Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing method that involves applying pressure to certain meridian points on the body to relieve pain.
The human body has fourteen “meridians” that carry energy throughout the body. These meridians start at the fingertips, connect to the brain, and then connect to the organ associated with the specific meridian. Acupressure uses the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body’s life force to aid healing. This treatment involves stimulating the vital-energy points along the meridians on our body to induce maximum energy flow. The role of acupressure has been paramount in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for more than 2000 years, and the fact that it is still in use today is a testimony to its effectiveness in the treatment of illness and pain. Acupressure is essentially a method of sending a signal to the body (by needle or other means) to “switch on” its own self-healing or regulatory mechanisms. Normally, Qi (vital energy) circulates through natural pathways in the body called meridians. Blockage of this flow or an imbalance in Yin and Yang can cause illness and pain. Acupressure helps to correct functional imbalances and restore the flow thus returning the body to a more natural state of well-being. Acupressure can be effective in relieving headaches, eyestrain, sinus problems, neck pain,
backaches, arthritis, muscle aches, and tension due to stress. The healing touch of acupressure reduces tension, increases circulation, and enables the body to relax deeply. By relieving stress, acupressure strengthens resistance to disease and promotes wellness.
What is the difference between acupuncture and acupressure?
An acupoint can be stimulated with different methods. Acupuncture and acupressure are both methods used to stimulate acupoints. In comparison, acupuncture uses a hair-thin needle to stimulate acupoints where as acupressure uses a firm pressure to massage the acupoints. Acupuncture triggers a stronger stimulation to activate the body’s innate healing ability than does acupressure. Like acupuncture, acupressure involves the stimulation of certain points on the body. Stimulating these points can trigger the release of endorphins, chemicals produced by the body that relieve pain. When endorphins are released, the pain is blocked, and the flow of blood and oxygen to the affected area is increased. This causes the muscles to relax and promotes healing.