If you need a quick relief from a pain or some symptom, without waiting for an appointment, you can try self-administered acupressure or reflexology.
These two techniques work on the principle of pressure: acupuncture uses needles and reflexology uses fingers to apply moderate pressure on the affected area.
In particular, reflexology is using therapeutic pressure on parts of the hands and feet to increase energy flow, in order to improve health and ease pain. Certain points on the hand called reflexes are connected with certain body parts and organs. What reflexology does is unblock the energy in the affected area that is causing health problems.
Here are some combined techniques that you can practice at home, to deal with certain conditions.
Sinus pain and pressure
Put the face palm towards you, with the thumb to the finger pad and the forefinger in opposite direction, close to the cuticle. Hold and squeeze each fingertip for 1-3 minutes, pressing firmly. After that, massage the area gently. Repeat this on the rest of the fingers.
Massage the whole thumb to warm it up. This will affect the stomach and spleen meridians. Press directly the center of the palm.
With gentle pressure, massage the whole hand. Press the point right below the middle finger and on the side of the nail closest to the index finger.
Sore throat or cold
Warm the thumb by massaging it. Apply longer pressure on the meaty part of the web. Then, apply pressure to the thumb on the inside area, right by the nail.
Pain and tension in neck
First massage the central part between the top knuckle, going towards the base of the finger. Repeat this with every finger on both hands.
Headaches and migraine
Focus on the area at the fingernail base. Concentrate on your index finger, as well as the web between index finger and thumb.
Abdominal or menstrual cramps
Start by gently massaging the whole head, then press the point below the index finger, on the nail side closest to the thumb.
Also, you can press the small finger in the area away from the nail, on the cuticle line towards outside.
Massage your hands together to increase energy flow and sensitivity. Use the thumb and fingers of the opposite hand to warm the skin.
Then firmly press the area you need with opposite fingers and thumb. Hold for 1-5 minutes, then repeat another 1-5 times, and do the same every day in order to prevent the same problem.
For gentler areas, hold the pressure for 3-5 seconds, then slowly start massaging clockwise in small circles, 5 times or less, as needed. Rest the area for a while. Don`t just rub the skin, try moving the tissue with the massage. Apply firm pressure for up to a minute, and take a break. Repeat the whole procedure no more than 5 times.
Massage therapists and fitness workers also advise to stay hydrated so that you can have good circulation, healthy tissue, with the toxins removed from the body after the massage.
If you are pregnant, don`t press the hand web. Some areas can stimulate uterine contraction, and should be avoided if you are not in labor and without supervision of professional MT.