Acupressure healing: Fact or fable?

Yoliswa Dube, Features Reporter
BACK in India, many years ago, a man is believed to have recovered from paralysis of the legs after routinely basking in the sun.

Every day, for a certain period of time, the man was carried outside by his family who placed him on a bare, flat granite rock under the rays of the sun.

He would spend most of his days there until one day he stood up and began to walk again.

Old myth has it that the man was healed by the light from the sun’s rays and the heat that would be absorbed by the rock and radiated into his spinal cord.

Following the man’s healing, scientists began developing thermal acupressure massage therapy which is today believed to heal a significant number of ailments including cancer.

Ceragem therapy, as it has come to be known today, combines advanced technology with the medical world heritage of traditional medicine.

Any disease can be healed, apparently, by applying thermal acupressure on the spinal cord.

Ceragem is the name of health equipment that uses infrared light technology, combined with jade.

Zimbabweans have started flocking the various Ceragem centres across the country to relieve themselves of the pains and discomforts that conventional doctors have failed to rid them of.

In Bulawayo, scores of patients are constantly spotted at the Ceragem centre located in the city centre as they attend massage therapy sessions.

“My health has since improved since I started coming here. For the past six months, I’ve been coming here every day for the massages and the pain I’ve been experiencing in my back has since disappeared. I constantly struggled with high blood pressure but it’s now well regulated,” said Silinganiso Fuyana, a National Railways of Zimbabwe pensioner.

She had developed chronic back pain which doctors had failed to treat successfully. The pain dates back to her working days several years ago.

“As I grew older, my blood pressure started becoming a problem. I tried everything the doctor prescribed but nothing worked for me. But since I started coming for sessions at Ceragem, my health has improved significantly,” said the 69-year-old grandmother of two.

Ceragem therapy has over the years been constantly developed and is considered natural therapy which uses thermal acupressure that improves blood circulation, purifies blood, increases immunity, relieves stress and aligns the spinal cord.

Many have been healed of various ailments while others doubt massage therapy could cure otherwise chronic diseases.

To the doubters, Ceragem’s cure for diseases slogan, “a particular point on the spinal cord is there for healing a particular disease” as a fallacy.

Many ask how any company can claim to cure all diseases just by the use of a machine. They do not affiliate to the story that there is a particular point on the spinal cord which can be responsible for the healing of particular diseases.

There are also questions about whether or not the therapy is scientifically approved and tested.

Ceragem therapy allegedly heals, among other ailments, asthma, back pain, kidney stones, skin problems, arthritis and cancer.

It also improves stamina and blood circulation.

“My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and had a rough couple of months after the diagnosis until a family friend told us about Ceragem. We had been told that nothing could be done for her because the cancer had reached an advanced stage but she insisted we try Ceragem,” said Bongiwe Ncube of Bulawayo.

She later took her grandmother to the Ceragem centre in the Central Business District.

After visiting the centre for a couple of weeks, Ncube noted a marked improvement in her grandmother’s health.

“I’m not sure if she was actually getting healed or the healing was just psychological. We only took her to Ceragem because we had run out of options,” said Ncube of her grandmother who died a few months after commencing Ceragem therapy.

She is among those who do not believe massage therapy could heal all manner of ailments.

Ncube is of the opinion that the therapy was more psychological than physical.

“People usually find out about Ceragem after they have exhausted other avenues. This is why there is an illusion of healing taking place,” said Ncube.

Ceragem has been viewed as an alternative option to bridging the gap between western technology and traditional medicine.

Dr Pamela Ndlovu, a local medical practitioner, said a significant number of general practitioners have started recommending Ceragem to their patients.

“I cannot say whether or not Ceragem actually works but doctors have started referring their patients there. When everything else has failed, many doctors now view this as a viable alternative,” said Dr Ndlovu.

She shares Ncube’s sentiments that the healing could be psychological.

“It’s very possible that patients stop feeling pain and their health improves after the heat therapy because they tell themselves, in their minds, that they’re getting better,” said Dr Ndlovu.

According to Chinese practice, positive energy referred to as the “chi flow” can be disrupted by disease and negative thoughts.

As a result, the “chi flow” is blocked and consequently the body’s general function is affected.

With jade pieces, pressure is applied at various points on the spine to restore normal blood flow.

While this process stimulates the body, it also activates cell function, cleanses blood vessels to improve blood circulation and nerve function.

“Infrared rays are a key part of the healing process. It penetrates the body and helps detect disease.

Also, the different parts of the body where pressure is applied help detect the source of pain and consequently treat it.

“We’ve had a lot of success stories where people have been healed of various diseases or whose health has improved significantly after undertaking thermal acupressure,” said Bongani Moyo, a Ceragem therapist.

Acupressure is a form of touch therapy that utilises the principles of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. In acupressure, the same points on the body are used as in acupuncture, but are stimulated with finger pressure instead of with the insertion of needles. Acupressure is used to relieve a variety of symptoms and pain.

Chinese medicine has developed acupuncture, acupressure, herbal remedies, diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, and other remedies as part of its healing methods.

Nearly all of the forms of Oriental medicine that are used in the West today, including acupuncture, acupressure, shiatsu, and Chinese herbal medicine, have their roots in Chinese medicine.

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