Acupressure is a form of Asian body work that aims to restore the patient’s balance and health by applying pressure to certain parts of the body. It is similar to acupuncture without the needles.
What to Expect
A deep tissue massage-like experience with lots of pressure applied to specific parts of the body.
During your first visit, the acupuncturist needs to gain a thorough understanding of your main complaint and your general health and lifestyle. This involves asking questions about your current symptoms and your medical history, as well as such things as your sleeping pattern, your appetite and digestion, and your emotional well-being. Women are also asked about their menstrual cycle and any past pregnancies and childbirth.
You might feel that some questions appear unrelated to your condition but the information you give helps your practitioner to form a more complete picture of your health and lifestyle. Your acupuncturist will also take your pulse on both wrists and may examine your tongue and feel for areas of muscular tension or pain.
Based on all the information you have given, the practitioner will make a diagnosis and put together your treatment plan, which may include lifestyle and dietary advice as well as acupuncture. Your practitioner will use very fine single-use per-sterilised needles to stimulate specific acupuncture points on your body. Because energy meridians range across the whole body, the points used are not necessarily close to where you experience pain or discomfort. For example, if you suffer from headaches needles might be inserted in your foot or hand.
As well as needling acupuncture points, a traditional acupuncturist may use other Chinese medicine techniques such as:
Moxibustion: heat is applied to an acupuncture point or meridian using moxa (a therapeutic herb) and/or heat lamps to warm and relax muscles and qi
Tuina: Chinese therapeutic massage relieves muscle tension, stimulates acupressure points, opens energy meridians and stimulate the flow of qi
Cupping: glass cups with a vacuum seal are placed on the skin to stimulate blood flow and clear stagnant qi
Guasha: vigorous rubbing of the skin increases blood flow and clears stagnant qi