Acupressure (Tui Na in Chinese) , or medicall massage,
is thought to be one of the oldest healing traditions
in the world, predating even acupuncture. The Chinese
are credited with having discovered that pressure on specific
points of the body could relieve common ailments and discomfort.
Acupressure is based on the same concepts
of meridians and acupoints as acupuncture, but fingertip
pressure is used rather than needles. The aim is also
the same, to balance the flow of Qi (vital energy) and
Yin and Yang within the meridians, thereby creating
healthy functioning of the internal organs and preventing
or curing disease.
The invisible meridians carrying Qi are
said to reside within the body's interior. However,
there are specific places on the skin called acupoints,
where Qi may be accessed and guided suing deep, focused
finger pressure. By improving Qi circulation, practitioners
encourage the harmonious equilibrium of mind and body
believed to be essential for physical and spiritual
health. And once this internal harmony is achieved the
body is able to invoke its self-healing capabilities.
The present chief methods of acupressure are:
- Rolling acupressure,
- Internal exercises acupressure,
- Digital acupoint pressure acupressure,
- Bone-setting acupressure,
- Viscera and channels acupressure,
- Keep-fit acupressure,
- Health-preserving acupressure,
- Physical excise acupressure,
- Beauty acupressure.
The method of acupressure depends on
patient's condition and age.
Same as acupuncture, acupressure
has been well accepted as a safe, effective, comfortable,
harmless to people health and life-prolonging
the differences between acupressure and conventional
Although acupressure is also
simply called "massage" in the US, it
actually is not the same as conventional massage.
Like acupuncture, acupressure is based on the
concept of Qi (sometimes called "Chee"),
defined in Chinese medicine as an essential life
force that flows through the body, circulating
through invisible passageway called meridians.
The movement, or flow, of Qi varies with the mental,
physical, and spiritual changes of daily living.
When Qi flows freely and evenly, harmony and
good health are possible; however, if Qi circulation
is stagnant, over-stimulated, or unbalanced, illness
is likely. Acupressure is closely related to acupuncture
in its use of the meridian system and is considered
to be effective for a similar range of health
problems. That's why acupressure generally produces
better results than conventional massage.
does acupressure work?
Acupressure is based on the theory
of meridians and collateral. According to this
theory, the body is networked by a system of pathways
which function to transport Qi and blood, to regulate
Yin and Yang (internal opposing forces), to protect
against external pathogens and to link the internal
organs with the exterior. The concept is simple.
When Qi flows freely, the body is healthy. Blockage
of the Qi results in the unbalance of Yin and
Yang and causes pain and is intimately connected
with all health problems. Acupressure uses pressure,
manipulation and a variety of approaches to promote
Qi (energy) and blood flow with the body.
In addition to the selection of acupoints, touch
is another fundamental medium of acupressure.
While acupressure methods can be described in
the terms of a series o techniques performed,
it is important to understand that touch is not
used solely in a mechanistic way in acupressure
therapy. There is also an artistic component in
the acupressure. Because acupressure usually involves
applying touch varying degrees of pressure, the
acupressure therapist must use touch with sensitivity
in order to determine the optimal amount of pressure
to use for each point on the body. Touch used
with sensitivity also allows the acupressure therapist
to receive useful information about the body,
such as location areas of muscle tension and
the other soft tissue problems. Because touch
is also a form of communication, sensitive touch
conveys a sense of caring, which is an essential
element in the therapeutic relationship for the
person receiving acupressure. Acupressure also
animates the tactile sense, which is the body's
primary sense. This has another psychological
effect of bringing people in the here and now
and away from a constant preoccupation with problems
and the tension generated by mental hyperactivity.
This has a centering effect that often leaves
people feeling mentally refreshed and restored.
Acupressure therapy recipients often describe
this as a "mental vacation". It is recognized
that many illnesses in the beginning or acute
states are on the "surface" of the body,
defined in Chinese medicine as aches, pains and
other symptoms found in the muscles, neck and
head. Later on, if the disease is strong or goes
untreated, it can move deeper into the "interior"
of the body, affecting the chest, abdomen and
is the key effects of acupressure treatment?
Acupressure primarily affects the body as a whole.
Taking a look at the key effects of acupressure
gives insight into how acupressure works and what
the benefits of acupressure are:
- Activating Qi and blood (increasing
- Regulating Qi and blood (dispersing
stagnation and guiding counter flow)
Dredging the channels (removing
external pathogens like Cold and
- Reduce muscle tension
- Improve blood circulation
Improve lymph movement
- Increase mobility and range of motion
- Stimulate or smooth nervous system
- Enhance skin condition
- Relief of acute and chronic pain
- Reduce swelling
- Reduce stress
- General relaxation
It is always a good idea to receive a combined
treatment of acupressure together with acupuncture
therapy, or Chinese herbal medicine if necessary,
for better results.
Case Study - Acupressure for protruding Discs
Source: Journal of TCM, June 2002; 22(2); 126-127
Acupressure were performed on 82 patients diagnosed
with protruding lumbar discs to activate Qi and
blood and alleviate pain. Most patients experienced
improved curvature of the spinal column, increased
range of motion and decreased back pain after