What are Pressure Point Therapies?

The art of traditional Chinese healing methods revealed.

Acupressure, acupuncture and shiatsu all have roots in traditional Chinese methods of treatment involving stimulation of pressure points along the body. The concept is based on the principle that separate lines called meridians supply energy known as “chi” to related organs. Pressure points are located where the meridians run close to the surface of the skin allowing access to the flow of “chi”.
Scientists agree that activating pressure points encourages the release of endorphins and enkephalins within the body.  

The Treatments

In acupressure, a practitioner uses thumb pressure to manipulate these points. Shiatsu also involves the use of point stimulation, usually by thumb, elbow, knee or forearm pressure, but is usually applied through clothing.
In an acupuncture treatment, fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin to clear energy blockages, promote energy flow and bring about balance. A skilled practitioner will carefully guide the needle to minimise discomfort. Disposable needles are used and are subsequently thrown away after a single use. 


Although some pressure points are more sensitive, most people find acupuncture, acupressure and shiatsu relaxing treatments. Depending on the condition, the benefits may be immediate. In some cases it may take several treatments before any improvement is seen. An acupuncturist may also stimulate the points with heat by burning a stick of compressed Mugwort herb called Moxa. This is called moxibustion. Cupping is another technique where small glass cups are heated then placed rim-down on a pressure point. As the glass cools, a vacuum forms to stimulate the point. Both acupressure and acupuncture may require removal of clothing.

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