Hair type, genetics, and environmental factors, as well as mistaken or excessive use of hair product are the main reasons behind damaged hair, dandruff or hair falling out. Every lady desires a full head of healthy and voluminous hair but sometimes we can be over-zealous in our efforts to acquire it. The many variables that influence the quality of hair mean that sometimes even using the best hair-care products can even yield disappointing results. So is there anything that can be done to combat hair falling out without destroying it further? The answer is…wait for it… acupressure.
Despite the presence of many ‘anti-hair fall’ products that promise quick results, most of them prove to be ineffective. This is due to the fact that the causes of hair fall are usually deep rooted and cannot be treated via quick fix solutions. You first need to identify the underlying issues that might be contributing to your hair thinning such as your lifestyle or your diet, before proceeding to treat them.
What Is Acupressure?
Research has shown that the most commonly used hair-strengthening methods used by people suffering from hair loss rarely include alternative medicine as a potential solution. Traditional treatments practiced from time immemorial are unfortunately often overlooked, and acupressure is one such method. This craft uses firm pressure applied by an expert to the areas affected by hair loss. It is similar to a hot oil massage, but oil is not used during this process. The scalp is massaged with different hand movements which remove stress and possible other underlying psychological issues that might be contributing to hair fall.
Acupressure, or as the Japanese call it shiatsu massage, dates back to 1600 BC and was used in Ancient China and the rest of the ancient world to treat various body ailments. Its clinical use is based on the concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Although it is a pre-scientific practice, acupressure still has practical application and relevance in modern medicine.
The Benefits of Acupressure
* Stimulation of blood circulation in the scalp.
* Removal of toxins, dead skin cells, and dandruff.
* Stress reduction.
* Stimulation of oxygen and nutrients flow to the scalp.
Traditional Chinese Medical Theory identifies particular acupressure points lying along different meridians and channels in the body, through which the vital energy of life called qi (chi) flows. It is believed that 12 major meridians intersect with different organs and with one another, to create a system of communication throughout the body. The meridians begin at the fingertips, connect to the brain and then connect to an organ associated with a certain meridian. According to the theory, when one of the meridians is blocked or out of balance, illness can occur. In such cases, acupressure and acupuncture can help to restore the balance in the organism.
How To Get Rid of Hair Fall with Acupressure?
Acupressure massage aids healthy hair growth as well as the strengthening the existing hair. It is recommended to enhance the benefits of acupressure massage by using olive oil. When massaged into the scalp, olive oil neutralizes the Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone, responsible for hair loss. The natural ingredients of olive oil reduce the development of DHT in the scalp, thereby promoting hair growth.
Dihydrotestosterone or DHT is a natural metabolite of the male sex hormone testosterone. DHT is produced naturally both in men and women since both genders have testosterone. It plays a significant role in androgenic alopecia, a common cause of hair loss. Androgenic hair loss which is often referred to as male pattern baldness can cause hair loss in both men and women. During such hair loss, the hairline gradually recedes, creating an ‘M’ shape. The combination of genetic predispositions and DHT is one of the most common causes of baldness. The hair follicles on the scalp have receptors for DHT, while the sides and the back of the head do not, that is why hair loss is less acute there.
Hair health is closely connected to the blood supply and the functioning of adrenal glands. The better the blood supply to the scalp, the less chance of losing hair. Acupressure can help immensely with improving the blood circulation, as well as boosting the immune system. It revitalizes the scalp to encourage re-growing of hair while inhibiting further hair loss. Acupressure also helps the body flush out toxins, increases the blood circulation to the face, while clearing up dandruff and dead skin cells.
How Do You do Acupressure?
Numerous pressure points in the human body are connected with hair growth. The most important one is the so-called ‘Paihui Spot’ located on the top of the head. To boost hair growth, this pressure point needs to be stimulated several times a day, followed by a relaxing head massage. The process invigorates the blood vessels located in the head and scalp, thus supplying the hair follicles with the levels of oxygen and nutrients they need to function. The process creates a favorable environment for the growth of new hair. Some other important hair-growth acupressure points are also located on the stomach, back, and abdomen.
These spots are called acupoints. An acupoint can be stimulated through different methods acupressural or acupunctural methods. Acupuncture uses hair-thin needles, whereas acupressure uses firm pressure to massage the acupoints. The hot oil massages offered in most beauty salons are a great supplement to acupressure and a great way to relax.
A Simple Step by Step Guide for Acupressure:
1. Twirl the strands of your hair around your fingers giving a gentle tug on the roots. This will help to stimulate the nerves in the scalp.
2. 6 to 8 centimeters above your eyebrows is the ‘Seat of Bliss’. This part of your scalp is slightly softer than rest of your skull.
3. Start massaging lightly by making circular strokes at the ‘seat of bliss’ before moving out to the rest of your skull. Make the strokes bit firmer as you branch out from the soft part of your head.
4. As you move further from the ‘seat of bliss’, it’s time to concentrate on the occipital ridge. It is a point where the muscles join the skull in the hairline just above the neck. The occipital ridge is a very powerful acupressure point, which can reduce stress considerably. Apply pressure with your fingers or thumbs; if you hold on for a few minutes, you will feel a deep and palpable release.
5. Draw a line using your finger from this acupressure point to the middle of the scalp. Numerous acupressure points are located along this line. Gently stimulate them by applying light pressure using your finger pads. Keep doing this until you reach the bottom of your hairline.
6. Don’t forget to massage on the line where your hairline meets your face which is called the governing vessel meridian. Massaging these points will not only stimulate growth of hair but also help you with stress-relief.
7. Acupressure points are present all over the scalp. Hence, you can massage the entire scalp with your finger pads.
How Does Acupressure Work?
It is believed that as many as 365 acupoints are located on major channels crisscrossing the human body. Just like the circulatory system’s network of blood vessels, each acupoint or channel of energy has a network of connections.
Different techniques are used to affect qi in the channels. These techniques include:
Weak qi requires tonifying, a blocked qi will be dispersed, and an overactive qi would be calmed.
Gentle pressure should be applied to the pressure points for several seconds to several minutes. Pressure may be applied with circular movements, pushing the acupoint or through a combination of different movements. Although the points are very sensitive, when applied properly acupressure is never painful. Depending on the nature of the problem, acupressure can be administered daily or on alternate days.
Methods for Stimulating Acupoints
Some common therapeutic methods used to stimulate acupoints include:
1. Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It helps with chronic pains like stiff neck, back pain, leg muscle tightness and sore shoulders. The strokes used are similar to those used in classic massage therapy, but the movements are slower, and the pressure is deeper or concentrated on the areas affected by tension and pain. The pressure is applied deeper to reach the sub-layers of muscles and connective tissue. While doing a deep tissue massage, the therapist uses the combination of massage oils and pressure to reach the deep muscle layers. The muscle needs to be completely relaxed for the treatment to be effective.
2. Laser Acupuncture
There is not much difference between acupressure and acupuncture, except the use of needles. The fear of needles prevents many people to subject themselves to acupuncture. There are various other methods, however, to remove the toxins and the negative energy from the body without using acupunctural needles. Micro-current, magnetic treatments, and laser acupuncture are such treatments. Laser acupuncture is fast gaining popularity in Europe, Asia and United States. Most lasers used in acupuncture are low-level lasers or so-called cold lasers because they do not produce heat. Low-level lasers can regenerate body cells, reduce pain and inflammation, improve blood circulation and stimulate hair growth.
3. Cupping Therapy
Cupping is a form of alternative medicine therapy in which cups are placed on the skin to create suction and remove the toxins. Cups made of different materials can be used:
* Glass cups
* Bamboo cups
* Earthenware cups
The cupping therapy advocates believe the suction of the cups improves the blood flow to help in healing a broad range of medical ailments. This method dates back to the ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Middle-Eastern cultures.
4. Gua Sha Therapy
Gua Sha stands for ‘scraping sha-bruises’. It is a traditional Chinese medical treatment in which the skin is scraped to the point of light bruising. Practitioners of Gua Sha believe that the bruises inflicted on the skin release unhealthy elements from underneath and stimulate blood flow. In the Indian version of Gua Sha, metal spoons and water are used for skin lubrication.
The above-mentioned types of alternative medicine are methods that have persevered ever since the ancient world and made it to the western consciousness; they are therefore still shrouded in myth and considered part of folk medicine. There is no scientific proof to definitely support their medical credibility and more study in the field of alternative medicine is needed in order to find out to what extent their application is effective for treating different ailments. However, there is also little scientific proof that their use is harmful and in many cases where modern medicine has failed, they can be a very successful substitute.
Does Acupressure Really Help?
There is little empirical evidence to show that acupuncture and acupressure can actually reverse hair loss. Many factors contribute to hair loss among men, like stress and electromagnetic radiation. Among women, hair loss can be associated with the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, while systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) can cause hair loss in both genders. If the real reason behind hair loss can be identified, then both conventional and traditional Chinese medicine can prove beneficial. Chinese Medicine sees the body as an interactive system of energy and disease as a deviation in its rhythms and disturbance of its balance. There are a number of functional elements that contribute to the health, quantity and vitality of hair, and acupressure can help in hair regrowth to some extent if the underlying cause of hair loss is identified.
Is Acupressure Always Safe?
Acupressure is not age-restrictive, but is not recommended for people who suffer from high blood pressure and for pregnant women; it is believed that there are specific acupressure points that can cause miscarriage.
Acupressure is not used to treat:
* Open wounds
* Scar tissue
* Varicose veins
* Inflammation and swelling
For the above-mentioned problems, other Oriental therapies such as treatments involving herbs and essential oils have proven to be highly successful.