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Acupressure

Acupressure is a type of massage that targets the nerve meridians that in Eastern medicine affect health and wellness.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: September 28, 2012

Acupressure is a type of massage that uses the principles of acupuncture. Massage providers use pressure instead of pins to treat the nerve meridians that affect well-being.

Unlike most kinds of massage, there's no need to undress for your appointment—just make sure you wear loose, lightweight clothing.

The origins of acupressure: Acupressure massage has been around about as long as acupuncture—thousands of years. References to massaging the meridians of the body to release qi (the Chinese term for body life force) have been found in texts dating back to 400 BC.

Benefits Of Acupressure

Acupressure points are found near your body's vital connective tissues. Medically speaking, applying force to these pressure points helps stimulate the connective tissues, increasing blood flow and circulation.

Traditional Chinese Medicine describes your acupressure points as 14 meridians, or channels, through which your body's energy, or qi, flows. Believers of TCM find that placing pressure on obstructed energy channels helps release bad qi and tension.

What To Expect

Acupressure massagers use the palms, elbows, fingers, feet, or specialized acupressure devices to rub, roll, and knead the body. The acuball, for example, is a small rubber ball that emits heat and is used for muscle and joint pain.

The power mat is a floor pad with small protruding pyramids that you walk on, which dig into pressure points of the feet. Presently, there are no specific acupressure licenses available.

Specialized equipment: Acupressure should not be confused with acupuncture. Though both practices target predetermined pressure points on the body, acupressure does not involve the insertion of needles.

Recommended sessions: Typically, clients need three to six sessions to see results.

Preparation: Make sure to detail your pains and symptoms to your therapist, as this will influence which pressure points are emphasized during treatment. Clients typically remain clothed during accupressure sessions, wearing loose-fitting clothing .

Risks

Risks are minimal. Pregnant women should inform their therapist, as there are a few pressure points that should be avoided during pregnancy for maximum comfort and safety.

Who wouldn't benefit: Classically defined, acupressure is used to treat short-term health issues, like headaches and premenstrual pain. It is not ideal for preventative care, such as the treatment of asthma, or deep muscular pain or misalignment.

Find licensed and certified experts who offer acupressure near you