Acupuncture and acupressure are two kinds of therapies that are based on the practices of traditional Chinese medicine. These are therapies that believe that diseases and symptoms in the body are brought about by an imbalance or the blockage of the flow of energy in the body. These therapeutic techniques are aimed at restoring the flow of energy to improve the overall health and well-being of an individual. These practices are completely safe, provided the practitioner is licensed and well trained. Prior to deciding on whether to try acupressure or acupuncture, it is important for you to have a comprehensive understanding about these techniques. In addition, it is equally important to check with your physician before commencing any new treatment regimen. In terms of effectiveness, these therapies are considered to bear the same effectiveness.
Basically, acupressure and acupuncture are classified under the traditional Chinese medicine which also includes the utilization of herbs, diet and mind-body techniques. Chinese medicine views the body from the perspective that it is an energetic entity which is usually balanced by two opposing forces called Yang and Yin. This ancient medicine also believes that the good health of the body depends on pathways referred to as meridians. Individuals who practice these techniques work toward restoring the flow of the Yin and Yang for improved physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health.
Acupuncture is a kind of therapy that has been practiced in China and Asia for many centuries. This therapy attempts to restore the flow of Yin through the insertion of tiny needles into the body at different points along the meridians. These needles are extremely thin and if inserted in the right manner, they do not cause any pain. The needles are left in the body for some time which is usually determined by the practitioner.
On the other hand, acupressure is not very different. In fact, many people view acupressure as acupuncture without needles. It applies the same principals for the restoration of the body’s health and well-being. The acupuncturist performing the acupressure usually stimulates specific locations by pressing them with the feet, elbows, fingers and hands. The pressure is usually very gentle and done at a fairly comfortable level. Acupressure is a therapy that can be used on its own or in cases where the patient is experiencing much discomfort with needles.
Both acupressure and acupuncture are highly hailed for their importance in restoring the body’s overall health and energy. However, questions have been raised about the effectiveness of both practices. Research has been carried out so as to establish which of the two is more effective. A report from the World Health Organization claimed that acupuncture has proven to be more effective than acupressure. This is because in acupressure, no needles are inserted at the meridian points.
How Does Acupressure Work?
In acupressure, some of the local symptoms witnessed are usually perceived as an expression of the entire body’s condition. An individual with a tension headache could probably be suffering from neck or shoulder stress. In such a case, acupuncture does not focus on relieving the discomfort and pain but getting rid of the source of the pain.
Similar to acupuncture, acupressure is a practice that involves the stimulation of certain parts of the body. The stimulation of these points can result in the release of endorphins, which are chemicals released by the body to relieve pain. Once these chemicals are released, pain is blocked and the flow of oxygen and blood into the affected regions is increased. This causes a relaxing effect on the muscles and, as a result, a healing effect on the body.