Acupuncture or Acupressure?
Our bodies contain hundreds of acupoints, often known as energy points (because to their location on energy pathways). Meridians are the names given to these energy lines. When these meridians become blocked, it causes pain, discomfort, health problems, and so on. External pressure on these spots can assist release clogged pathways, offering relief from many forms of aches-back, next, head, and so on.
Acupressure and acupuncture also aid in spiritual healing, wrinkle reduction, stress reduction, trauma reduction, and so forth.
Manual pressure (mostly with the fingertips) is applied to the acupoints in acupressure. Elbows, knuckles, and other joints can also be used to provide pressure. Acupuncture uses incredibly fine needles deliberately placed on specific places of your body to apply pressure. In terms of efficiency and effectiveness, the number of studies and trials conducted on acupuncture is more than that on acupressure. This is why acupuncture is favoured, as it delivers a stronger stimulation to your body’s recovery.
The fascinating history of the two professions.
Traditional Chinese medicine includes acupuncture. It was identified in medical evidences found in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. Acupuncture pressure points are noted in this paper. These points are still employed in this type of medicine today. Acupressure, like acupuncture, emerged about the same time as acupuncture and is now included in TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine. The pressure points and meridians used in acupuncture and acupressure are the same.
What Exactly Is Acupuncture?
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Acupuncture includes certified, trained specialists inserting hair-thin, sterilised needles into various spots on the body. Acupuncture has traditionally attempted to stimulate the meridians (energy lines) in the body so that it can balance itself. Needles are put into acupuncture sites located throughout the body (practitioners say there are over 2,000 of them), which are linked by meridians.
“It restores the body’s ability to convey messages,” explains Dr. Ka-Kit Hui of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine in Los Angeles. Although it is believed that the body has an inbuilt mechanism for balancing and healing itself, injury, disease, stress, and lifestyle choices can all produce barriers and imbalances.
What Happens During an Acupuncture Treatment?
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You have a brief talk and evaluation at the start of an acupuncture session. Expect your acupuncturist to take your pulse, examine your tongue and eyes, and inquire about your mood and bowel habits, all of which will reveal which organs need to be stimulated or sedated.
You then lie down on a comfortable treatment bed that looks like a massage table. You can typically stay completely clothed if you wear loose clothing. The acupuncturist sterilises small sections of skin with alcohol swabs before inserting one-time-use, hair-thin needles.
There should be no discomfort, but you might feel a prick or pressure at the needle sites.
The number of insertion places varies substantially between people and sessions. The acupuncturist dims the lights and leaves you to relax with the needles placed for a length of time—typically 20 to 30 minutes.
Most acupuncturists treat points all over the body (popular insertion points include the feet, ankles, legs, and hands), while some concentrate on the ears or even only the hands and feet. Other modalities may be used by acupuncturists to shift stagnant energy. They may, for example, use a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) device or a particular device designed for electrical stimulation in acupuncture to provide modest electrical stimulation to acupuncture needles. According to the idea, they may also engage in “cupping,” a treatment that includes putting suction cups to various regions of the body to improve the flow of Qi. Herbs and vitamins are also recommended by some acupuncturists.
Acupuncture Health Advantages
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Acupuncture is said to stimulate the body’s autonomic nerve system, according to one idea of its method of action. According to Hui, the treatment seeks to lower sympathetic outflow—commonly known as the fight-or-flight response—and boost vagal tone, or the ease with which the body returns to a non-stressed state through neuropeptides (small proteins that let neurons interact with each other).
Vagal tone has been shown to have an impact on cardiovascular health, digestion, inflammation, mood, and even the body’s pain response and immune system. As a result, acupuncture has been linked to a variety of health advantages.
Headache, Arthritis, and Other Symptoms
While research has yielded conflicting results over the years, a 2018 review of studies published in the Journal of Pain concluded that acupuncture can be more effective than standard care and placebo in treating a variety of chronic pain conditions, including headache, osteoarthritis, shoulder pain, and general musculoskeletal pain.
Meanwhile, according to a 2020 study published in American Family Physician, acupuncture offers a mild to moderate benefit for low back pain and a minor improvement for fibromyalgia symptoms.
According to a 2009 study published in Neuroscience Letters, acupuncture may have a therapeutic effect on chronic stress-related issues such as melancholy and anxiety. Though additional research is needed, studies show encouraging results for acupuncture as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Problems with the Digestive System
A review of study published in Autonomic Neuroscience in 2010 indicated that acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms. Surprisingly, the therapeutic effects were limited to an acupuncture point just below the knee (ST36) and a point just above the wrist (PC6).
What Exactly Is Acupressure?
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Acupressure is a noninvasive Traditional Chinese medical method that is similar to acupuncture. Acupressure is a painless treatment that requires only applying pressure to the skin.
Acupressure points are used by massage therapists and other bodyworkers, but Dr. Hui says he also teaches patients how to apply acupressure on themselves. “The most exciting aspect of acupressure is that it is a low-cost, safe, and straightforward way of self-care and self-healing,” Dr. Hui explains. Acupressure devices, such as wristbands that stimulate acupressure sites, are also available.
What Is the Process of Acupressure?
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe acupressure, like acupuncture, is helpful because it stimulates the flow of Qi and rebalances the systems throughout the body. Scientists explain the effectiveness in the same way that they explain acupuncture: applying pressure to specific sites can stimulate the nerve system and brain to release a range of neuropeptides that aid with pain, anxiety, and other symptoms.
Once you’ve identified your acupoint (or acupoints), just hold and massage the point with your fingertips or a gadget. Experiment with applying pressure for 15 to 30 seconds. If necessary, repeat. Some health concerns may be connected with multiple acupoints, and you can try applying pressure to just one of them to see if it helps, or you can try applying pressure to several of them one after the other.
Acupressure Health Advantages
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Acupressure treatment is effective for some disorders. It is useful in treating diseases of the muscles, joints, and bones, which are referred to together as the musculoskeletal system.
Acupressure has been linked to a number of health advantages, including:
Treatment for osteoarthritis
It typically affects the lower back, as well as the spine, hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows. Acupressure helps to reduce the fluctuating pain caused by arthritis.
Provides pain relief for sprains:
Sprains and other unexpected injuries typically respond well to acupressure. This type of soreness usually lasts around a week. For example, if you have a sudden injury to your shoulders, the agony that follows can last months or even years. Acupressure, on the other hand, can prevent chronic pain and provide rapid relief.
Assisting with rheumatic pain:
If you have acute, early, or inflammatory rheumatism, you will need treatment until the disease evolves to the residual stage, which can be efficiently treated with acupressure. It also helps with the treatment of a range of chronic pains, thus many doctors recommend it.
Morning sickness and nausea:
Acupressure therapy has been shown in studies dating back decades to be effective for nausea, morning sickness, and anxiety. In fact, one 1989 study stated, “Acupressure therapy resulted in statistically significant reductions in anxiety, sadness, behavioural dysfunction and nausea.
A small 2013 study on sleep problems in adolescents discovered that participants experienced a significant increase in the quantity and quality of their sleep after six months of treatment with a wearable acupressure band (a Sea-Band, which is designed to put pressure on certain points on the wrist). A preliminary study published in the Journal of Sleep Research in 2018 indicated that self-administered acupressure for people suffering from insomnia produced encouraging benefits, while more research is needed.
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A tiny study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine in 2010 compared the use of acupressure to muscle relaxant medications for persistent headache sufferers. To alleviate persistent headaches, the researchers discovered that acupressure trigger sites BL2 (above the eye), GV20 (top of the head), GB20 (back of the neck/skull), TH21 (where the ear meets the upper jaw), and GB5 (side of the head) performed better than muscle relaxants.
When should I think about having acupressure or acupuncture?
Acupressure and acupuncture both aid in the treatment of backaches, severe neck pain, headaches, arthritis, nausea, sleeplessness, period pain, migraines, and other ailments. In some situations, they can also aid with emotional illnesses such as anxiety and sadness. Both are painless procedures, but you will need to return for frequent seatings. Before pursuing these treatments, you should contact with your doctor.
Which Is Better for You: Acupuncture or Acupressure?
While both acupuncture and acupressure are based on the idea of increasing Qi by stimulating certain body sites, they are not the same.
Only a licenced professional can do acupuncture. It can be as expensive as a doctor’s or chiropractor’s visit, and it may or may not be reimbursed by your health insurance. Consider it a more powerful and professional therapy tool.
Acupressure, on the other hand, can be done at home. There are numerous books, tutorials, and videos available online that may teach you how to use pressure to cure a wide range of diseases.
Both therapies function similarly, but if you have a more serious illness, you may want to seek expert assistance. For routine ailments, however, you may wish to try acupressure on yourself first before choosing acupuncture, as the former is the less expensive and easier method of treatment.
Before attempting any sort of acupuncture or acupressure, consult with your doctor. According to Dr. Hui, neither strategy is a replacement for other important medical care. Both should be used as adjuvant therapy or after primary therapies.
Do Acupressure Mats Really Work?
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Acupressure mats are intended to increase circulation and alleviate muscle pain. They are constructed with hundreds of microscopic spikes to reach as many pressure points as possible, and they frequently include foam padding and other useful features. While they are accessible for home use, you should consult with a skilled acupuncturist before attempting acupressure or utilising acupressure devices such as mats or wristbands on yourself.
What is the typical cost of acupuncture?
Acupuncture prices might vary substantially depending on location and level of speciality at each office. The national average for acupuncture, on the other hand, is $75. Depending on where you live, the price might range from $40 to $300.
Another cost consideration is the amount of training provided by a clinic, as well as the cost of office maintenance. Keep in mind that many clinics will charge an initial consultation fee of $100 to $300. Furthermore, certain clinics may demand diagnostic testing or x-rays, which might raise the price.
Finally, the goal of acupuncture can affect the cost. The expenses of treatment for various conditions, such as weight reduction, back pain, and others, vary according to the quality of care required. Cosmetic acupuncture is sometimes the most expensive, while treatments for simple musculoskeletal ailments are the least expensive.
Typically, businesses will charge a consultation fee, followed by follow-up treatments. Many acupuncturists will provide discounts for larger treatment programmes and patients who pay for treatments at the time of service. Discounts for elderly, students, children, and the military are occasionally available, but they are never guaranteed. In addition, as part of your treatment plan, an acupuncturist may include additional charges such as herbs, vitamins, or other medications.
How long will it take for you to recover?
There is no downtime, and you can resume your normal routine soon following treatment. Rest is required at first for muscular suppleness to develop. In very rare circumstances, you may experience some discomfort in the locations where the pressure points have been concentrated. Otherwise, the procedure is incredibly safe and accessible to anyone.
Is this type of treatment associated with any negative effects?
Depending on the location of the body used for the operation, different adverse effects are observed. Because acupuncture stimulates your body’s self-healing processes, you may feel sensitive and emotional after a treatment. Many people sense exhaustion and a desire to relax. Sensitivity may be felt at certain areas on the body. This is especially true for the hands and feet. The patient may notice minor bruising at times. Other side effects include emotional relaxation from tension, temporary muscle twitching, and a feeling of light-headedness.
Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves applying pressure to a specific place on the body. It is done to release energy blockages that are thought to cause health issues ranging from insomnia to menstruation cramps.
There hasn’t been a lot of research done on the effects of acupressure. Some research suggests that it may help relieve pain and nausea.
Acupressure can be performed by an acupuncturist, but you can also try it yourself (with proper instruction). If you are pregnant or have a medical issue, consult with your doctor before trying it.