurist. Acupressurists study about the nervous system of the body and help patients to overcome pain and disease by pressing the body's meridian points or energy pathways, using their fingers, palm, elbow, feet or some other special devices. A skilled Acupressurist can integrate many complementary health care techniques and therapies into a complete treatment regimen. They first take full details of patient's health and symptoms, locates and identifies the relevant points that block energy. Once the points are located, they apply physical pressure on them. The pressure given on the points stimulate the related organs of the body and prevent diseases and maintains good health. Acupressure also involves the application of magnets and colours, on specific points in the hands.
Acupressure treatment is gaining popularity all over the world. People are accepting acupressure treatment because of its affordability and lack of side effects during or after treatment. Acupressure techniques are fairly easy and simple to learn, and one can use self-acupressure to relieve stress. One can also use some tools such as hand roller, back roller, acupressure mats and seats and many more for applying equal pressure on all the points.
Many colleges and health care centers in India are offering diploma, degree, postgraduate diploma courses in Acupressure/ massage therapy. A pass in senior secondary or any other equivalent examination is the minimum eligibility for studying this course. The duration of the courses vary with the institute and range from a short period of 3-6 months to 2-3 years. Graduates who wish to pursue further studies can go for postgraduate diploma or masters diploma course in acupressure. It is an add on course for Medical graduates. Most of these courses are of short-term duration say 2- 9 months.
One can also become an Acupressure therapist by clearing a certificate course in Traditional Chinese Medicine such as acupuncture, reflexology, Massage therapy etc along with associate degree programs and some practical experience. Distance education is another option. National Institute of Acupressure Research, Training and Treatment, Chandigarh (Chandigarh) ; Acupressure Research, Training and Treatment Sansthan, Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh); Acupressure Sansthan, Jodhpur (Rajasthan) etc offers courses through distance education. One can study these courses at home or on Internet, and the institute will provide the study material such as the Books, Charts and Instruments through e-mail. After completing the course, they should clear an exam for getting the certificate.
Workshops on acupressure is also conducted by the acupressure therapy institutes. These would help the candidates to learn specific acupressure techniques through hands-on practice. They are trained to use finger pressure to relieve pain and reduce stress.
Course Curriculum: Acupressure course covers topics such as Anatomy of human body, Definition & Concepts of Acupressure, History of Acupressure, Significance of Acupressure, Acupressure points, Acupressure Techniques, Acupressure treatments and therapeutic areas, Importance of Acupressure, Laws of five key elements, Classification of Acupressure, Acupressure instruments and their use, Diseases & treatment by acupressure, Clinical practice. Besides acupressure classes, Acupressure programs may contain courses in massage instruction, acupuncture, reflexology, Oriental Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Skills required for Acupressure Therapist
Active listening skills, attention to detail, excellent communication skills to generate new clientele, a pleasing personality, organizational/leadership skills and readiness to work hard are the essential skills required for acupressure therapists. They should be well aware of the body senses, gain knowledge of medicine and should be desirous to apply some extra effort in learning acupressure. They should be able to act appropriately & promptly, when faced with real life clinical situations. They should be able to make their clients feel comfortable before and after the session.
Acupressure therapists in India can find job opportunities in hotels, resorts, spas, salons, public health clinics, sports centers etc. They can also join in travel, amusement and recreational companies providing personal care services. At the start of the career, one can work with experienced and reputed acupressurists and learn as much as possible. Acupressure therapists often work in coordination with massage therapists, reflexologists, acupuncturists etc as they also make use of pressure points which enhance the functions in the body and promote overall wellness, in their treatment practice.
One can start their own clinic and become a self-employed practitioner to offer their services independently to clients. Another option open to Acupressurists is to specialize in animal acupressure for cats, dogs or horses.
Salary of the Acupressure therapists may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and various other factors. In the beginning a junior acupressure therapist can expect a starting salary of Rs. 1,00,000 – Rs.1, 50,000 Per annum. In India, the average salary of acupressure therapist is estimated around Rs.1, 75,000 – Rs. 2, 25,000 Per annum whereas an experienced professional can earn around Rs. 3,50,000 - 5,00,000 per annum. There are better opportunities for Acupressure therapists abroad.
Self-employed Acupressurist can charge a fee for each session. The duration of each session takes anywhere between 30 minutes and 60 minutes.
For the details of colleges/ insitututes conducting Acupuncture Courses, click on the following links.
TagsMassage Therapy , Traditional Chinese Medicine , health care career , Reflexology , healthcare career
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