Acupressure

Acupressure is often called acupuncture without the needles. Instead of needles, acupressure involves the application of manual pressure (usually with the fingertips) to specific points on the body. But what exactly is acupressure and how does it work?

How does it work?

Acupressure is essentially a method of sending a signal to the body (by needle or other means) to “turn 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 is an effective form of stimulation used to help relax the muscles. If done regularly, this method of self-massage can sustain improvement and minimize recurrence of symptoms. Be patient and consistent when practicing acupressure on them. A simple way to stimulate these points is to press firmly with a finger in a rotary movement or an up-and-down movement for several minutes at a time. It is recommended that you use this information under the guidance of your physician.

Uses

Most people try acupressure for the first time to manage symptoms of a condition, such as:

  • Cancer-related fatigue
  • Headache
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Motion sickness
  • Muscle tension and pain
  • Nausea or vomiting after surgery or chemotherapy
  • Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and morning sickness
  • Stress management

What to Expect

Acupressure is often administered by an acupuncturist or practitioner, with the person receiving the acupressure sitting or lying down on a massage table.

Acupressure is generally done by using the thumb, finger, or knuckle to apply gentle but firm pressure to a point. The pressure is often increased for about 30 seconds, held steadily for 30 seconds to two minutes and then gradually decreased for 30 seconds. It’s typically repeated three to five times.

The number of treatments needed depend on the individual. A person with a chronic condition may need one to two treatments a week over several months. An acute problem normally improves after 8 to 12 sessions.