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What are Acupressure Points?

By J. Beam
Updated Feb 04, 2024
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Acupressure points are specific points on the body to which pressure can be applied for the purpose of exercising various techniques of an ancient Chinese medicine called acupressure. There are various styles of acupressure (also spelled accupressure) techniques including Shiatsu, Tuina, Qigong, and Reiki. Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, except that acupressure applies the force of pressure from human touch rather than needles to manipulate the accurpressure points.

Acupressure points are located all over the body from the head to the toes. Acupressure is a technique that involves applying pressure to the skin at different acupressure points to stimulate the body and possibly enable the brain to block pain receptors. It is widely accepted that acupressure can relieve the pain of headaches, arthritis, back and neck pain, along with relieve stress and pain associated with childbirth.

Many massage therapists frequently use some form of acupressure, but there are also those who specialize only in acupressure without massage. Some childbirth classes may also introduce acupressure as a way to relieve pain and stress during natural childbirth. This typically involves teaching birthing partners to manipulate specific acupressure points located on the hands and the back of the mother.

Adhering to the possibility of relieving tension headaches and stress without the use of medication, people frequently choose to learn acupressure for self-use. While it’s true that anyone can learn acupressure, they must first locate the acupressure points on the body and what response to elicit from each of those points. Charts that show the specific location of all acupressure points are usually included in books about acupressure and can be found online as well.

Individuals may also wish to become certified in acupressure either independently or in conjunction with licensing in massage therapy. Patients would include people suffering arthritis and joint pain, frequent tension-related headaches and body pains, and possibly people wishing to break habits. It is believed that acupressure therapy can be used as a means to help quit smoking and even end depression.

Though acupressure therapy has been extensively studied, there are very few medical reports that favor using acupressure therapy as a means for curing some diseases and conditions, which have been claimed. However because the proper stimulation of acupressure points does not involve needles or drugs, it is not unsafe. There are literally thousands of people who testify to relief of chronic pain through acupressure therapy. If you are considering trying acupressure, you should visit a licensed massage therapist who is certified in acupressure techniques, but always discuss any homeopathic treatments you seek for your ailments with your doctor.

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Discussion Comments
By surreallife — On Jan 12, 2009

To relax and get restful sleep applying pressure to big toes, both of them, is said to be helpful.

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