Acupressure is an alternative medicine therapy technique similar to acupuncture that uses hands, elbows or other means to apply physical pressure to certain body points in order to clear life energy blockages and rebalance yin, yang and qi (also spelled “chi”). Acupressure is a modern component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which is not based on modern scientific knowledge.
While acupuncture involves using needles inserted into meridian points along the body to restore imbalances in qi, acupressure involves using massage-like pressure (as the name implies) administered to the meridians to achieve similar results. Acupuncture must be administered by an experienced practitioner, whereas acupuncture can be a self-care technique, as laid out by numerous experts, including Dr. Michael Reed Gach, founder of the Acupressure Institute.
Some common conditions said to be improved by stimulating acupoints include allergies, headaches, lower back pain, nausea, stomachaches, and muscular aches and pains. However, there isn’t enough statistical data to prove whether or not acupressure really is beneficial for healing these conditions. According to Quackwatch, anyone interested in acupressure should use caution, as it is an uncertain practice and acupressurists allegedly use irrational methods for treatment.