Acupuncture and Acupressure: What’s the Difference?
The word “acupuncture” comes from the Chinese words “ch’i” (香) meaning health or well being and “yin” (火) meaning fire. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice which uses needles inserted into specific points on the body to treat various conditions. These include everything from pain relief to treating fevers to curing skin diseases. Acupuncture is used to treat a wide variety of ailments, but it is most commonly associated with its use in cancer treatment.
Acupuncturists are trained medical practitioners who have received specialized training in acupuncture and other complementary therapies such as massage, herbal remedies, reflexology and homeopathy. They may also perform some types of surgery under the supervision of a licensed physician. Acupuncturists are not doctors; they do not diagnose illnesses nor prescribe medications for patients. Instead, they provide treatment based on their own clinical judgment and expertise.
Acupuncturists use needles to insert small metal rods called acupoints into specific locations on the body. By stimulating these points with certain techniques, acupuncturists believe that they can alleviate symptoms of disease. Acupuncture is often performed by qualified acupuncturists who hold advanced degrees in acupuncture or other complementary therapies.
Acupressure vs. Acupuncture
Acupressure is a similar practice to acupuncture that involves pressing, rubbing, or massaging pressure points on the body rather than using needles. Instead of needles, the acupressurist uses their hands or special tools like small metal rods to apply pressure to the acupoints on your body. Some people experience relief from their symptoms with just acupressure, while others may require the use of needles as well. This technique is popular for addressing everyday ailments like headaches and muscle pain, but it can also be used to treat more complex conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
For this reason, some doctors refer to acupressure as “alternative medicine,” as it is an alternative to traditional western practices like surgery or pharmaceutical drugs.
Acupressure is a non-invasive practice that has been used for centuries by many cultures all over the world. In Austria, for example, acupressure was traditionally used as a part of nursing programs in hospitals as a non-western approach to treating and preventing medical conditions.
Acupressure is also commonly used as a supplement to other forms of therapy, such as traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine. It can be used to relieve pain and symptoms of certain conditions, in addition to complementing conventional treatments. For example, women who receive cancer treatment can use acupressure during their sessions to address any pains or other discomforts that may arise.
In Summary: Acupressure is a non-invasive procedure that uses the same techniques as acupuncture, but instead of using needles it uses the acupressurist’s hands or special tools. While it is sometimes used as a treatment technique on its own, it is more commonly used as a supplement to other medical practices.
Acupressure and Acupuncture: What’s the Difference?
Acupuncture has been a common alternative medical treatment in the western world for decades. However, while many people are aware of its use in addressing a variety of illnesses and conditions, they may not be aware that there is another medical practice that is very similar to acupuncture: acupressure.
Both practices are used to address symptoms of many different diseases and conditions, but how exactly are they the same and how are they different?
Acupressure and acupuncture are both based on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Both therapies use very thin needles that are inserted into the skin at certain points on the body. Many believe that by stimulating these pressure points, vital energy (or “qi”) can be released and restored to improve health and wellness. In most cases, neither acupressure or acupuncture treatment is painful. However, many people do not like the sensation of having lots of needles in their skin.
Acupressure uses pressure to stimulate acupoints. Instead of using very thin needles, an acupressurist will use the palms of their hands or other tools like wooden sticks to apply pressure to the skin.
When addressing medical conditions, acupressure and acupuncture can be used in a similar way. However, it is important to note that while some practitioners will use one or the other, other practitioners will use both as a way of addressing your condition. For example, a person with digestive problems may receive acupuncture in addition to a diet that includes foods that improve digestion.
Acupressure and acupuncture can be used to treat many of the same conditions. Some of the most common conditions that respond to these therapies include digestive issues, anxiety, stress, back pain, fertility issues, headaches, and more.
In Summary: Acupressure and acupuncture are both alternative medical practices based on traditional Chinese medicine. Acupressure uses pressure to stimulate points on the body rather than very thin needles like acupuncture does. Both practices are used to address many of the same conditions, such as anxiety, stress, digestive issues, back pain, and headaches.
Acupressure and Acupuncture: Do They Really Work?
Many people wonder if alternative medical treatments like acupressure and acupuncture really work. Since these types of treatment are not widely known about in the West, some people question whether or not they actually solve the problems that people use them to treat. Others wonder if there isn’t a potential for harm since these types of treatment aren’t as closely regulated as conventional medicine is. There are many people who swear by the effectiveness of alternative medicine, but there are just as many people who are skeptical of it.
One of the reasons some people are skeptical of acupressure and acupuncture is due to the fact that there isn’t a lot of scientific research that has been done on these types of treatment. Acupuncture, in particular, has only recently become more widely accepted by the medical community and the fact that it is so closely related to traditional Chinese medicine, which is not as widely accepted in the scientific community.
However, there is evidence that these types of treatment work. Acupressure, in particular, was used to address pain during childbirth by many women before the development of modern anesthetics. Some studies have been done that prove positive results from using acupuncture as a pain reliever during labor and before and after surgery.
Acupuncture has also been shown to help with nausea caused by cancer treatments and it is even being considered as a potential treatment for substance abuse because it can help alleviate the cravings that come with withdrawal.
However, the effects of both acupressure and acupuncture are often temporary. It is difficult to say whether or not there is definitive proof that these types of treatment can treat the conditions that people use them to treat because the studies done on these types of treatment often have inconsistent results.
Acupressure and acupuncture may or may not work to treat whatever condition you have or may or may not be safe for you. It really just depends on the person and how they react to these types of treatment. If you want to try acupressure or acupuncture to see if they can help alleviate your pain, it won’t hurt you. If you find that they work for you, then seek out a healthcare provider who can perform these treatments for you.
If you find that they don’t help or that they make your condition worse, then you can stop having the treatments.
If you are interested in acupuncture, talk to your physician to see if this treatment would be right for you. He or she will probably be able to refer you to a licensed acupuncturist who has experience helping people with your condition. Acupuncturists must have at least three years of university training in order to be licensed in the United States.
If you are interested in acupressure, there are many resources available to you. You can find books on the subject in bookstores and in the health section of your local library. The Internet is another great source of information, but be sure to avoid websites that seem sketchy or give vague explanations about the effectiveness of their treatment. A good place to start is with a website that seems to be supported by a well-known institute or hospital.
Once you have chosen a resource, the best way to learn acupressure is to have someone show you the different points on your body that need to be pressed. You can teach yourself, but this may take a lot of practice. If you have a friend who has experience with acupressure, you can have him or her teach you. Acupressure.org has a list of self-treatment resources available online that can help you to teach yourself if you prefer to learn on your own.
Whatever you decide is best for you, make sure that you are having your condition treated by a medical professional. Even though some of these treatments may help, none of them can cure your cancer and you should not delay seeing a physician.
Take care and best wishes.
Harriet M. Fontenot
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Sources & references used in this article:
Acupressure foot massage mat by VZ Bukowski – US Patent 5,158,073, 1992 – Google Patents
Getting the grip on nonspecific treatment effects: emesis in patients randomized to acupuncture or sham compared to patients receiving standard care by A Enblom, M Lekander, M Hammar, A Johnsson… – PloS one, 2011 – journals.plos.org
Acupressure and reflexology for dummies by S Andrews, B Dempsey – 2011 – books.google.com
Contemporary acupressure therapy: Adroit cure for painless recovery of therapeutic ailments by V Stone – 2010 – Fair Winds Press