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Facilitate Your Qi Flow with Meridian Massage

Posted August. 08, 2005 03:04,   


Your wife is a working graduate student. Feeling sorry to see her crouching in front of a desk until late at night after being tired out by the day’s sweltering heat, you approach her and massage her shoulders. However, she starts screaming at your slight pressing. What must have gone wrong?

Applying Pressure on Painful Areas-

The body, exhausted from heat, is liable to feel muscle strain due to a lack of exercise. Moderate massage is the easiest way to relieve your fatigue. However, the intensity must be adjusted since strong rubbing of strained tissues may cause sudden pain.

In Chinese medicine, the stiff and painful area when pressed by your hands because of heavy muscle contractions is referred to as Ah Shi points, or trigger points.

It is the source of fatigue and diseases caused by the interrupted circulation of qi (energy). Meridian massage facilitates the flow of qi by gently stimulating the central point of the pain.

Modern medicine has not confirmed anything regarding the 12 meridians that are connected to body organs like digestive systems. Still, meridian massage is recognized for its effects, such as relieving pain with physical stimuli by relaxing muscles contracted by fatigue and dehydration-caused electrolyte imbalances, and facilitating neural activities and blood circulation.

Try facilitating heat-caused poor qi flow by self-applying simple meridian massages while watching their intensity. Before the massage, rub your hands against one another to make them warm. Cold hands may further strain your muscles.

Identify the most painful area while lightly pressing the stiff areas with your fingertips. Press the specific area for three to five seconds to the extent where you feel slight pain, let go, then relax the muscles for some five seconds by making small circles with your fingertips and continue repeating these steps five times.

Leave Joints or Sprained Ankles Untouched-

Be careful about massages after workouts. Do not touch joint areas like sprained ankles without caution. Just use cold packs when there seems to be any joint problems as well as general muscle aches.

Consult the doctor if the symptoms do not go away even after a day.

Also, refrain from massage when you are very full since it can cause indigestion.

(Information provided by Gangnam Kyunghee Oriental Medicine Hospital acupuncture professor Kim Yong-seok and Samsung Medical Center Sports Medicine Clinic professor Park Won-ha.)

TK Sohn sohn@donga.com