Acupressure is an ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice that moves energy throughout the body by applying manual pressure to various points or meridians on the body and face. These meridians are often thought of as communication pathways between the body’s organ systems and central nervous system. The goal of acupressure is to restore balance and equilibrium to the system to promote mental and physical wellbeing.
Acupressure is similar to Acupuncture, however with acupressure you use fingertips instead of needles to stimulate acupoints throughout the body. Specific points on the hands, feet, face, and ears are common areas of focus. The popularity of the practice is increasing, potentially due to its gentle, non-invasive nature.
How it Works
For thousands of years, acupressure has been believed to tap into natural pathways of energy flow in the body, called meridians. According to TCM, there are 12 primary meridians that communicate between our organs and the rest of our body. It is believed that stagnation along these energy meridians can result in mental distress or physical disease. While we don’t fully understand how the meridian systems work, many find mental and physical benefits from acupressure, including reducing headaches, pain, nausea, sleep issues and anxiety. Because it’s a type of self-massage, many find acupressure to be a calming practice.
Scientific evidence supporting acupressure is nascent, and there is still much to be explored and understood about underlying mechanisms behind acupressure. In terms of physical ails, there is some evidence that acupressure may reduce physical pain, improve insomnia, relieve menstrual cramps, relieve pregnancy-related nausea, and potentially even increase heart rate variability (HRV) to improve autonomic nervous system dysfunctions.
From a mental health perspective, there is some evidence that the practice of acupressure may reduce anxiety among cancer patients, help mild-to-moderate depression symptoms, and relieve stress and general psychological distress in patients with hemodialysis.
Acupressure can be a helpful practice if you’re experiencing:
- Trouble sleeping
- Back pain
- Menstrual cramps
What Our Instructors Say:
"You can expect to feel nurtured in your whole self, realigned with your innate vitality and inspired to recommit to your highest level of self-care." –Janet DeHart, Acupressure Instructor
Why Members Love It:
"I feel much better after this class—what a difference in a stressful day!" –WellSet user