Acupressure is a massage therapy that was first introduced thousands of years ago. It involves applying pressure to certain parts of the body to address ailments. Acupressure is used for thousands of years in China, following similar principles present in acupuncture. This therapy promotes wellness and relaxation to treat disease. It is often compared to acupuncture, but instead of needles, it involves the application of manual pressure.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, we have energy channels, or meridians, throughout the body. These invisible lines allow energy to flow (also called “QI” or “chi”) through your body. It is known that there are at least 14 various meridians in our body that connects our organs with other parts of the body. The goal of acupressure is to keep the required energy flowing by using pressure at specific points.
According to traditional Chinese medicine theory, when one of the meridians is blocked or out of balance, a disease or condition can occur. Acupressure and acupuncture are thought to help restore balance by opening these energy pathways. Those who practice acupressure use their fingers, palms, elbows or feet, to apply pressure to acupoints on the body’s meridians.
There is no hard and fast rule on how acupressure might work. Some theory says that the pressure may remove the natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body (called endorphins). Another theory states that the pressure may influence the autonomic nervous system.
The main goal of acupressure therapy is to restore health and balance to the body’s channel of energy. It also regulates opposing forces of yin (means negative energy) and yang (means positive energy). Acupressure treats both energy fields and body as well as spirit, emotions, and mind. It is believed that master therapists can transmit vital energy to another person.
Many Western practitioners have other explanations for the healing that occurs with acupressure. Instead, they think that it happens due to other factors, such as improved circulation, reduced muscle tension, or stimulation of endorphins (natural pain relievers).
Currently, there’s not a lot of research looking into the effectiveness of acupressure, but there is some evidence that it helps to relieve pain after a sports injury. Acupressure therapy is not painful at all, but still, if you experience any discomfort, tell your doctor immediately. After a session, it is normal to feel bruised or sore at acupressure points. You may also feel temporarily lightheaded directly following the treatment.
Acupressure has been used to manage ailments such as chronic pain, stress, anxiety, digestion and more! It is one of the oldest healing arts still in existence and has remained a popular choice for thousands of people around the world.