It's noon and you're dozing from a string of restless nights. You could head for the coffee machine, but you don't like the jitters caffeine brings on. Here's a thought: A study shows that acupressure can be an effective way to recharge and wake up.
Researchers at the University of Michigan taught 39 students, who had no prior knowledge of acupressure practices, how to self-administer treatment to both stimulation and relaxation points. Over the course of three days of study, the students who practiced self-applied acupressure on stimulation points were less sleepy and more alert, the researchers found.
Developed in China a mere 5,000 years ago, acupressure thrived as a simple healing practice to treat everyday ailments such as headaches, sore muscles, colds and even hangovers. The method involves applying pressure to points throughout the body with your thumbs, fingers, elbows and even feet.
While the primary goal of acupressure is to rid the body of toxins, it also strengthens the immune system, improves blood circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. In the United States, acupressure is now commonly associated with relieving aches and pains, reducing stress and tension, as well as improving overall well being.