Acupressure is a form of alternative medicine. It involves applying pressure to different parts of the body. Acupressure can help reduce muscle tension, relieve pain, and more.

Developed in ancient China, acupressure works by applying pressure to balance energy. Targeting different pressure points can promote various types of healing. Acupressure is a noninvasive treatment option.

Acupressure can help treat neck pain, back pain, headaches, and insomnia. It offers a natural alternative or complementary treatment option to traditional treatments.

This article further explains acupressure. It discusses how it works, acupressure points, and its uses.

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According to ancient Chinese teachings, Qi is a vital energy present in everything. Imbalances in this energy can have negative health consequences.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) focuses on balancing this energy. One way to do this is through acupressure. This technique involves applying pressure to certain pressure points.

Modern scientists have investigated the reasons why acupressure works. They found that applying pressure to certain areas of the body can stimulate nerves. Stimulating certain nerves may help reduce the sensation of pain.

Researchers also found that acupressure reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It also increases levels of endorphins which are chemicals that boost mood and reduce feelings of pain. Finally, acupressure can improve blood circulation.

All of these factors may contribute to how acupressure works. Many people who have experienced acupressure report positive effects after this treatment.

Acupressure can help treat pain and enhance relaxation. Because of this, it may be an effective treatment for individuals experiencing chronic pain, sleep disturbances, and headaches.

Anyone interested in learning more about how acupressure works should speak with a healthcare professional. They can explain the benefits of this treatment. They can also determine whether acupressure may be a safe and effective treatment option in each individual case.

The human body contains various acupressure points.

Each acupressure point corresponds with a different condition or ailment. These points are known as acupoints. These are the closest points to the surface of the skin and are the prime steps in acupressure.

Between the base of the neck and the top of the shoulder lies the Jianjing acupoint. Stimulating this pressure point can help with neck pain, colds, and high blood pressure.

Both the hands and the feet contain many acupoints. Targeting hand acupoints can help with headaches, immune issues, tiredness, and nausea. Acupoints on the feet may play a role in eye conditions, insomnia, and menstrual pain.

To learn more about acupressure points, speak with a professional. An acupressure specialist can target acupoints for a range of conditions.

Acupressure can be an effective treatment for various types of pain. It can also help improve sleep quality and reduce nausea or vomiting.

Pain management

Individuals experiencing chronic back pain may benefit from acupressure. A 2021 study examined the use of acupressure for lower back pain. Researchers found that acupressure reduced pain more effectively than physical therapy.

Acupressure can improve blood flow and relax muscles. These two benefits of acupressure may contribute to its effectiveness in treating back pain.

Research has also shown that acupressure can reduce cancer pain. Incorporating acupressure into cancer treatment may improve quality of life. It can also help reduce opioid use for pain management.

Finally, a review of studies in 2016 found that acupressure can decrease pain during labor. It may also decrease the duration of labor in certain cases.

Other acupressure uses

In addition to reducing labor pain, acupressure may help induce labor for some individuals. This treatment can help prepare the cervix to enter labor.

However, the research into acupressure and labor remains limited. Anyone interested in inducing labor should speak with a healthcare professional before trying acupressure.

In a 2016 study, researchers examined the use of acupressure among people with breast cancer. These participants were undergoing chemotherapy. They experienced different side effects of this cancer treatment, particularly nausea and vomiting.

After 5 days of acupressure, nausea and vomiting symptoms decreased in frequency and severity. Individuals undergoing chemotherapy may see fewer side effects with acupressure.

Researchers have also found that acupressure can improve sleep quality. This treatment may offer an alternative treatment for people living with insomnia.

Acupressure offers a number of benefits over conventional treatments. This alternative treatment is noninvasive. It can provide health benefits without the side effects of certain medications or more invasive treatments.

In addition to the health benefits, acupressure can be fairly cost-effective. With the proper training, individuals can learn to perform acupressure on themselves. This makes it an inexpensive and accessible option for treating certain conditions.

Other benefits of acupressure may include:

  • improving vision
  • boosting hair and skin health
  • promoting relaxation
  • enhancing sleep
  • decreasing stress

To learn more about the benefits of acupressure, speak with a healthcare professional. They can discuss individual benefits and provide advice.

Most people who have acupressure done do not experience any serious side effects. Mild side effects of acupressure may include:

  • tiredness
  • nausea
  • dizziness

If side effects linger or worsen after an acupressure session, contact a healthcare professional to learn more. A person should always consult with a healthcare professional before beginning alternative treatments.

During an acupressure session, a practitioner will first conduct an evaluation. They will ask questions to determine what kind of relief an individual is seeking.

After this, the practitioner will determine which acupoints to target in the session. They will then apply pressure to these points to promote symptom relief and healing. They may apply pressure to acupoints using:

  • elbows
  • palms
  • thumbs
  • knuckles
  • fingers
  • stones or other tools

The amount of time they spend on each pressure point depends on the individual and the condition they are treating. At the end of a session, the practitioner may also recommend at-home care. Continuing acupressure at home may further increase the benefits of this treatment.

Individuals can find a certified practitioner using the directory on the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) website.

The following are some questions people frequently ask about acupressure.

What is an example of acupressure?

One example of acupressure involves using this technique to treat headaches. Applying pressure to certain acupoints on the hands, feet, neck, and head can reduce headache pain.

Why does acupressure feel so good?

Acupressure helps reduce inflammation and relax muscles. This can help reduce stress and promote feelings of calm. Individuals experiencing acupressure may feel good because of lowered anxiety levels, reduced pain, and more.

Acupressure is an ancient healing technique that originated in China. This technique involves applying pressure to certain pressure points throughout the body. Applying pressure to these points can provide a range of health benefits.

For example, acupressure can help relieve chronic or temporary pain. It can also promote healthy sleep patterns.

Most people who have acupressure will not experience any side effects. Under the guidance of a healthcare professional, acupressure can potentially, safely and effectively, help treat a number of conditions.