Acupressure is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) modality that moves blocked energy, or “Qi”, by manually applying pressure on acupressure points. These are the same points used by acupuncturists when they needle, and can treat many different types of conditions such as headaches, motion sickness, nausea, muscle pain, stress/anxiety, insomnia, etc. TCM theory believes that 14 pathways of energy called meridians flow within the body and connect the organs with other parts of the body. Carefully targeted pressure causes a release of endorphins (natural painkillers of the body), and also influences the autonomic nervous system which controls involuntary processes such as breathing, digestion, and the heartbeat.
Although acupressure is not as effective as acupuncture, it can be useful when you are in need of relief while traveling or in-between your acupuncture appointments. Never use acupressure over areas of the body with open wounds, burns, bruises, varicose veins, or swollen areas.