Imagine your body has pathways, 12 of them to be exact, highways vital energy or ‘qi’ (pronounced chi) moves upon like leaves on a river. Qi flows freely or stagnates depending upon our mental, emotional and physical balance. The body is constantly giving us feedback on its energetic and physical state like the dials of a car tell us temperature, speed and reserves. The mind has an incredible ability to give attention to or distract itself from these subtle or screaming sensations in the body. What if I told you that you are the best mechanic for your body and that a practice called acupressure could help facilitate these energetic pathways; would you believe me? Acupressure is a method of stimulating points along the body’s meridians with your own hands; this practice has the ability to provide relief from symptoms signaling an energetic block or deficit and stimulate a feeling of well-being.
Acupressure is based in Eastern medicine and has been practiced for 5,000 years. I am a physical therapist. My rehabilitation methods are mostly in accordance of western medicine. Why would I employ the ideology of eastern healing in my practice? My passion as a physical therapist is inspired by active patient participation with healing. Western medicine offers many passive forms of treatment such as medication and surgery to solve an ailment and may also accompany expectations of immediate resolve. Acupressure promotes self-awareness and healing with subtle relief and cumulative effects over time; much like exercise in physical therapy.
Where would I find a guru to teach us? Well, life sometimes just throws you into a yoga class with an Irish acupuncturist who has a heart of gold and is willing to help with such projects. May I introduce Lisa Sherman, LAc (MBAcC, BSc, Dip Qigong Tuina, CCPHF).
Lisa started her career as a molecular biologist working in medical bioscience research and publishing. After receiving her degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture form the University of Westminster in London, UK she co-founded Arc Integrated Health in London. Currently, Lisa resides in the United States in Asheville, NC. Her clinical practice offers acupuncture, tui-na massage and prescription of Chinese herbs. She is also giving in her expertise as an instructor of yoga and tai chi.
Over the coming weeks, Lisa and I will be offering a free video series to address how acupressure can relieve side effects of cancer treatment including:
– Hot flashes
– Nausea and vomiting
These videos will also be accompanied by a review of the literature. I am especially excited because these acupressure techniques are beneficial for everyone experiencing these symptoms, not just cancer survivors!
In our next video, Lisa and I will be exploring acupressure techniques to alleviate cancer-related fatigue.
– Susannah Haarmann, PT, WCS, CLT
Lisa Sherman, LAc practices at Asheville Integrated Acupuncture and can be reached here. She also is an instructor for Light A Path, a non-profit group serving breast cancer survivors, the unhoused, incarcerated individuals and low-income school systems in the greater Asheville area. To learn more or donate to Light a Path click here.