What is Acupressure - Treament For Common Ailments and Precautions

Acupressure Treament For Common Ailments

Dr.Geeta M Thakkar profile Authored by Dr.Geeta M Thakkar on 4 Sep 2014 - 16:12.

What is Acupressure?

It is the form of ancient Chinese medicine, which involves the process of applying manual pressure to the specific locations on the body, depending on the ailment to be treated. Acupressure is the therapy similar to acupuncture but without needles and thus it is often called as pressure acupuncture. It is significantly implemented as a therapy to promote relaxation and to improve overall health.

What is the principle behind acupressure?

The principle of acupressure belongs to the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, according to which body has several invisible lines of energy (meridians) in which vital energy called “Chi” or “gi” flows. This energy is composed of two components, yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). It is believed that any sort of obstruction in this energy flow or blockage at different points causing an imbalance is the root cause of various diseases and disorders. According to ancient Chinese belief, there are about fourteen such meridians on which acupressure therapy can be applied to correct the balances. These invisible lines begin at the fingertips and travel to the brain and then connect different organs in the body.

The exact theory behind the mechanism involved in the acupressure is not clear. However, it is supposed that the pressure applied at the specific point on the body triggers the release of natural painkillers in the body (endonephrins) and thus relieves the symptoms. The other assumption in this context is that, applied pressure at specific meridian alters the response of autonomic nervous system (ANS).

How is it practiced?

  • It is often practiced by expert in the field or it may be self-administered under proper training and practice.
  • A deep pressure is applied at specific location to stimulate the point.
  • Pressure is generally applied by using thumb or finger tips. However, palms, elbows, feet, or specially made devices can also be used.
  • Pressure is gradually increased to 30 seconds and then maintained it for 30 more seconds to 2 minutes and then again the pressure is gradually released for about 30 seconds.
  • The complete session may take about one hour or quite long.
  • While massaging, one need to maintain a comfortable and relaxed position on the massage table.
  • You may be asked to breathe deeply and be calm.
  • For better and significant results it should be repeated for at least three to five times a day.
  • This acupressure can be practiced on your own or one may take a help of anyone around.

What are the common ailments that can be corrected with Acupressure?

Most often, acupressure therapy is used as an alternative to allopathy, in following conditions:

  • Depression and anxiety disorder
  • Stress, Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps, muscle tenderness and pain
  • Pregnancy related symptoms, including morning sickness
  • Nausea - point on the inside of the wrist (P6)
  • Travel sickness
  • Abdominal cramps, especially during menstruation
  • Adverse effects of chemotherapy, especially in cancer treatment
  • Tennis elbow
  • Tooth pain
  • Arthritis
  • Sexual dysfunction and so on.

What are some of common acupressure points to learn?

Some common points on which acupressure can be practiced to get rid of specific ailments are as follows:

Gallbladder 20 (GB20): It is also called as Feng Chi and it is located in neck muscles that attach to the skull. It can be practiced to relieve symptoms like headache or migraine, blurred vision, fatigue, flu symptoms and if feeling exhausted.

Gallbladder 21 (GB21): Also called as Jing Jang and its located on the shoulders. Acupressure on GB21 can be implemented to relieve stress, tooth pain, neck stiffness, tension and pain, facial abnormalities and headaches. Precautions should be taken during the pregnancy.

Large Intestine 4 (LI4): Also called as He Gu and its located in the muscles of the hand where the thumb and the index finger come closer. Acupressure can be applied here to treat headache, tooth pain, facial pain and neck pain. Strictly it should not be practiced in pregnant women.

Liver 3 (LV3): Also called as Tai Chong and its located on foot, about 2inchesh below the point where big toe and next toe joints. It is considered for the treatment of hypertension, lack of sleep, emotional stress, pain in the lower back and pain in the hands.

Pericardium 6 (P6): Also called as Nei Guan and its located on hands about 2 to 3 cm below the wrist atthecenterr. It is preferred to treat headache, stomach upset, anxiety, heart related problems, pain in the forearm, and travel sickness.

Triple Energizer 3: Also called as Zhong Zhu and its located on the hands where the 4th and 5th fingerjoins. Acupressure at this point can help to get rid of back pain, headache, neck pain and shoulder pain.

Spleen 6 (SP6): Also called as San Yin Jiao and its located on the leg, just above the ankle. Acupressure applied at this location can help to relieve the symptoms of disorders of the pelvic region, sleep disorder, fatigue and certain urological ailments.

Stomach 36 (ST36): sAlso called as Zu San Li and it’s located about 2 to 3 cm below the knee. Acupressure on this point is useful to treat knee pain, depression, fatigue, stomach discomfort and certain digestive disorders.

What precautions one need to take?

  • Discontinue the therapy or specific session if you are experiencing pain or discomfort
  • Do not apply firm pressure on fragile areas like the face
  • Acupressure should be considered after experts recommendations after thorough examination of your medical status
  • Special caution should be taken during the pregnancy and acupressure should be considered only under experts supervision
  • Acupressure should not be practiced on leg points or on the abdomen during the pregnancy
  • Acupressure should not be done on swollen areas or open wounds

Who are not the right candidates for Acupressure?

People with following ailments should not be considered for acupressure or should be strictly practiced under the expert’s supervision:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Recent fracture
  • Swelling
  • Blood disorders
  • People on blood thinning medications.
  • Diabetes and blood circulation problems.

Are there any side effects of acupressure?

Acupressure is a safe technique and not associated with major or significant side effects. However, some people may feel soreness and lightheadedness for some time immediately after the therapy.

What are the advantages of Acupressure?

  • It is very safe and without any reaction or side effect.
  • It is economical as it does not require any instrument; fingers/ thumb serve as instrument.
  • It helps to treat common problems like headache, backache, nausea etc. at one’s own place itself.
  • It can be used as first aid before you approach to the doctor.
  • It can be practiced anywhere and anytime like while travelling, at midnight, where the doctor may not be approached immediately.
  • Routine acupressure may help to keep you fit, fresh, charming and beautiful.
  • Cosmetic acupressure may help to treat pimples, pigmentation on face, obesity, wrinkles etc.


*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.