Helpful Instruction for Self Help Acupressure
Cindy Mason, CMT, Ph.D., State Certified Health Educator
www.21stcenturymed.org
011-1-510-967-9005
email: cindymason@media.mit.edu

These directions are for Self Help Acupressure.  The use of self help acupressure is as old as man, and as natural as the sky and moon.  We use self help acupressure on a daily basis, the way we touch ourselves naturally is a reflection of our body state.   For thousands of years, people have studied the natural ways of comforting through touch.   While we touch someone, our intentions are perhaps even more important than the technique.   The same is true for ourselves. 

How to Hold?
You may hold the area with the palms of the fingers, the thumb, the palm of the hand, the back of the hand, whatever is comfortable. I have even seen some people hold the areas with their feet if that is comfortable.

Sometimes you might notice sensations in your hands. You may  feel a sensatoin of "buzzing", there might also be heat. Notice the quality of the tissue you are feeling. is it like wood, wire, watery, etc. " As you do acupressure, often there is a transformation inside of us, as well as feeling more comfort.  It can feel like a new way of understanding yourself. Let whatever physical sensation that needs to arise come naturally, including burping, tummy gurgles, or twitching, or sleepiness.

How long should I hold? 

Stay with the area as long as you like, you will know when it is time to move on or you are finished - the same way you know a hug is finished?

You may not notice anything the first few times you hold some areas. that is ok, give yourself time. there is, i think, a bit of a training effect in that the more often you do the self care, the more responsive we learn to be to it, the more we can perceive it in our bodies.

There is sometimes a pulse that can be felt. This is also natural. It is hard to know if it is the pulse of your hand or the pulse of the area you are holding. Its not so much important to figure out that out but to experience the pulse and its quality, the tempo, the strength. whether it is present then absent and presnt again, whether it "synchs up" in your hands, and if it stays in synch. If you can feel these pulses, all the better, but it is not necessary to receive the benefits of the self help  recipes.

What can I expect to feel?
Inside you may experience a sense of inner quiet or peacefulness, a sinking into relaxation feeling, it may seem as if you are feeling sleepy, and its ok to actually fall asleep. allow yourself to feel whatever comes up, because it is part of your body's own healing process. sometimes, tears flow, as we let go of disharmony and tension. sometimes we see some of our selves, our inner truths, and find wisdom.

Give yourself a chance to move into relaxing, let your hands rest on an area long enough to give the body a chance to understand what is happening. initially you might want to massage the area (picture or quicktime) or comb through, waking up the attention of the nervous sysem to this area of the body you are calling attention to. Notice if you are tender or sore in the area. try to keep yourself comfortable, give yourself time and quiet if possible.