Licensed acupuncturist and owner of Four Flower Wellness in Chicago, Ashley Flores speaks to the restorative potential of acupressure for new mothers. This centuries-old technique works similarly to acupuncture, but instead of using needles, the treatment is administered with the fingers. Flores suggests that applying acupressure to the Pericardium 5,6 and 7 points can be especially useful before going to sleep, as a means of moving away from wakefulness and toward rest.3 How to do it: The Pericardium 5, 6, and 7 points are found on the inside of the wrist. Look at the inside of the wrist and locate the 2 tendons in the center. (If they are not visible at first, flex the wrist back and forth until they are either seen or felt with the index finger.) Take the thumb of the opposite hand and place it 2 thumb widths up from the wrist crease towards the elbow. Place the thumb parallel to the wrist and begin to massage in a circular motion. Gentle pressure should be applied; enough to feel a bit of an ache on the spot but not pain. It does not matter which wrist is chosen first but do massage both sides for about 30 seconds to a minute, each.
“I treat clients with a variety of pain complaints and incorporate trigger point dry needling, especially in cases of musculoskeletal pain,” says Ashley Flores, a licensed acupuncturist in Chicago who is trained in trigger point dry needling. “I don’t generally recommend this treatment as a regular part of clients’ healthcare routine as I don’t find it to be beneficial outside of releasing trigger points and balancing muscular function.”
It’s also somewhat of a more “aggressive” technique.
“There’s potential discomfort that can go along with it,” she says. “At the same time, I will say that when called for, trigger point dry needling techniques can be incredibly effective and can relieve pain quickly and with few side effects.”
So if you go way back, acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine, and is based on the idea that health is governed by the flow of energy (called qi) throughout the body along pathways called meridians.Illness occurs when this energy flow is disrupted or becomes unbalanced, according to Ashley Flores, a licensed acupuncturist of Four Flower Wellness in Chicago. Precise insertion of acupuncture needles is said to restore the flow of qi and improve health—and if you ask Flores, the litany of ailments that acupuncture can cure is long. “The Cochrane library, which has some of the most stringent analyses of the available data, finds acupuncture as effective [treatment] for fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, neck pain, and many other conditions,” Flores tells SELF. “Additionally, the World Health Organization has found it to be effective for ailments including hypertension, dysmenorrhea and even dysentery,” she says. Seems like ~*MaGiC*~, right?
Licensed acupuncturist Ashley Flores of Four Flowers Wellness in Chicago explains that treating the “Inner Yin” points on the body can enable healthy circulation, bringing blood from the legs back to the rest of the body, and can ease swelling in the lower extremities. These points are also treated in cases of lower abdominal pain and discomfort in the pubic and groin areas.
How to do it: Sit on the floor butterfly style, with the soles of the feet facing each other. Between the knee and the crease by the pubic area, right in the middle of the inner thigh, sit the Inner Yin points. Using the right elbow, begin by gently pressing down on the inside of the right thigh, above (but NOT on) the knee. Continue this application of pressure while working up toward the pubic area. Take about 30 seconds to complete one pass and then repeat four or five times, being sure to do both legs, one at at time. Those who prefer not to use an elbow may use a foam roller, or even a rolling pin from the kitchen. Treatment may be repeated twice a day, in the morning and the evening, for maximum effect.
“I think that people are aware that the results are showing that alternative medicine is beneficial,” Ashley Flores, a Chicago-based acupuncturist and herbalist, told ThinkProgress. Flores said that turning to holistic treatment options that originated in East Asia helped her manage her own ailments better.
Flores, who has practiced acupuncture and herbal medicine for more than four years, said her journey started shortly after a doctor diagnosed her with polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. Even with a cocktail of medications, Flores said she still experienced great pain and her chances of childbirth remained futile. That compelled her to research different treatment options, and eventually led her to study acupuncture at Pacifica College of Oriental Medicine in Illinois.
“I have talked to other Western doctors about my choices and they have been supportive,” said Flores, who founded Four Flower Wellness in the Chicago metropolitan area. “When it comes to my health, I don’t take Western medicine so I don’t need it. I have a lot of herbs that I take for the cold and flu. In Chinese herbal medicine we use formula that includes a blend of at least 10 herbs. For the cold or flu, we would use ginger, green onion, cinnamon and other herbs that are effective. I can always count on my condition changing within 24 hours.”