Acupressure and Acupoints in Traditional Chinese Medicine | TCM

 Published September 21, 2020 | Updated November 7, 2020

Acupressure and Acupoints in Traditional Chinese Medicine | TCM
© Picture courtesy Senado Federal

Acupressure is a massage therapy technique used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that involves applying firm pressure on certain well-defined points (acupoints) of the body.

It is usually given with the fingers, notably with the thumbs, but it can be applied with other parts of the body also like with the elbows, feet or knees, to name some examples. Tools maybe used also, such as wooden sticks, stones, compresses, and such.

It’s often said that acupressure originated in China, but it has been widely used in other ancient cultures also, for thousands of years, like, for instance, in India. Looking closer at the history of acupressure, the technique may even have been brought to China by Indians.

In China, the acupressure technique is based on TCM theories and is used to mobilize Qi Life Force via/at specific locations on/in the body. These locations are called acupoints or acupressure points. Additionally, acupressure is a technique specifically used in reflexology.

The acupoints are physical locations on the so-called meridians manipulated to release blocked or congested energy and energy centers, promoting the free flow of Qi in order to promote balance, health and well-being.

Acupressure should not be confused with acupuncture, the latter based on the same principles but using needles which are inserted at acupoints into the meridians to remove Qi blockages.

Acupressure can be used at any moment during a TCM treatment but the typical application is more likely within one of the Chinese Massage therapies, such as Tui Na, Dian Xue, An Mo or Foot Massage.

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