Meridians and Massage for Health.
The science of Meridians and their pressure points dates back to ancient Tibetan medicine. The same science forms the basis of Japanese Shiatsu and Chinese Acupuncture.
Massaging the meridian lines can do much to improve the health of the body and the mind. Sometimes, when we are feeling poorly, we find that no medicine or herb or diet will make any difference to our health. This is usually because the meridian energies have become out of balance: a treatment of the appropriate acupressure points by a professional Shiatsu practitioner, or an Acupuncturist, can often work wonders in these cases, having the effect of restoring us to total health again.
However, much can be done to improve your health and sense of well-being by practicing Shiatsu, or ‘DoIn’ self massage and acupressure at home.
Shiatsu Leg Massage: Here is a very simple Shiatsu leg massage treatment which you can do in about the same time that it takes to brush your teeth. This leg massage has enormous benefits, as it energises several meridians which run along the legs. These are the Liver and Spleen meridians, and the Gall Bladder Meridian. The Stomach Meridian is also affected by this massage, and so this routine will benefit your digestion.
The Method for Stimulating the Meridians on the Legs:
- With the knees slightly bent, lean forward a little and rub the base of the spine, including the kidney area, with the backs of the hands. Move about the lower back in a circular motion. Do this until you feel some warmth emanating from the back.
- Now, still with the knees bent, put one hand on the knee. With the other hand, gently tap the same area of the lower back with your bent knuckles, covering the base of the spine, the kidney area, and hips and buttocks. This routine is very good for the kidneys and the kidney meridian, as it improves circulation to the area. It also helps to energize the nervous system.
- With the legs slightly apart and the knees bent, lean forward and tap the backs of the legs with the fists. Begin at the top of the thigh at the base of the buttocks, and continue the tapping movement down the back of the legs to the heels. This helps the bladder meridian and encourages circulation of blood and lymph in the legs.
- The next phase of the massage is to tap the inside of the legs, beginning from the ankles and tapping all the way up the inside of the legs to the groin. This energises the Liver and Spleen meridians.
- Now the Gall Bladder meridian benefits by a tapping down the sides, from the lower hip area to the ankles.
- Continue up the inside of the legs from the ankles to the top of the leg, stimulating the Liver and Spleen meridians again.
- Now finish off the leg massage by tapping down the front of the legs, down to the ankles, and then up the inside of the legs again. The front of the legs takes care of the Stomach meridian.
General Tone-Up on ST36 – Shiatsu Treatment: The next step is to sit on the floor. Give some acupressure to the point ST36 which is four finger widths down from the knee cap. This is located on the stomach meridian which runs along the tibia bone. The point ST36 is a helpful point to use in cases of varicose veins, as it helps relieve aching and tired legs.
Foot Shiatsu Treatment: This treatment tones up all the meridians which run to the end of the toes. Your fingers, which are wound around the toes, exert pressure which massages all these meridians.
Method: Bend the right knee and bring the ankle up over the left knee and thigh area so that you can massage the foot. Support the right ankle with the right foot, thenusing the left hand over the sole of the foot, place a finger between each toe. Put the little finger of the left hand between the little toe and the next, and the other fingers between each of the other toes. Breathe in and gently move the foot around in a circular motion, breathing out in a long slow exhale through pursed lips, just as if you are whistling. Take a breath in, and then rotate the foot in the other direction, again, breathing out through pursed lips as if you are whistling.
Repeat three times in each direction, gently stretching the foot using these circular motions, whilst holding the foot with the fingers between the toes.
Now press the centre of the sole of the foot with the thumb, aiming at the KID1 point, or ‘Gushing Spring’ which is a vital kidney point. This is found down from the base of the second toe, about a third of the way down the foot from the toes, just by the big joint at the base of the big toe. It is almost at middle distance from each side of the foot. Three or four presses on this point will be enough.
Do the same routine with the left foot over the right thigh, left hand supporting the ankle, and the right hand fingers intertwined between the toes.