The Difference between Acupuncture & Acupressure

Acupuncture BrightonMany therapists offer treatments to help or aid a person’s health that are completely based on natural methods instead of being based on medications. We want to talk about two of these today: acupuncture and acupressure.

Both acupuncture and acupressure are holistic approaches to health. They are both based on interacting with meridians which carry energy (or Qi) throughout the body. Chinese tradition states that ailments are caused by a blockage of a person’s Qi. Acupuncture or acupressure is used to remove the blockage thus allowing the Qi to flow freely throughout the body again.

Knowing the common concept behind both of these holistic approaches in medicine, let’s move on to the difference between the two, starting with acupuncture. As the name suggests, this holistic method makes use of thin needles that puncture the skin. The needles used are totally different from those that a regular doctor uses. The needles used for acupuncture are made of metal and are flexible and very thin.  These are inserted by a trained acupuncturist beneath the skin or muscle and even tissue.  The needles are disposable and hypoallergenic and, of course, sterile. Trained acupuncturists ensure that there is no pain associated with the treatment. Once the needle reaches the pressure point, it clears the blockage and allows the Qi to move freely again. Unlike acupressure, acupuncture can only be performed by a trained specialist: an acupuncturist.

In acupressure, physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points. Virtually anyone, who has read a handbook, can perform acupressure. You can even perform acupressure on yourself. To give you an example of an acupressure manoeuvre; if you massage the muscle located between your index finger and thumb, this is said to relieve headaches caused by dehydration. And, if you are suffering from motion sickness, try applying pressure on your forearm. This holistic approach is quite similar to massage since you’d only use your thumbs, fingers, elbows and palms. Contrary to the belief of some, acupressure has been used for centuries. It is a much older method, used long before acupuncture. Acupressure dates back to 2500 BC in China. Acupuncture and acupressure are both known as effective, holistic approaches in healing or relieving ailments and, for many people, they are a more effective treatment for ailments than taking a tablet.