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Acupressure is a massage therapy technique based on the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupressure massage therapy is a potent form of energy work taught in several massage schools and massage therapy programs that utilizes finger pressure to mobilize chi, or life force energy at certain points on the body, known as acupoints, acupuncture points, or acupressure points. These points provide locations where chi can be accessed to release blocked or congested energy centers in the body, promoting unobstructed chi flow for health and well-being.

Varying rhythms, pressures, and techniques create different styles of acupressure massage therapy. Shiatsu, a Japanese massage therapy form based on ancient Chinese principles, is the most well known style of acupressure massage training. Translated as “finger pressure,” it can be quite vigorous, with firm pressure applied to acupressure points. Shiatsu massage therapy programs at massage schools typically include comprehensive massage training in traditional Asian bodywork. It may utilize massage therapy stretching, special breathing techniques, and meditation. Shiatsu massage therapy practitioners can detect energy imbalances in the body before there are any ill health symptoms. Firm pressure, kneading, brisk rubbing and tapping are fundamental techniques incorporated into many acupressure massage therapy training schools and programs.

Acupressure massage therapy training and massage therapy schools review the two ways acupressure points work. Stimulation of a point in the same area where there is pain or tension is called a local point. That same point can also relieve pain in a part of the body that is distant from the point, in which case it is called a trigger point. Massage therapy training examines the triggering mechanism of certain acupoints and how this mechanism works through human energy channels called meridians. The meridians are pathways that connect the acupressure points to each other as well as to internal organs. A comprehensive acupressure massage therapy program at many massage schools will cover massage training in the meridian system as well as the location of acupressure points.

Acupressure massage therapy stimulates and activates the body’s own healing energies to prevent illness. Acupressure massage therapy practitioners will incorporate pressing on certain acupressure points to promote energy flow to a part of the body that is experiencing disease or discomfort, enabling it to heal more quickly.

Acupressure massage therapy is often an appropriate complementary treatment for use in conjunction with other health care modalities. It can also be an effective adjunct to chiropractic treatment. Acupressure massage therapy benefits a wide range of conditions such as physical pain, headaches, insomnia, poor circulation, sinus problems, arthritis, shoulder and neck tension, and is effective in preventative health care maintenance.

“Written by Rev. Dr. Richard Browne”