Origins of Acupressure in Traditional Chinese Medicine

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Traditional Chinese Medicine

In the West, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has become synonymous with acupuncture. However, acupuncture is only one of the major treatment modalities of this comprehensive medical system based on the understanding of Qi or vital energy. These major treatment modalities also include: Acupressure, Moxibustion, Qigong, Herbal Therapy, Foods for Healing and Chinese Psychology.

The traditional Asian view of the body is that energy channels called meridians run throughout and give the body ‘life force’, much the same way blood gives the whole body life.  Thousands of years ago, Asian cultures identified locations on the body where these energy pathways are close to the surface.  Today, Western medicine has confirmed that these points contain a measurable electrical skin resistance.  When there is too much energy collected in one area of the body, or the area is low on energy, disease or pain is said to be the result.

How Acupressure Works

Acupressure uses the same pressure points and meridians as acupuncture, as well as the principles of TCM, to aid relaxation, wellness and to treat disease.  Acupressure activates key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they not only release muscular tension, but promote the circulation of blood and the body’s life force energy to promote health and healing. The term “pressure” is misleading, since acupressure actually can use a very light touch with a fingertip or work deeper with hands or elbow to make contact with the body. It’s the location of the contact that’s important, not the amount of pressure.

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