Acupressure

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What is it?

Acupressure is a treatment used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It’s similar to acupuncture but involves applying pressure rather than needles.

The purpose of acupressure is to stimulate points that correspond to specific organs, emotions, or feelings. In TCM, it’s thought that disease is caused by an imbalance or blocked flow of energy (qi, or “chi”). Most acupressure points are near nerves. Applying pressure at these points may block pain signals.

People use acupressure for many types of pain, especially back pain and menstrual cramps. It is also used for anxiety, constipation, nausea, asthma, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these other uses.

Don’t confuse acupressure with other practices used in TCM, including acupuncture and transcutaneous electrical acustimulation. These are not the same.

It is effective?
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

Possibly Effective for …

  • Back pain. Acupressure, used alone or with other treatments, might reduce back pain and disability better than physical therapy in people with low back pain.
  • Tiredness in people with cancer. Acupressure seems to improve tiredness in people with cancer, particularly in males.
  • Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea). Acupressure seems to reduce pain in adults and adolescents with painful periods. Self-administered acupressure also seems to help.
  • Insomnia. Acupressure seems to improves sleep quality in people with insomnia or other sleep issues.

Possibly Ineffective for …

  • Osteoarthritis. Acupressure doesn’t seem to improve pain or function in people with knee osteoarthritis.

There is interest in using acupressure for a number of other purposes, but there isn’t enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Is there concern for the safety of its use?
Acupressure is likely safe when used appropriately. There are no known safety concerns.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Acupressure is possibly safe when used during pregnancy and breast-feeding. There are no known safety concerns.

Children: Acupressure is possibly safe when used appropriately in children.

Are there any drug interactions?
It is not known if this treatment interacts with any medicines. Before using this treatment, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

Are there any interactions with herbs and supplements?
There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Are there any interactions with food?
There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?
Acupressure is a common treatment used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It involves applying pressure using hands, thumbs, fingers, or devices to specific parts or points on the body along pathways called “meridians.”

Acupressure can be applied by a practitioner or self-administered. Passive acupressure devices have been developed, such as wrist bands that allow people to apply pressure to the P6 acupressure point, which has been used for the treatment and prevention of nausea and vomiting.

By what other names is the product known?
Active Acupressure, Acupoint Massage, Acupresión, Acupression, Acupression Active, Acupression Auriculaire, Acupression Chinoise, Acupression Occidentale, Acupression Passive, Acupression du Pied, Aroma Acupressure, Aromatherapy Acupressure, Auricular Acupressure, Chinese Acupressure, Ear Acupressure, Foot Acupressure, Nei Guan, Neiguan Point Acupressure, P6 Acupressure, Passive Acupressure, San Yin Jiao Acupressure, Self-Acupressure, SP6 Acupressure, Tapas Acupressure Technique, Traditional Chinese Acupressure, Western Acupressure.

Information on this website is for informational use only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. While evidence-based, it is not guaranteed to be error-free and is not intended to meet any particular user’s needs or requirements or to cover all possible uses, safety concerns, interactions, outcomes, or adverse effects. Always check with your doctor or other medical professional before making healthcare decisions (including taking any medication) and do not delay or disregard seeking medical advice or treatment based on any information displayed on this website.

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