"Acupressure" can be used as both a generic (or broad) term and as a specific treatment. Some people say that any treatment that stimulates the acupressure points using whatever degree of pressure is acupressure. This broad definition would then encompass a large number of other treatments including Shiatsu, Acupuncture and many more. This broad meaning of acupressure also encompasses people who learn to 'do acupressure' on themselves by stimulating acupressure points (for example when they have a headache or to enable themselves to sleep better).
Acupressure involves putting pressure of varying degrees on the acupressure points in the body. Various acupressure points are responsible for or connected to specific organs and systems in the body (see the theory of Acupressure below) and by applying pressure, the interruption or blockage in the flow of energy is released and the body returns to balance and to health. Acupressure has its origins in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is classified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), the primary certifying body in North America, as a type of oriental bodywork, and it is frequently practiced by people who are also certified in various types of massage therapy.
The Theory of Acupressure
Since Acupressure evolved from acupuncture, it is also considered a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that is based on a philosophy of the “yin” and the “yang”. The “yin” and the “yang” are the two opposite yet complimentary forces that underlie all aspects of life. Under the same philosophy, it is believed that human body has key points located along the lines of energy called meridians. There are 14 meridian lines in the human body and these meridians are said to be connected to all organs in the body : visceral internal organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, etc and up to body surface (to muscles, bones, limbs, etc. When energy flows freely, the body is in balance and healthy. When human experience pain or suffers from an illness, it is because there is an interruption or blockage in the flow of the energy.
Acupressure is used to relieve different illnesses and pains. Unlike Acupuncture that uses needles in its procedure to stimulates these key points, Acupressure therapy stimulates through the use of pressure. It involves physical pressure by the use of hands, elbow, or with the help of different devices.
Acupressure has different facets that are useful in diagnosing illnesses as well as curing them. It is also the third most popular method for treating pain and illness in the world. This complete health system have helped millions of people throughout the globe and has been documented for use in treating over 3000 conditions i.e. stress, anxiety, asthma, fibromyalgia, headaches, etc