Acupressure and acupuncture are twodifferent disciplines based on the same principles. Namely, whileacupuncture is dated back to 2000 years ago, acupressure is arelatively new approach, related to both acupuncture and massagetogether.
There are both similarities anddifferences between the two disciplines and the following lines willgive their best to explain both of these techniques and all the importantcharacteristics they possess.
Acupressure is a Bodywork Therapy
Acupressure applies pressure to thesame spots of the body that acupuncture stabs needles in, all thisfor the sake of promoting health and treating different diseases. Infact, acupressure was initially called pressure acupuncture,signifying a process which, basically, is acupuncture without theneedles. Both acupressure and acupuncture belong to Asian BodyworkTherapies, being based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The main principles behind both ofthese therapies lie in the ancient knowledge of Meridians in thehuman body. Acupressure points lie at specific points along themeridians, which are the pathways that all energy of our body flowsthrough. There are 12 major Meridians that are targeted inacupuncture, connecting different organs and parts of our body. Thus,in acupressure, once the pressure points located along thesemeridians are pressed, the free flow of energy is promoted and anorgan connected to a certain Meridian responds to the therapy.
Therefore, according to the TCM, anyobstruction blocking the energy flow through the Meridians can leadto health issues and even development of illnesses. Thus, acupressurerestores your body's balance through stimulating the points in thebody. All other bodywork therapies related to the TCM have the samegoal. Thus, meditation, therapeutic massage, as well as herbal andnutritional therapy, all aim at balancing your inner energy levels,helping you stay free from health complications.
Acupressure therapists use many partsof their body, including their palms, elbows, feet or fingers inorder to apply pressure to specific parts of the patient's body.Sometimes, they even use certain devices to achieve this effect orapply stretching of the body for the same purpose.
An acupressure therapy session commonlylasts for about an hour and several visits may be necessary in orderfor the desired effect to be achieved.
Many health experts, especially thosewho belong to the area of Western medicine, deny any existence ofmeridians, claiming that the positive effects that acupressure andacupuncture have on the body of a patient are nothing more than aplacebo, stemming from the increased blood circulation, reducedtension in the muscles or the production of endorphins, being ourorganism's natural painkillers.
However, countless people continue tofind relief in these ancient forms of therapy. Some of the mostcommon body parts addressed through this bodywork therapy are thelarge intestine, through the fleshy part between the thumb and theforefinger, the liver, through the soft area between the big and thesecond toe and the spleen, the acupressure point which is locatedthree fingers above the inner anklebone.
Massaging these areas a couple of timesa day is a recommended procedure, keeping you safe form many healthproblems which might affect the mentioned organs. Usually, if you are doing it right,the area you press should feel tender or mildly painful.
Is it Different from Acupuncture?
Even though the same theory regardingthe Meridians and 12 points are used in both acupressure andacupuncture, the manners in which these two therapies are carried outare quite different. Basically, therapeutic or medical acupuncturefocuses on inserting solid, metal-made needles in the skin and thebody tissues. The needles are inserted in specific patterns and in aspecific number, depending on the form of treatment intended.
Of course, the needles are meant topromote the flow of “qi”, the energy described in the TCM.Therefore, acupuncture addresses many layers of one's existence andhealth, taking into consideration both the physical and thepsychological, along with the philosophical, in terms of doctrine andpractical use.
Today, acupuncture has evolved greatlyand, due to this fact, the whole approach can be classified as eithertraditional acupuncture or the modern, hybrid acupuncture. Namely,today, in many health facilities, even electric currents can be usedduring acupuncture, delivering electricity to the body through theneedles or through direct contact of the electrodes and the skin.
So, when we consider the unique pointsof both acupressure and acupuncture, both approaches share the sameprinciples, but differ in the practical, therapeutic processes.
Subsequently, the two therapies aredifferent, but the same, focusing their knowledge on ancient wisdomof the Traditional Chinese Medicine, combining it with moderninventions and tools in order to boost the healing power of theprocess.
Whichever therapy you choose, restassured that you will be amazed by the power of something alternativeand unconventional, helping you overcome the physical andpsychological problems you might be facing.