Acupressure is an ancient Chinese technique which relies on pressing certain points on the body to promote relaxation and wellness and treat diseases and conditions.
It is seen as acupuncture without the needles, but do you know how does it work?
What’s the theory behind the practice?
Acupressure has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine and is similar to Shiatsu or medical qigong. Acupressure stimulates acupoints in the body that are located on certain meridians through which energy flows.
These are the same meridians targeted with acupuncture. The energy that flows through these channels is called chi (qi). Traditional Chinese Medicine also believes that there are 12 major meridians in the body connected to a network of organs which they can influence.
The meridians are in your fingertips, connect to your brain and of course, to different organs. Here are 5 simple acupressure exercises that can improve your balance, strengthen your feet and reduce the pain:
1. Toe press
Warm up your legs first, then stand upright, bend the knees a bit to grip the floor with the toes and hold the position to the count of 3. Repeat 10 sets of the exercise 3 times a day.
2. Toe pencil pickups
Put a pencil on the ground and lift it off with your toes. Hold the position for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat the exercise 5 times for both feet.
3. Walking on your toes
Anyone can perform this exercise, which is very easy and efficient when it comes to strengthening the muscles on your toes, ligaments, and the muscles around the shoulder blade. You should walk on your toes for about twenty seconds, and then rest for another ten to fifteen seconds. Then, repeat the whole process for five more time. Do this twice a day.
4. Circular motions with your joints
The joints are very important as they can contribute to pain in the muscles, in the hips, in the back, and in the knees. This is why it is really important that your joints remain flexible. Lie down on your back and start moving your leg toward your head. Then, turn your joint around, making clockwise circular movements for about ten seconds. Repeat the same thing with the other leg as well.
5. Resisted flexion
This exercise targets the tiny muscles in your feet which are responsible for balance. Sit on the floor and straighten the feet, then wrap an exercise band around the bedpost. Put the band on top of your feet, then lean back to tighten it, hold the position for 5 seconds and rest. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
6. Feet massage
Place a tennis ball right under the second toe of your right foot. Move the ball around your foot slowly for about one to three minutes, and then repeat the same thing with your left foot.
7. Toe Stretching
Sit on a chair, and put your right leg on your left thigh. Hold your toes with your left hand, as if you are shaking hands with someone, and stretch them to the side for ten seconds. Repeat this three times for each foot.
8. Ankle circles
Proper mobility of your ankles is of great importance for your balance and to prevent injuries. Tight and restricted ankles are not an innocent problem – they can result in muscle, joint, hip, knee and back pain. To prevent these problem, try the following exercise:
Lie on your back on the floor, then extend one leg over your head and rotate it clockwise. Count to 10 then repeat the exercise with your other leg.