What is acupressure therapy?

  • By Dr. Shalini Kapoor

Chinese herbal remedies and medicines have a great recognition all over the world and understandingly so, as they are time tested remedies evolved after years of studies and research. Acupressure is one such therapy that is known to promote wellness and relaxation and also treat disease. Also known as, pressure acupuncture, this process is carried out sans any needles as in acupuncture. So how does it help you?

Acupressure Theory

Acupressure finds its roots in the traditional medicines of China and is one of the most popular Asian bodywork therapies. Other such therapies that form an integral part of Asian bodywork include medical Tuina and Qigong. Apart from Chinese acupressure, Japan too has its own acupressure therapy version known as Shiatsu.

According to the medical theory of China there are special points known as acupressure or Acupoints in our body that are placed along the channels or meridians. These channels are similar to those targeted during the acupuncture treatment. The Chinese medical theory believes that the invisible vital energy flows through these meridians or channels and is known as life force or Chi. The theory further states that a human body constitutes around 12 such meridians that connect different organs and form a complete network of organized communication within the body. Starting from your fingertips, the meridian joins your brain and then connects the other associated organs with a specific meridian.

The acupressure theory believes that when either of the meridians is imbalanced or is blocked out, you suffer from disease. With the help of acupressure, the blocked path is cleared and the flow of energy is restored to normalcy.

Acupressure although can be safely practiced on all types of diseases, it is not as effective in patients suffering from cancer and hence should be avoided.

Working of Acupressure

The practitioners of acupressure make use of palms, feet, fingers, elbows and other specific devises to put pressure on the various Acupoints. Acupressure massage and stretching is also a part of this therapy. You are made to lie on a soft massage table during the treatment fully clothed. The practitioner understanding the type of disease you are suffering from puts pressure on those particular Acupoints that are affected or imbalanced. Depending upon the intensity of your pain or disease, the session can last for 30 minutes to one hour. Acupressure is not an instant therapy and you may be advised to attend several sessions to get the best results.

Goal of Acupressure

The main goal of all the Asian bodywork therapies is to provide relief by opposing the negative Yin energy and releasing positive Yang energy. That is why acupressure is also believed to treat your emotions, spirits and mind apart from treating your body and energy fields. It is believed that expert therapists can transfer external Chi energy to another person and contribute in rapid recovery.

Acupressure is although widely accepted and practiced the world over, the Western practitioners still do not believe in the concept of Acupoint and meridians. Instead, they believe that the patient gets relief due to reduced muscle tension, stimulation of endorphins, improved circulation and natural pain relievers that are relieved when the points are pressed.