This presentation was part of the 2023 Holistic Health and Wellness Forum for MS held on May 17 in Southfield, Michigan.
Megan Weigel, DNP, ANRP-c is an author and MS Certified Nurse. Acupressure is a simple intervention to help effectively reduce depression and fatigue in individuals with MS. Read on to learn more about this traditional Chinese therapy and how it could possibly help you.
View Megan’s presentation here. See acupressure points here.
History of acupressure
Acupressure is over 3000 years old. It’s acupuncture with your hands – no needles are involved. Heelers discovered that stimulating points on the body help heath and wellness. This is evident in massage which helps physically and with mental/emotional stress. Acupressure is based on the Chinese medicine principle that energy flows through meridians. Man is connected to heaven and earth through chi energy. Health requires balance between the mind, body, emotions and spirit.
History of Soul Lightening acupressure (what Megan practices)
Master Murai from Japan developed Jin Shin Jyutsu through his own healing. He traveled though Japan sharing the tradition orally. He met Japanese-American Mary Burmeister in Japan. She studied under his tutelage and returned to America to practice acupressure. Aminah Raheem founded Soul Lightening, learning Jin Shin Jyutsu from Georgia Moody while studying transpersonal psychology and was interested in the soul as the “diving essence” of the human being. She saw the development and support in finding their soul purpose.
Acupressure uses touch to encourage the healing in the person’s body. It conserves the energy of the client and practitioner. It’s a gently fingertip pressure with a fulcrum, like you’re putting a nickel on your skin. A session may include a balancing protocol, central channel release, chakra balancing and grounding. Sessions last 20-90 minutes. Process works involves the recipient using cues from their own body to process a situation to balance the energy in the body. Like craniosacral therapy, chiropractic work and massage, spontaneous release of emotion including tears and laughter are common. It’s the body letting go of what it no longer needs for higher consciousness.
Purpose: nourishes, recharge, rebalance
“Wherever energy flows freely and in balance disease cannot manifest.” – Dr. Rahim
The basic principles of acupressure include: Energy flows in the body and promotes wellness and open new awareness. Touch and flow of love form the heart brings healing and strengthening. Each person carries their own healing and wisdom within. Acupressure exists to empower the individual.
There are 36 acupressure points on the meridians in the body.
Elements and Meridians in Chinese Medicine
- Fire – small intestines, triple warmer, heart pericardium
- Earth – stomach and spleen
- Metal – large intenstines and lung
- Water – bladder and kidney
- Wood – gall bladder and liver
Benefits and tips for successful acupressure in MS
- Reduce symptoms including fatigue, pain, anxiety, any other symptom (constipation, nervous conditions, diarrhoea)
- There is a low potential for harm – possible discomfort depending on positioning
- Be sure to work with a certified practitioner (ask for credentials) who is licensed to provide touch therapy in the state where you live
- Touch and energy therapies can cause emotions to surface and release. It is important to discuss these with your practitioner and seek help if necessary
- Chakras – each area is addressed in acupressure
Acupressure Point for Anxiety
Pinky side of hand under the wrist crease is called spirit gate or heart 7. Hold with gentle pressure for 30 seconds to a minute
Do it as a mindfulness practice alongside mantras, yoga, essential oils and breath work. Mindfulness is so important for brain health.
Acupressure Points for fatigue
Large Intestine 4 (Pain relief) in the V between the thumb and first finger. Hold on both sides for 30 to 60 seconds
Three Yin Crossing – under your knee cap about 2 to 3 finger widths on both sides or cup under knee in a C with your hands
Leg 3 miles – top on inner ankle bone
Points for Tension
Excess baggage – Half way between neck and shoulders where you feel the most tension on the top of the trapezius and hold for 30 to 60 seconds
Megan Weigel, DNP, ARNP-c, 200RYT is an author and Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse, Multiple Sclerosis Certified Nurse. She is a nurse practitioner specializing in neurological care in Jacksonville Beach, FL. She has been a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) certified nurse since 2005, and an NP for over 20 years. She is also a board-certified Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse. She earned her doctorate of nursing practice from the University of Florida, where her research emphasis was on preventive healthcare. She completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in the Fall of 2018 which complements her practice focus on wellness and holistic care. She is the past-president of the International Organization of MS Nurses and the co-founder of oMS Yoga, a non-profit organization that brings free yoga classes to people living with MS (www.omsyoga.org). Her bestselling book, Monday Mantras with Megan, offers an approachable mindfulness journey and is available on Amazon.
Her areas of expertise include:
Integrative Medicine/Lifestyle Medicine
Neurological Complications of Post-Acute COVID
Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse
HeartMath Biofeedback Certified