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Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing practice that involves applying pressure to crucial points around the body. It is often associated with acupuncture, which relies on many of the same principles.
But even though acupuncture has been around in the west for a little longer than acupressure, both therapies are equally valid. And although they are still widely misunderstood in the West, acupuncture and acupressure are both scientifically proven, and they are among the most beneficial holistic therapies in the world.

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In fact, some experts believe that acupressure is older than acupuncture, although both therapies are so old that their exact origins cannot be accurately traced. In all likelihood, the practice has been around for as long as Chinese healers have been aware of pressure points, those special spots around the body that, when stimulated, provide therapeutic shortcuts for treating a wide variety of ailments.
 
Traditionally, these pressure points around the body have been given mystical significance, and it was thought that stimulating these points helped restore the types of bodily imbalances that supposedly lead to illness and malaise. While these ancient claims can more-or-less be dismissed as pseudoscience, there is plenty of real, modern science that comes to essentially the same conclusions. The exact mechanism of action is still mysterious, but studies have shown again and again that it really works.

Acupressure can be used to treat any number of ailments

Acupressure can be used to treat any number of ailments, including:

·         headaches

·         chronic pain

·         insomnia

·         anxiety

·         eye problems

·         arthritis

·         muscle aches

·         stress-related tension

·         ulcer pain

·         menstrual cramps

·         indigestion

·         common cold and flu symptoms

thumb_acupressure.jpgIf you have a basic understanding of how acupuncture works, then acupressure shouldn’t be hard to grasp. In acupuncture, the therapist inserts needles into various pressure points throughout the body and then either leaves them there or manipulates them (for example, some acupuncture treatments involve mild electricity). Acupressure is the same, except without the needles. Many acupressure therapists use their fingers to stimulate the pressure points, but there are other tools that some therapists use—for example, acupressure balls and rollers.

Many people who undergo this therapy find that it’s almost instantly relaxing. In many respects it is similar to massage in that it relaxes the body and gives you a natural high that can last for several hours after the therapy session. And while the initial effects of the treatment may fade after a few hours, many people find that the results can be cumulative. Over several sessions undergone on a regular basis, you may find that the symptoms of your ailment begin to gradually improve. The therapy may not completely fix you, but it can make you feel better.

Before you make up your mind about whether to undergo long-term acupressure therapy, you might want to go in for a single session and see out it feels. Most major cities have holistic health clinics with acupressure therapists on staff. If you have trouble finding a clinic that offers these services, go online and search for independent acupressure therapists in your area.

When you go to your acupressure therapist, the first thing you’ll do is sit down with him or her and have a discussion about what is ailing you. After that, the therapist will discuss the specific techniques that are available, and he or she should give you an honest assessment of what to expect from the therapy. Unfortunately, not every condition can be treated through acupressure, and you may want to talk to your family doctor before undergoing any therapy of this kind. Acupressure is not dangerous in any way, but it can’t hurt to make sure that it’s right for you.