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How to Relieve Back Tension with Acupressure

written by: Jennifer Claerr • edited by: Lisa Lambson • updated: 11/10/2010

Many people suffer from chronic back pain. In many cases, this pain is caused by tension. Acupressure is a safe, easy-to-learn massage technique that can help you release this tension, regain mobility and relieve your back pain.

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    Overview of Acupressure Back Massage

    If you're suffering from chronic back pain, it may be due to muscle tension. If your doctor has ruled out potentially serious causes, you can try acupressure to release your back tension. Like other forms of back massage, acupressure is an effective remedy for back tension. Although it is possible to apply acupressure on yourself for relief of back pain, it's difficult to get your hands in the correct position to place pressure on the right acupressure points. If you have difficulty, have someone else apply the acupressure for you. The person performing the acupressure doesn't need to be an expert for you to experience tension relief. However, it is a good idea to study the acupressure points ahead of time to locate them accurately.

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    Acupressure Points to Release Back Tension

    Many of the thirty main acupressure points are on the back. The most important of these points are bladder (B) 38, 42, 47 and 48. These acupressure points occur on the muscular band which runs alongside the spinal column. You can find B 38 between the fourth and fifth ribs on the upper back. Create an imaginary line parallel to the shoulder blade on the muscle that runs halfway between the shoulder blade and the spine. The acupressure point will be in the middle of this line. Point B 42 is located along this same muscle, about two finger widths below the shoulder blade. You can find point B 47 between the second and third lumbar vertebrae. To find B 48, move your fingers downward to the pelvic bone. Most people will have a small depression in the back just above the buttocks. Be gentle at first when applying pressure to this point, as it tends to be very sensitive on some people. To find these acupressure points on yourself, refer to a good acupressure point reference.

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    Applying Acupressure to Release Back Tension

    Acupressure for the release of back tension differs from other forms of back massage. Instead of rubbing the muscles randomly, firm pressure is applied to specific points. The acupressure points on the back can be very sensitive in some people with chronic back tension. Other people may experience insensitivity and require intense pressure to relieve the tension. It's important to always begin by applying light pressure when giving an acupressure back massage. Check with your subject to see how he is reacting to the treatment. Have him tell you throughout the session whether the pressure is too soft or too hard.

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    Disclaimer

    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information you have just read.

    Sources:

    Iona Marsaa Teeguarden, "Acupressure Way of Health: Jin Shin Do." Japan Publications, 1978