Acupressure is a massage therapy technique that involves using the fingers, palms and elbows to apply pressure to specific areas of the body. With roots in traditional Chinese medicine, this alternative healing practice adheres to the same principles as acupuncture but forgoes the use of needles.
Acupressure is based on the theory that invisible channels called meridians carry energy throughout the body. It’s believed that applying pressure to specific points along these pathways can promote relaxation, relieve illness and restore systemic balance.
Though acupressure shouldn’t replace proper medical attention, it can be used to complement it. It’s most commonly performed in conjunction with massage therapy, physiotherapy and orthotherapy.
While there’s limited research on the medical benefits of acupressure, patients with various health concerns have reported improvements after having several treatments. Most notably, acupressure can be used to help:
• Relieve stress and tension
• Soothe muscle and joint pain
• Facilitate digestion
• Boost the immune system
• Increase energy levels
• Improve sleep
If you want to try this treatment at home, consider purchasing an acupressure mat. Lined with hundreds of plastic points, these mats can be used to stimulate pressure points on your back. However, a session with a professional therapist will offer far more effective and longer-lasting results.