What Is Acupressure and the Health Benefits

By Jessica Fuller / February 20, 2016
What Is Acupressure and the Health Benefits Associated

Acupressure techniques were developed in Asia some 5,000 years ago. It is a type of alternative medicine that uses the ancient art of pressing healing points, known as meridians. These are found across the body and stimulates healing. But what is acupressure and the health benefits to receiving this form of therapy?

The human body has twelve primary meridian points. These points connect and carry the flow of energy through the body. For example there are meridians in the fingertips, these connect to the brain. The signals are then sent to internal organs in the body and so on.

Acupressure is an ancient form of Chinese healing similar to acupuncture and is used in similar ways. Focusing on applying pressure to the meridian points on the body to relieve pain and other ailments.

This form of therapy is able to treat the body as a whole. It goes beyond just targeting and relieving physical pain. Helping a person to also stabilise their emotions, spiritual well-being, and mental state. It’s used with great effect to relax the muscles and mind, creating an effective, powerful healing system.

What Are Acupressure Meridians

The meridians in the body that are targeted in the practice of acupressure and acupuncture are also called; energy meridians, chi meridians, and Chinese meridians. These meridians carry the body’s energy force. This energy is known as chi, spirit, Prana, subtle energy and vital energy. This energy is not visible to the human eye, it’s not something tangible so it’s hard for some people to believe in and understand.

But the results are not hard to believe in. Acupressure has been practised for thousands of years and has scientific backing to prove its effectiveness.

The process was discovered by Chinese doctors and they traced and mapped out the path it flows through the human body. Complex and intricate maps was drawn up as the technique was tested and refined.

Acupuncture and acupressure was developed to restore balance to this energy flow through the studies. Chinese doctors started connecting their treatments with the healing of certain health issues and began expanding on their work.

It’s when a person’s flow of energy becomes disrupted that other health issues start to develop. For your body to run optimally it needs to have a clear and free-flowing energy path.

How Acupressure and Emotional Freedom Techniques Can Help

How Acupressure and Emotional Freedom Techniques Can Help

If you are suffering from overall poor health, lack of energy, or any other health issues you should get a consultation from an acupressure therapist. They will be able to advise you what they can do and how it will help.

There are fourteen meridians in total. Twelve of these are primary meridians and can be worked on by a therapist. The therapist will understand what points they need to work on to help with certain issues. Using pressure points on the meridians to free up the energy flow along their channels.

There are a number of techniques involved in using the pressure points. I will go into these in more detail throughout the article. Here is a look at the twelve meridians, the associated human emotions, and the time period where the energy is at its strongest.

The twelve primary meridian points and their associated emotions:

Lung Meridian

Linked to grief and intolerance, and strongest between 3-5am.

Large Intestine Meridian

Linked to guilt and strongest between 5-7am.

Stomach Meridian

Linked to disgust and greed, and strongest between 7-9am.

Spleen Meridian

Linked to worry and anxiety, strongest between 9-11am.

Heart Meridian

Linked to joy and anger, and strongest between 11am-1pm.

Small Intestine Meridian

Linked to insecurity and sadness, strongest between 1-3pm.

Bladder Meridian

Linked to fright, being impatient, and restlessness, strongest between 3-5pm.

Kidney Meridian

Linked to fear and indecision, strongest between 5-7pm.

Pericardium Meridian

Linked to hurt, extreme joy, regret and jealousy, strongest between 7-9pm.

Thyroid Meridian

Linked to hopelessness, despair and depression, strongest between 9-11pm.

Gall Bladder Meridian

Linked to rage and wrath, strongest between 11pm-1am.

Liver Meridian

Linked to anger and unhappiness, strongest between 1-3am.

What is Acupressure and the Health Benefits

It’s worth remembering that everyone is affected differently. But there are a long list of health benefits of acupressure that most people typically experience. What is acupressure and the health benefits? Here is a summary:

  • Relieve the symptoms of stress and anxiety
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Relaxes the mind and body
  • Increases natural energy levels
  • Speeds up the recovery from injuries
  • Stimulates the body’s removal of toxins
  • Reduces aches and pains all over the body

The Difference between Acupuncture and Acupressure

The Difference between Acupuncture and Acupressure

Both acupuncture and acupressure use the same meridians and pressure points on the body. The distinguishing difference between the two is that acupuncture uses needles to pierce the skin along the channels. While acupressure uses finger pressure on the pressure points.

When the acupressure points are stimulated with finger pressure they release muscular tension. This promotes better blood circulation and starts the body’s natural healing process.

Acupressure has proven to be effective at relieving pain, detoxing the body, relieving tight muscle pains, and toning the face and back.

Acupuncture differs in its approach to relieving pain. The needles are placed at certain points along the meridian pathways to realign the flow or chi. The needles tap into the nerves and sends a signal to the brain to release hormones and other ‘feel good’ chemicals.

There is a great deal of scientific evidence to support that both forms of alternative medicine are effective.

Ways to Use Acupressure to Heal Yourself

Ways to Use Acupressure to Heal Yourself

There are several different applications of acupressure. The most common are as follows;

Using Acupressure as a Beauty Treatment

In China acupressure has been used as a beauty treatment for thousands of years. There is no better proof than seeing the results, and if you see a woman who has received this type of therapy throughout her life you will not need any more convincing.

Acupressure points improves the muscle tone and connective tissues in the face. The stimulation of blood flow promotes a healthy and naturally occurring replacement of the skin cells.

This can reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It’s a natural, drug or surgical free procedure with none of possible side-effects. We all age and see our skin start to lose its elasticity. It’s possible to reduce the speed and the effects of this through acupressure.

Through acupressure, toxins are released, you feel a lot better, and you look a lot healthier.

Using Acupressure to Heal Emotional Pain and Suffering

Physical pain is just one form of pain we carry that affects our lives. Emotional pain is another burden that not only affects our day-to-day lives but causes other health issues to develop.

Weather you have experienced a sudden traumatic event, or you’re struggling to deal with the daily pressures of life. Emotional distress can cause your body to start shutting down. Negative energy can manifest in muscles and cause physical imbalances.

Through acupressure this tension can be released and a clear flow of natural energy can be restored. Lifting your spirits, helping you deal with the emotional stress, and resolving the physical pains that have manifested.

Using Acupressure to Help with Back Pain

Myofascial Release and Back Pain

Back pain is responsible or a large percentage of all body pain. It can make life very difficult and is very uncomfortable to live with. This is where a lot of people turn to acupressure and find a great deal of success. Acupressure mats and other tools are effective self-help solutions.

The human body has important pressure points around the spine and across the upper back. These areas are targeted with therapy and huge differences can be noticed almost right away.

This form of therapy can also be used to complement other forms of therapy and chiropractic treatments. By toning and relaxing the muscles in the back adjustments to the spine are a lot easier and more effective.

Using Acupressure to Relieve Headaches and Sinus Problems

Headaches and migraines can have a huge negative effect on the day-to-day quality of life for someone suffering. Traditional medicine often only resolves the pain short-term, or doesn’t help at all.

By focusing on the pressure points on the head and neck a person can experience relief from headaches and migraines. Similar to an Indian head massage, this also opens up the sinus passages and helps with sinusitis and other sinus issues.

Using Acupressure to Treat Addictions

What is acupressure and the health benefits outside of just the physical?

Bad habits and addictions will hold you back from being the person you can be and affect you emotionally and mentally as well as physically. People turn to drink, drugs, and other vices to help them deal with stress and other psychological problems. But it’s a dangerous path to take and become incredibly hard to get off.

By releasing physical and mental pain you can find it much easier to break these bad habits. You become more consciously aware of life and what’s important to you. You will experience a boost in self-confidence along with the improved health and well-being.

Self-Acupressure for a Good Night’s Sleep Video

Use of Reiki Techniques with Acupressure

Reiki is a Japanese technique used to promote healing through the pressure points around the body. There are a lot of similarities between the two healing systems of acupressure and Reiki and sometimes a combination of both is used when treating a client.

Reiki practitioners use the pressure points to enhance healing and resolve the health issues the client is experiencing. These techniques involve the practitioner using their whole hand to make light contact with the client and channel the energy.

Benefits of Reiki Techniques

As you will see, the various benefits of Reiki treatments overlap and complement the acupressure benefits.

Stress Reduction and Relaxation

This is the primary reason most people seek out this treatment. As with acupressure and acupuncture there are some powerful stress reducing properties to the treatment. All working hand-in-hand with a stronger immune system and stimulating the body’s natural healing process.

Balances the Mind and Emotions

It’s hard to find a deep inner sense of peacefulness without the use of techniques designed to do so. Finding a better mental balance means improved learning and focus. The healing of emotional wounds, and a better handle on mood and temperament.

Speeds up the Body’s Recovery from Illness and Surgery

The rehabilitation process can be slow and mentally difficult to cope with. Reiki can speed up the body’s natural recovery by stimulating the release of hormones and increasing blood flow. Giving the client a better sense of well-being both mentally and physically.

Helps with Pain Management from Chronic Conditions

A lot of people are living in pain with chronic conditions. Managing pain and living with a chronic condition becomes a way of life. Having regular Reiki treatments can help greatly reduce the pain with regular treatments. Complimenting modern medicine.

Can Be Used to Treat Immediate Health Issues

Reiki can be used to treat sciatica, migraines, pulled muscles or any other health concern that needs immediate action to stop the pain and treat the cause. It also helps lessen the symptoms of conditions like insomnia, asthma, sinusitis etc.

Video of a Typical Reiki Session

About the author

Jessica Fuller

I started studying and experimenting with alternative medicine, different massage techniques, and alternative therapies after graduating. I also love travelling and writing, so I found a way to combine all my loves - blogging!