Guide to acupressure

Introduction to acupressure

Acupressure can be used to treat a variety of health problems and’s guide to acupressure describes some of the most common, and can help you to decide if acupressure is the right alternative therapy for you.

What is acupressure?

Acupressure is the application of physical pressure to the body in order to affect the flow of energy in the body (called ‘Chi’, ‘Ki’ or ‘Qi’) for the benefit of your health.

Acupressure is usually applied by hand, but can also be applied by elbow or by various hand-held devices.Pressure is applied to certain points on the body – the so-called 12 meridians (energy channels) – to bring about relief through greater balance and circulation of fluids and energies in the body.

This therapy is considered to be the ‘mother of acupuncture’, in that it was used as a means to stimulate the body’s energy flow long before needles were used for that purpose. Different acupressure techniques include Shen Tao, Jin Shen, Do Jin Shen, Qigong, Shiatsu and Tuina.

Treatments can last from 15 minutes to nearly an hour depending on the severity of a person’s problem. Some acupressure therapists will work on bare skin, while others will work through clothing – but the effects will be similar.

What is the purpose of acupressure?

Acupressure is intended to keep the flow of energy through the body unhindered, following the belief that a disruption in that flow leads to illness. The therapy aims to release blocked energy by stimulating specific points, or ‘acupoints’, along the body’s energy channels.

Pressing firmly on the proper acupoints can promote energy flow to a part of the body that is experiencing difficulty, thereby enabling it to heal itself more readily.

What are the benefits of acupressure?

An acupressure therapist can work on acupoints that relate to specific conditions – for example, pressing a point on the top of the foot may help to ease migraine. Acupressure is also known to aid your health in a number of other positive ways – including reducing stress and tension; increasing blood circulation; aiding in the removal of toxic wastes; providing relief from head, neck and shoulder aches; promoting healing; increasing energy levels; and increasing feelings of well-being.

For more information on acupressure, call the British Acupuncture Council on 020 8735 0400 or visit their website at

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