Understanding Acupressure’s Benefits and Applications

Acupressure is a form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that includes applying manual pressure to specific points on the body to alleviate blocked energy, or qi. It’s similar to acupuncture, but instead of needles, fingertip pressure is used.

Acupressure is supposed to help with a number of illnesses, such as motion sickness, headaches, and muscle pain, by improving energy flow.

Phanie, Getty Images Acupressure

This article examines acupressure, its applications, and the evidence supporting its efficacy. It also covers topics like safety and technique.

What Is Acupressure and How Does It Work?

No one knows for sure how acupressure works. Endorphins are said to be released as a result of the pressure. These are the body’s natural pain-relieving compounds.

Others believe that the pressure may have an effect on the autonomic nervous system. The component of the nervous system that controls automatic functions like your heart, digestion, and breathing is called the parasympathetic nervous system.

Within the body, invisible energy routes known as meridians flow, according to TCM concepts. The organs are supposed to be connected to other regions of the body via at least 14 meridians. Along

those meridians are acupressure points. If qi is obstructed at any point along a meridian, health problems are supposed to occur along that pathway. To

restore healthy energy flow, a practitioner applies pressure to certain acupressure points. They determine the points based on your symptoms.

Because of the way meridians flow, the pressure points employed may be a long way from the symptom’s location. For example, to ease a headache, an acupressure point on the foot could be used.

What Is the Purpose of Acupressure?

Most people use acupressure to treat a variety of ailments, including:

Stress reduction

Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of surgery or chemotherapy.

Fatigue caused by cancer and other causes

Acupressure’s Advantages

Although there has been little research on the effectiveness of acupressure, there is some indication that it may aid. In a 2017 study, researchers

looked at the effects of acupressure on pain and anxiety. The participants were athletes who had sustained a sports injury. Researchers gave the individuals one of the following treatments, or no acupressure at all, on the day of the injury:

In comparison to a sham treatment or no acupressure, the study found that acupressure reduced discomfort. Anxiety remained unchanged. 4

Three trials in chemotherapy patients were examined in a 2017 review. Acupressure with fingers or an acupressure wristband reduced nausea, vomiting, and retching, according to the researchers. While

these are encouraging findings, a 2017 assessment of 22 clinical trials on acupuncture or acupressure for labor induction revealed no evidence of efficacy. There


hasn’t been a lot of research done on acupressure’s usefulness. It has been shown to help with pain and nausea in several studies.

An Example of an Acupressure Session

Acupuncturists frequently use acupressure. During the treatment, you may sit or lie on a massage table, depending on what points they need to access.

You can use acupressure on yourself as well. An acupuncturist is the best person to teach you good technique.

In general, you use your thumb, finger, or knuckle to apply pressure to a specific point. You can also use a pen’s tip. The pressure applied should be light but forceful.

For around 30 seconds, increase the pressure. Then, for 30 seconds to two minutes, keep it constant. After that, slowly reduce the pressure for 30 seconds. Rep the process three to five more times.

The point of pressure The most common uses for P6 are to relieve nausea and vomiting. Turn your hand palm up to find it. 7. Place your thumb in the middle of the hand-to-wrist joint. Make a two-finger-width movement toward the elbow with your thumb. When you apply pressure to the point, you should be able to feel two large tendons.


Before you try acupressure on yourself, see a qualified acupuncturist. It is critical to initially learn good technique.

Acupressure Side Effects and Safety

It should never be painful to use acupressure. Tell your therapist right away if you’re in pain.

Some people may experience soreness or bruising at acupressure points after treatment. You may also feel dizzy for a while. For

sensitive areas, such as the face, moderate pressure is recommended.

If you’re pregnant, see your doctor before attempting acupressure. Acupressure isn’t commonly used on the following areas during pregnancy:

Any of the following regions should never get acupressure:

Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine treatment that involves applying pressure to a specific point on the body. It’s done to clear energy blockages that have been linked to everything from insomnia to menstrual pains.

There isn’t a lot of study on acupressure’s effects. It has been suggested in some research that it may help with pain and nausea.

Acupuncturists can do acupressure, but you can also attempt it on your own (with proper instruction). If you’re pregnant or have a medical issue, get permission from your doctor before trying it.