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Acupressure Techniques

In acupressure, there are two ways to manipulate any point in our body―either by pressing it, or by reducing it. Read the HolisticZine article to find out more about acupressure, and the different techniques that are administered.
HolisticZine Staff
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.

What is Acupressure?

This practice involves traditional Chinese medicine in form of massage. It is believe that with the help of acupressure, we can influence and balance the flow of Yin and Yang in our body. The art was developed in Asia, about 5,000 years ago, which works to de-stress and remove pain, bringing in the balance of life. This balance of life is often referred to as Qi (pronounced as chi), a life energy. In acupressure, it is believed that every living organism possess Qi which is distributed through 12 different meridians. These meridians are energy paths which are located all over the body; attached to a particular organ or system in the body. With over 1,000 acupressure points, the art of acupressure can stimulate it by applying pressure.

Either light or deep pressure is applied in order to unblock these meridians. This in turn helps in relieving stress or other illnesses. The flow of energy or Qi is facilitated resulting in the flow of blood and fluids throughout the body. While applying pressure, either the use of fingers, thumbs, or base of the hands is taken. Many times, even the elbows and knees are used for various techniques.

Different Acupressure Methods

There are many commonly used techniques in acupressure where light or deep pressure along with gentle massage is given. Some of the main techniques include:
  • Pressing
  • Rubbing
  • Pushing
  • Scrubbing
  • Kneading
  • Grasping
  • Patting
  • Wiping
  • Chafing
  • Rub rolling
All these techniques are used for multiple therapies such as acne and asthma control, people who have issues with bed wetting, bronchitis, for chronic back pain and headaches, reoccurring constipation, lack of breast milk, to induce labor, neck and joint pain, female infertility or impotence, hair loss, heartburn, insomnia, high blood pressure, and weight loss.

Light Pressure
For acute conditions, the techniques to reduce bloating, constipation, headaches, neck and joint pain, the use of light pressure is administered. With slow yet firm pressure, the different pressure points of the body are held steadily with a finger. This pressure is given at a 90º angle which is directed to the center of the body where you are working. The aim is to put pressure for a certain time and then release it. This way, the tissues in that particular area or around the point then get the time to respond to the pressure and promote healing.

Deep Pressure
As the name suggests, deep acupressure also help in restoring the balance in the body. Deep pressure is used for the more tender and nodular parts of the feet and body. For the more chronic conditions, deep pressure is applied to receive the energy. This helps in healing and unblocking the Qi.

Note: If you are more than 3 months pregnant, you should not use the help of acupressure. However, in order to induce labor, different techniques are used. Always seek advice from an authorized technician.

Every part of the body needs different type of pressure. Which is why, the use of light and deep pressure is applied during the techniques. Now if you have never done this before, I'd advise you keep a check on the amount of pressure that is administered to you. If you feel that the pressure is too intense, you can ask the healthcare professional to reduce it. Over time, with various degrees of pressure, you will be able to feel the pulse in certain areas. This sign indicates that the techniques are working and your overall circulation has been modified.