Everyday Application of Meridian
by Kim Soo Kyung & Kim Eun Kyung
(Grade 2, Writer)
1. Finger pressure Therapy (JI Ap)
Western massages include skillful fingering, rubbing and chafing. However, Finger pressure therapy is a traditional oriental therapy of physical and energy rebalance. Usually it is defined as an oriental "massage" but it is much more than that. It acts through pressure with thumbs, fingers and palms applied to determined areas and points of the human body, without the use of any mechanical or of another type of instrument. It corrects internal dysfunctions, promoting and keeping the health and treating specific illnesses that involves pressing the acupunctural site and pulling the hands and feet. Practitioners use their palms, thumbs, finger joints, elbow, knee and even feet to apply some amount of pressure to the patient. This practice was originally designed as a preventive medicine and it is known for its simplicity, safety and effectiveness. It increases our general vitality and controls the flow of Ki. It is effective at reducing chronic diseases and various acute diseases.
We can guess its origin from the way we react to pain. When we are hurt we naturally rub the inflicted part to soothe the pain. Moreover, it also has its root in ancient Japanese massage called the "anma" which was mainly used for sensational pleasure. Then it developed into an independent therapeutic field in the late 19th century.
Among the diverse benefits that Finger pressing therapy presents are;
-Gives flexibility to the skin
-Improvement of the circulatory system
-Gives flexibility to the muscular system
-Aid to recuperate the balance of the bone system
-Facilitation of the digestive system functions
-Improvement of the endocrinous system control
-Regulate the functions of the nervous system
(1) General rules of Finger Pressing
In general, thumb is used while putting pressure to the body but we can use other parts according to the demands. Ki and Blood flow around the body through the channels of Meridian. But when Pernicious Ki (邪氣) enters the body or when a person is in a weak condition, Ki and Blood can be stagnated in an abnormal condition. There we apply this method to stimulate meridians and relieve muscles and joints to help restore our health.
(2) Simple application of finger pressure therapy
People who suffer from pathological conditions such as migraine headaches, lumbago, and repetitive stress/strain injuries find an increase in mobility and return of strength to the affected areas. Also, finger pressure therapy alleviates menopause, premenstrual stress, depression, diabetes, arthritis, insomnia, hypertension, asthma, constipation and numerous other conditions.
(3) Tension release point
1 - Try to clear the tension from your head by applying pressure to the central calming point on the top of your head. Place your thumbs on the tops of your ears, bring your index fingers one over the other on the top of your head and apply pressure.
2 - Apply pressure to the point at the web between your thumb and index finger on the back side of your hand to release tension in the jaw, neck and shoulders. Press toward your index finger with the pad of your opposite thumb.
3 - Slide your middle finger to the area on top of the foot between the first and second toes where the small bones merge. Apply gentle pressure and movement to promote the smooth flow of energy, to release muscle cramps and spasms and to release tension.
(4) Relieving headache point
1 - Relax and strengthen the tendons, clear stuck energy, and soften your stiff neck as you press the five points located under the base of your skull with the pad of your thumb. Begin at the center of the back of your head with your right thumb and move to the right one finger-width at a time to press each point.
2 - Repeat using your left hand to apply pressure along the left side of your skull.
3 - Stimulate the point where you often felt as a hard knot on the top of your shoulder to release neck and shoulder tension.
4 - Release neck and shoulder tension and remove stiffness from your spine as you apply pressure to the point located just before your knuckle on the pinkie side of your hand.
5 - Eliminate the pain of a tension headache by pressing on the outer heel bone between the ankle and the Achilles tendon to release tension and move congested energy away from the neck and shoulders.
2. Cupping therapy (Bu Hang)
There are two ways to treat disease in Korean Medicine. One is tonifying therapy, the way of treating by raising vitality. And the other is purgative method, the way of treating by exterminating miasmal things. Today's diseases are usually generated by overeating, lack of exercise, stress, alcohol, smoking and so on. These causes obstruct the metabolism of our body. In this case, purgative method is preferred to tonifying therapy. One of the most popular purgative method is cupping therapy. It is a congestion remedy of attaching cupping glass to the skin spots on the body suitable for acupuncture and removing congealed blood. It can purify the physical constitution. It has good effects of sending nutrients to each cells and sending out waste material.
Cupping therapy purifies the body fluids. It removes non-physiological fluids such as mucus and congealed blood by adding negative pressure. It functions as a acceleration of harmonious metabolism and blood purification.
(2)Types of Cupping therapy
In general, it can be divided into 2 ways, Damp Cupping therapy and Dry Cupping terapy. Damp Cupping therapy is a congestion remedy with acupuncture and Dry Cupping therapy is without acupuncture. If we prick the spot in point with a needle or three-edged needle and attach the cupping glass on the spot and extract some blood, it may be called Damp Cupping therapy. If we attach the cupping glass on the spot in point without pricking, we call it Dry Cupping therapy . Damp Cupping therapy is used to treat various pain, arthralgia, boil and pimple. Dry Cupping therapy helps the circulation of Ki and Blood by vasodilation and muscle stimulation. It is known to be very effective for making skin elastic and accelerating the fat metabolism.
(3) Disease susceptible to treatment
Cupping therapy is usually used to remove the congealed blood caused by bruises and can ease pain of myalgia, lumbago etc. We can apply cupping therapy to internal disharmony such as stomachache, digestive disorder, headache and menstrual pains.
(4)Contraindications and attentions
We may not use cupping therapy to pregnant women and nursing mothers and people who have an allergy, high fever, convulsion. Because there is a risk of infection especially in case of Damp Cupping therapy. We should inquire of a physician about the matter. If the patient has anemia or uses anticoagulant, depletion of blood is not recommended.
Cupping therapy is not used on the face, abdomen and chest. We should be careful of side effects such as congelation like epidermis of strawberry, purple spot and bubble like water blister.
3. Depletion of blood
Cold hand indicates that the amount of blood to be sent to the extremities is not sufficient. So it is certain that the blood gathers toward another places like head. If the symptoms are not serious, it causes headache and dizziness. If serious, it causes faint, cerebral hemorrhage and apoplectis stroke. At this point, bloodletting is very effective to lower the pressure of cerebral vein.
The best spot for depletion is the finger tip. First draw blood from a patient once and twice. If the blood isn't going to come out, keep drawing blood until the symptoms get better.
Convuisions are originally known to be divided into 12 kinds. But the most popular convuisions from which we suffer are 2 kinds. One is caused by astonishment, and the other has symptoms of weak and irregular pulse. Blood letting is really effective for healing convuisions. The appropriate spots are Shim Gwan Hyul and O Yang Hyul. In case of Shim Gwan Hyul, let blood from men's left finger and women's right finger or both fingers if the symptom is serious. Under 10 years old, don't put the needle too deep. 0.5mm is enough. In the case of O Yang Hyul, first let blood from the 1st O Yang Hyul and if serious, let blood from the 2nd O Yang Hyul. In case of infantile acute convuisions, O Eum Hyul is the proper spot.
(3)Healing digestive upset (disordered digestion)
Pricking your finger tips when you have a digestive upset has a similar effect with getting acupuncture from an Koreanl Medicine doctor. A man's every Organ is conceived of as having its own Ki(energy), whose activity is characterized by the Organ to which it is attached. Having an upset stomach means these energies have collided with each other. A human's hand has certain acupuncture points that are assigned to each Ki. Therefore we prick these points and send signals to manage the unbalanced Ki. In detail the points are on the fingertips, the palm and back of the hand. Among these points, we usually prick the thumb tip.