Introduction to Acupressure


What is Acupressure?

Acupressure is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which focuses on applying pressure to specific points on the body or acupressure points. There are about 2000 points on the body that connect to meridians, or pathways, and from these points flow qi, or energy. If the qi is blocked, it can cause an individual to be physically unwell and/or in pain. Acupuncture is closely related to acupressure. The only difference between the two is that one uses needles and one does not, respectively.

How does Acupressure Work?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the “qi” or life energy, of an individual should be balanced between the negative energy and positive energy,or yin and yang. If an individual’s qi is blocked or out of balance, it is thought that illness may occur, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupressure is used to restore the balance.

According to the Western medical model, practitioners accredit the beneficial effects of acupressure to be a result of: loosening tight muscles, better circulation, or the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.

How is Acupressure Done?

Practitioners of acupressure may use their fingers, palms, elbows, or feet to apply pressure to specific points on the body. Acupressure may also involve elements of stretching or massage. A typical acupressure session consist of an individual lying down on a treatment table while the practitioner gently presses on different points of the body.

Who should try Acupressure?

Acupressure can assist with the following symptoms including: nausea, stress, fatigue, and inflammation. Individuals with the following conditions may want to consider trying acupuncture: back pain, low back pain, anxiety, headaches, and insomnia

Points to Consider Prior to Starting

Like all therapies, be sure to talk about acupuncture with a doctor before trying it. It is important to discuss acupuncture to make sure it is safe for the individual who is interested in it. There are situations in which acupuncture can exacerbate an underlying condition.

Acupressure may not be the right treatment for individuals with high blood pressure. It should not be used over the following areas: varicose veins, scar tissue, open wounds or areas of swelling. Acupressure is not for individuals with cancerous tumors or those whose cancer that has spread to the bones. Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, a spinal injury, or bone disease should not receive acupressure, as those conditions can be made worse by physical manipulation. Pregnant women should also avoid this treatment as it may induce contractions.

Risks and Side Effects

There are no significant side effects associated with acupuncture, provided it is done by a trained therapist. Individuals should tell the practitioner if they experience any pain during the session.Occasionally, one may feel lightheaded during or after the session. After a session, individuals may experience some soreness or bruising at the acupressure points.