Acupressure is a massage therapy technique used in, for instance, Traditional Thai Massage, Ayurveda Marma Therapy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and involves applying (firm) pressure on certain points, locations, or areas of the body.
Acupressure is usually applied with the fingers, typically with the thumbs, but it can also be given with other parts of the body like with the elbows, feet or knees, to name some examples. Additionally, specific tools may be used, such as wooden sticks, stones, compresses, and such.
It’s often said that acupressure originated in China, but it has also been widely used in other ancient cultures, 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 Indian monks and healers.
Using acupressure techniques in Thai Massage is based on the idea of manipulating Prana Life Force flow at specific locations in the body. These locations, which in Thai Massage lie along the Sen Lines, in TCM along the Meridians, and in Ayurveda along the Nadis, are called acupoints or acupressure points. Additionally, acupressure is a technique specifically used in reflexology, notably in Foot Reflexology treatments.
In the Thai Healing Arts, acupressure points are said to be physical locations along the Sen Lines, manipulated to release blocked or congested energy flow, or to either activate or soothe energy. The aim is to promote the uninhibited distribution of Prana (called Lom Pran in Thailand) in order to promote balance, health, and well-being.
Some acupressure points have more importance than others, and are known to strongly influence specific physical or mental functions or organs, that is, they are worked on to treat certain illnesses or to relieve pain.
These important acupressure points which lie across the Energy Lines are sometimes associated with the so-called sub-Chakras or minor Chakras (often equated with the Ayurvedic Marma Points), which is an Indian Ayurvedic concept of Life Energy distribution centers.