Acupressure is considered to be one of the oldest healing practices still in existence today. Originating in early Chinese medicine, it was discovered that pressure applied to certain points on the body could relieve the discomforts of, common ailments. Pre-dating Christianity, acupressure was practiced in China and is recorded in Chinese medical documents.
Acupressure is one of the therapies that deals with energy flow in the body, in circuitry referred to as the meridian system. Similar in nature to shiatsu, acupressure uses fingertip pressure rather than needles as its' cousin acupuncture uses. Shiatsu, acupuncture and acupressure all attempt to balance the flow of energy within the meridians. Creating a balanced system results in a healthy body and absence of disease. There are nearly 400 acupoints along the meridian pathways, many of which are used in acupressure. The practitioner locates the appropriate acupoints and gently adds pressure with the fingertips and sometimes the edge of the nail. A key factor is, the pressure needs to be constant and it needs to be applied in the general direction of the flow of energy in the meridian.
Some practitioners find a circular motion stimulates the flow of energy more efficiently, perhaps because the rotation allows the pressure to sometimes be on the exact pressure point and sometimes slightly off, which allows for an error factor. Some practitioners use rounded wooden applicators and small roller devices. Treatment typically lasts several minutes on each acupoint and can be repeated several times throughout each day over the course of the treatment period. Because it is easy to do, it can be done as often as desired each day, by individuals who have been taught to perform the therapy on themselves. Acupressure can be used to treat a specific ailment to obtain immediate results such as for headaches, or it can be used to relieve symptoms caused by chronic ailments and over extended periods of time.
Additional forms of acupressure treatment systems include:
This version of acupressure combines the spiritual concepts of Taoism, which is the philosophy behind martial arts, with the techniques of acupressure.
This offshoot of acupressure is somewhat like shiatsu, whereby the patient treats themself. The treatment consists of gentle stretching and exercises to balance the energy flow.
This offshoot of acupressure is concerned with the actual acupressure points. It utilizes various methods to stimulate the acupoints would massage, needles, and even electricity.
Shiatsu has been discussed in the shiatsu section of the treatments list.