Benefits of Acupressure
Stemming from the same principles used in acupuncture, acupressure applies the same principles and has been used for thousands of years in China to promote relaxation and wellness and to treat even disease. It’s also sometimes called pressure acupuncture. Acupressure is often thought of as simply acupuncture but without the needles, but exactly what is it and how does it work?
Acupressure is just one of a number of Asian bodywork therapies (ABT) with roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Examples of other Asian bodywork therapies are medical qigong and Tuina.
Traditional Chinese medical theory describes special acupoints, or acupressure points, that lie along meridians, or channels, in your body. These are the same energy meridians and acupoints as those targeted with acupuncture. It is believed that through these invisible channels flows vital energy. It is also believed that these 12 major meridians connect specific organs or networks of organs, organizing a system of communication throughout your body. The meridians begin at your fingertips, connect to your brain, and then connect to an organ associated with a certain meridian. According to this theory, when one of these meridians is blocked or out of balance, illness can occur. Acupressure and acupuncture are among the types of TCM that are thought to help restore balance.
The goal of acupressure or other types of Asian bodywork is to restore health and balance to the body's channels of energy and to regulate opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). Some proponents claim acupressure not only treats the energy fields and body but also the mind, emotions, and spirit. Some even believe that therapists can transmit the vital energy (external qi) to another person.
Some preliminary evidence suggests that acupressure may help with low back pain, postoperative pain, or headache. Pain from other conditions may benefit, as well. To relieve headache, the LI 4 pressure point is sometimes tried.