Acupressure is closely related to acupuncture as it is a form of Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) with a basis in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Both techniques use acupressure points—or acupoints—to help balance an individual’s qi, or life energy, to promote healing and recovery.
The difference between the two is that acupressure does not use needles, but instead the hands and elbows or devices, like acuballs or energy rollers, are used to manipulate the person’s acupoints. Also, acupressure can sometimes be self administered. Acupressure is used to treat various problems, like nausea, lower back pain, stomach aches, shoulder pain, and more.
What are Acupressure Points?
Acupressure uses the same principles as acupuncture, namely that the body’s life force—or qi—flows through channels called meridians. There are positions on each of the twelve meridians, called acupressure points, which are targeted when acupuncture or acupressure is being performed.
Practitioners of TCM believe that if one of the meridians is blocked or imbalanced, then it can cause various ailments. Activating the acupoints via needles or massage helps to reduce pain and swelling and promote a feeling of well-being. The reason is that the use of acupuncture or acupressure can help to restore the flow of qi, which helps to promote healing in the affected person.
The Efficacy of Acupressure
Scientific studies have demonstrated that acupressure is a viable method of helping to treat various conditions like nausea, back pain, and more. One of the scientific theories behind the efficacy of acupressure is that it promotes the release of endorphins, which are hormones secreted by the brain and nervous system that serve as a natural analgesic (pain reliever).
It is a good alternative to acupuncture for anyone who does not like needles. Here are some of the conditions that can be helped by the use of acupressure:
- Cancer – acupressure does not help in the treatment of cancer but it can help to mitigate some of the symptoms. It can also relieve the nausea related to chemotherapy treatment.
- Arthritis – the endorphins produced by acupressure can have an anti-inflammatory effect that helps with some kinds of arthritis
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – a clinical trial found that women who received acupressure treatment two weeks prior to menstruation had less severe PMS symptoms.
- Insomnia – self administered acupressure is a possible way to improve insomnia. The trial concluded that more study needs to be done, but that acupressure shows promise.
However, acupressure is best used as a supplement to other treatment options in more serious cases, rather than being the main treatment option.
How Does Acupressure Work?
The acupressure practitioner uses their hands, elbows, or special devices, to massage and stimulate the acupoint that corresponds to the affected individual’s condition. The affected person lies down, fully clothed, on a massage table as the specialist manipulates the acupoints on their body. Each session lasts up to an hour and multiple sessions are recommended depending on the person’s condition.
What are the Acupressure Points for Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain can be a serious problem since it limits the shoulder’s range of motion and reduces the number of activities the affected person can perform. It can be caused by: a displacement injury, like dislocation or separation; a degenerative disease, like arthritis; or an overuse injury, like a rotator cuff tear.
The use of acupressure can help reduce the pain and swelling associated with shoulder pain via the manipulation of the associated acupoints. Some of the acupressure points associated with shoulder pain include: Gall Bladder 21 (GB 21); Celestial Window Point; Small Intestine 10 Point (SI 10); Large Intestine 10 Point (LI 10).
Use Acupressure Points for Pain Relief
The use of acupressure points is a safe, non-invasive way to treat a wide variety of conditions.
It is a scientifically proven method that is safe, effective and that, in many cases, can be self administered. Make sure to select a top quality specialist when you need help with your acupressure points. A clinic like Sound Acupuncture Miami is ideal if anyone needs professional treatment for their shoulder pain, or any other kind of pain.