In this article I am going to present a healing procedure you can apply to yourself or anyone else who has any sort of discomfort or distress. Of course, no one can guarantee success with something this simple, but the results are often beneficial and sometimes quite amazing. It is quite easy to use, once you learn it. You will not need any medical training or experience to use it effectively, but if someone is exeriencing a potentially serious illness or disease, you should not delay getting appropriate medical attention by using this technique.
I will describe the steps for using it in enough detail that you can be effective with it pretty easily. The first thing you will need to do is become familiar with the location of about 20 or so acupuncture points. These are points on the human body that are used in traditional Chinese medicine to place acupuncture needles. They are believed to be arranged in linear groups around the body, called meridians, but understanding these relationships is not important for this method. It is only important to become familiar with a number of acupuncture points you can readily locate and use.
Acupuncturists must be very precise in locating their needles, since they must go directly into the relatively small point to produce the needle’s effect. For acupressure tapping, though, the location need not be very precise since when you tap with your fingers, the surface area you are tapping with is comparatively large. For my acupressure technique to work well, all you have to do is get close to the acupuncture points with your tapping. Many acupuncture charts are readily available to be copied off the internet. You can search “acupuncture charts” if you want to find your own favorite source. I am placing the link for a useful resource here. It is designed for acupuncturists but they are the same points that you can use doing acupressure tapping. Any of the over 400 acupoints on the body can be useful with this technique.
I typically use about 60 different points that are easy to locate, can be used with the patient sitting and completely dressed, and which I have found to be very useful for all kinds of problems. If you use this technique for a while, you will develop your own favorite group of acupressure points. Note that the points are symmetrical across the mid-line of the body: each point has an identical match on the opposite side.
The next thing to learn is how to select the kind of problems that often respond well to this kind of tapping technique.. The acupressure point procedure I am describing here is most efficient for discomfort or unpleasant feelings someone is actively and continuously experiencing at the time you are trying tapping on these acupoints.
Obviously, you will need to introduce what you are about to do so that the person you are trying to help knows what to expect. I talk about Chinese acupuncture (which most people know about) and explain that I will be just tapping on those points without using any needles. (A big relief to many people.)
As the individual you are trying to help is sitting, have them focus their attention on their discomfort. It often helps their concentration to have them close their eyes, but it is not essential. I ask them to give their current level of discomfort an arbitrary rating of 0 to 10, with “10” being the worst it ever was, and with “0” being no discomfort whatever.
Once the discomfort is being focused on and has been given a level of discomfort rating, I explain that I will be tapping on acupuncture points lightly and they should expect that if a given point is helpful, they will begin to feel improvement within about two or three seconds of when I begin tapping on a spot that turns out to be useful in helping to relieve their discomfort. I then begin tapping on one or more points with four or five fingers of one hand grouped together to form a tapping surface. If a given point doesn’t help, I keep switching to other points. When I do find a helpful point, I will continue to tap on it for ten seconds or so, then I ask for a reassessment of the pain or discomfort level. The rating will invariably drop if the point is helpful. (Rarely, a given point might increase the discomfort. In that case, I just move on to other points.) I keep track of which points work and usually search for two or more spots that help.
Sometimes, I am unable to find any points that help at all, but if I do find useful points, I continue tapping on them until I either get the discomfort to zero or we hit a plateau that won’t decrease any further. The improvement may just be short-lived, it may last for hours, or it may even permanently remove the discomfort. I know of no way of predicting how a long a benefit will last; I must wait and see. I also have no way of predicting which points will be helpful for which kind of problem, but points closest to the site of the problem seem to be a little more likely to help than those more distant. For instance, points on the head neck and face are more likely to help headaches. However, you can find some strange relationships at times. For example, you could find that a pain in the right ear is relieved by tapping on the left ankle. Things like this happen. I have used this technique many thousands of times. If there were reliable rules to find certain points for certain kinds of problems, I think I would have discovered what they are by now.
How hard do you tap? I tap hard enough that I can just barely hear the sound of my tapping if I listen very closely. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable unless you are tapping directly on painful skin and tissues, but I usually try to avoid tapping directly on tender or injured areas.
In addition to using this technique for discomfort that is present while sitting at rest, you can also use it for problems that only cause pain or limitations when you do certain movements. It is a lot slower to use this method in this way, though. For example, you could use it to try to improve a “trigger finger” that hurts only when you flex the finger. You can tap a given point for about 10 or 15 seconds and then have the individual reassess the pain by flexing their finger to see if it improved from that spot’s stimulation. For this kind of problem, you will need to tap the points a lot longer and reassess after trying each point to know if it helps.
Are the improvements I have seen form this procedure due to a placebo effect? I would say, unequivocally, it is not. When this tecnique works, I get no response from most points, but I get significant improvement while using other points. When I do find a useful acupressure point, improvement often continues to increase as I continue to tap, but when I stop tapping or move to an inactive point, the improvement stops increasing. Then when I go back to the effective spot, the improvement begins again. Most of my patients that have responded had little idea what to expect until their pain or disability improved. Why would so many show this same pattern (with no way to know how others have reacted) if the improvement was entirely due to a placebo effect?
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I suggest you give this technique a few tries on yourself or others. It is free. I know of no side effects. The only tools needed, your hands and the courage to try something unusual, are always right there when you need them. The time you spend learning this technique will be well spent.