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Almost everyone has heard of acupuncture, but not too many people have heard about acupressure.
Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine technique based on the same ideas as acupuncture; it involves placing physical pressure by hand, elbow, or with the aid of various devices, on different acupuncture points on the surface of the body. Both acupressure and acupuncture, as well as other therapies such as Shiatsu and reflexology, are based on the concept of a person's energy, or life force.
Although many people practice these techniques all around the world, there is no scientific proof regarding their efficacy (or lack thereof). There is no physically verifiable anatomical or histological basis for the existence of acupoints.
Supposedly, when these acupressure points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood. This should also activate the body's life force energy to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points and Meridians, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses gentle but firm pressure. People who enjoy the benefits of acupressure claim that it can help alleviate headaches, migraines, insomnia, depression, toothache, dizziness, menstrual pain, digestive disorders including diarrhea and constipation, nausea, morning sickness, motion sickness, stress, and tiredness.
As previously mentioned, acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine bodywork technique which involves placing physical pressure on different pressure points on the surface of the body in order to bring relief through greater balance and circulation of energies in the body. This energy is called the “qi”.
It is interesting that probably the earliest evidence of use of the Meridian acupoints system for health purposes has been found in Europe. One 5,000 years old mummy called Ötzi the Iceman, found preserved in an Alpine glacier seems to have tattoos, some of which could point the way for a modern acupuncturist.
Acupressure shares basic principles with acupuncture, but the pressure is applied directly to the acupoints of the body mainly by using the hands, fingers, or knuckles and sometimes by using a smooth, blunt object.
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