Wed, 21 Jan 2009 01:33:17
Can you tell me how acupressure differs from acupuncture (apart from the lack of needles) and when you might use one method over another?
Let’s see, how can I answer this simply? Not all acupuncturists or acupressurist’s work the same way so it’s hard to make broad sweeping statements about either field.
I can speak for acupressure and what I do because that is what I know best.
I work on people with their clothes on. Sometimes an acupuncturist may ask you to wear a gown for acupuncture so that he or she can have access to certain points on the back or belly.
I use touch, relaxation, awareness and imagery to help remove the energy blockages along the meridians (pathways of energy) and acupuncturists use needles and sometimes herbs or moxa (heat from a burning herb).
We both sometimes work on symptoms and sometimes on the underlying constitutional imbalance or both. We both work with the all the systems of the body including aches and pains of the body and heart.
I sometimes work in an “acupuncture/point” kind of way but hold the points, sometimes more than one at once to move the qi (energy) along the meridians for a specific treatment. I may use the same point combinations as an acupuncturist for that specific condition.
Other times I may massage the points or stroke the meridian to move the energy.
I asked an acupuncturist this question and this is what she said: “Hmmm. I would say acupuncture is often used more for the emotions and spirit. At least five element. Acupuncture points are used very specifically, like spirit burial ground is used to raise the spirit after a grief or trauma. Also, specifically you can use colon 4 for tooth ache and combine it with stomach 45 and leave the needles in so they keep working for awhile. I use acupressure for muscle skeletal problems, head ache etc. Sort of more physical. I love both. I just see acupuncture as being much more specific.”
Acupuncture can have dramatic results for acute problems. For example, one needle in the mother’s fourth toe can turn a breach baby around in one treatment.
Some people prefer the touch of acupressure or don’t like the idea of needles. A lot depends on the practitioner. Some practitioners have more skill or experience than others.
Working with someone who instills confidence and makes you feel comfortable can be therapeutic in and of itself.
Both acupuncture and acupressure are good for treating both chronic health problems and orthopedic problems and regular treatments generate cumulative benefits as they both help activate the bodies natural healing abilities.