Acupressure, an Asian ancient healing art over 5,000 years old, uses the fingers to gradually press key healing points. The theory behind the treatment is based on Qi (vital energy) that circulates through natural pathways in the body called meridians. Blockage of this flow or an imbalance can cause illness and pain. Acupressure helps to correct functional the flow thus returning the body to a more natural state of well-being. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same meridians, with acupressure using firm finger pressure versus the needless used in acupuncture.
An interesting side note, Otzi, the Iceman who was discovered in the Alps and lived 5,300 years ago, had 61 tattoos, 80% of which are along acupuncture meridians that would be used to treat the ailments he suffered from. Acupuncture Today
There is a growing body of research that shows that acupressure can be effective for conditions such as mild brain injury, improving sleep quality, eliminating constipation, or breast cancer related pain, fatigue. However, acupressure should not be considered primary treatment for serious illness, and should be used with care during pregnancy as certain points are thought to stimulate uterine contractions. Pressure should not be exerted over areas with burns, infection, or active cancer. Be sure to check with your provider.
A good introductory is Self-Care Acupressure for Beginners from UCLA’s Center for East-West Medicine, which includes some of the most common acupressure points to learn.
Below are links to videos to help show you various pressure points