What is Acupressure Massage, How It Works & the Different Ailments It Cures

Acupressure massage is commonly confused with Acupuncture.

Even though the basic principle behind the two massage types is the same.

They are quite different.

In order to perform an acupuncture massage, the key points of the body pierced with pins.

Acupressure massage triggers the same key points in the body but there are key differences involved.

Instead of puncturing the points with pins (can be scary and painful for many!).

The massage therapist applies pressure with their gentle, soft hands.

This is why it called acupressure.

Acupressure and acupuncture share many similarities.

However, including the concept of the balance of the body.

Acupressure massage therapy revolves around the theory.

That the body has a natural balance and if this balance disturbed.

It can result in pain and other unfavourable medical conditions.

To relieve the body’s pain and medical conditions.

The specific pressure is applied to the key points of the body (also referred to as trigger points).

The idea behind applying the pressure to these trigger points is to bring the body back to its natural balance.

In other words the body’s status quo or from where it started as a default.

Restoring the body’s balance back to its default level believed to relieve pain and diseases.

However, there is a lot more to acupressure massage therapy than mere pressure point stimulation.

Let’s examine further.

How Acupressure Massage Works?

Understanding acupressure is quite easy.

This massage therapy technique relies on the belief that an energy called qi is present in the human body.

In some cases, qi is also referred to as the yin and yang.

According to this belief, there are 14 channels in the body that harbour energy.

Each of these 14 primary channels is vital for keeping the qi in balance.

During the course of one’s life, this energy can disrupt or unbalanced due to externalities beyond our control.

The pain and other medical conditions experienced by the body are a result of this energy imbalance.

The symptoms of qi imbalance may not necessarily notice in the parts that the qi resides in.

From a medical perspective, the 14 energy points in the body can consider as muscle trigger points.

It is believed that pain and discomfort are caused by muscle damage or tightening.

When pressure is applied to the muscle trigger, the pain can relieve.

In many cases, acupressure has proven effective against chronic pains and ailments as well.

However, if you intend on using this massage therapy technique for yourself.

It is best that you get a doctor’s recommendation first.

Even though there are no proven and documented side effects to date, acupressure, like few other massage technique.

This is not for everyone.

A doctor should be able to tell you however whether or not this massage will work for you.

What Does An Acupressure Session Entail?

An acupressure session includes stimulation of key points that are located in different areas of the human body.

The most commonly stimulated points are located in the feet, spine and hands.

Depending on the key points that are to stimulate.

You may be asked to sit on a chair or lie down on a massage table.

The concept of acupressure believes that the key energy points are responsible for muscle pain anywhere in the body.

Even if the pain is not exactly at the energy point, stimulating it can provide relief.

Acupressure therapy can use to cure the following issues in the human body:

  • A backache
  • A headache
  • Neck Pain
  • Arthritis Pain
  • Excess Stress
  • Muscle Pain
  • Anxiety

Acupressure massage therapy can also be used to treat larger issues.

Specific acupressure treatments have been devised for issues such as:

  • Menstrual Cramps And Discomfort
  • Pains Caused By Ulcers
  • Problems In The Digestive System
  • Sinus Issues

Many massage therapists nowadays have come up with self-massage techniques.

These techniques involve the stimulation of key points on the hands and legs.

It is easier to access these parts when you are giving yourself a massage.

It will help you stay in good shape.

So that you can continue to deliver solid massage therapy services for your clients.

Tools for Performing Acupressure Massage

Acupressure techniques used as part of various remedies all around us.

Many individuals may be using some of those techniques without even being aware that it involves elements of acupressure massage.

For example, in many cases, individuals use wristbands (also called balance bands) to prevent or cure motion sickness.

The wristband, in reality, stimulates a pressure point on the wrist.

When stimulated, this pressure point or key point may help relieve nausea.

There are many other similar tools that are used to stimulate key points of the body.

Each of the tools used for acupressure work in the same manner.

However, depending on their availability, price points and convenience.

You may notice different massage therapists using different ones.

Let’s look at some of the most commonly used acupressure tools:

Energy Roller:

An energy roller is a tool which is mostly used on the feet and hands.

However, some therapists use it on the spine as well.

It has small bumps on the surface which used to stimulate key points of the body in different areas.

There are Kneaders as well that developed to serve the same purpose.


This instrument is basically a rubber ball.

There are small bumps on the surface of the ball and it can either heat or used as is.

Depending on the type of treatment it is used for.

You may have similar kinds of balls being sold as stress relievers.

Pyramid Mat:

This mat also is known as a power mat and pyramid-shaped bumps on it.

The therapist makes a client walk on the mat.

Most tools stimulate specific key points on a particular part of the body.

However, the power mat does not trigger specific key points.

Instead, it works on the entire foot.


This instrument resembles a needle similar to the ones used in acupuncture.

However, it is not used to puncture the body.

Rather, this needle is used to swiftly stimulate different pressure points in various parts of the body.

Locating a Reliable Acupressure Massage Practitioner

Like many other practices, one does not have to be certified to be an acupressure massage therapist.

However, it is best to utilize the services of someone who specialized in this form of alternative medicine.

Of course, if you are looking to train in the field of acupressure.

It is best to look to learn from a practitioner who licensed in Traditional Chinese medicine.

Acupressure is a reliable source for healing several types of ailments as outlined above.

However, you should not rely purely on acupressure as an alternative to modern medical techniques.

If you want to learn acupressure massage, seek out someone who well versed in it.

If you want to get one as a client, make sure to always consult your physician for clearance prior to engaging in the activity.

Contact the top schools near you and learn about their curriculum.

And how much they focus on acupressure tissue massage.

Requesting information is 100% free.

Also, have a look at our top selling Trigger Points iPhone application available on the iTunes store.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

12 comments on “What is Acupressure Massage, How It Works & the Different Ailments It Cures
  1. barbara says:

    hello, can you please tell me if there is an accu pressure massage therapist in the mobile Alabama area. I do not find one listed on the inet, thank you, barbara

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Barbara- our site helps find schools, not practicing therapists. although if you contact schools near you they may have students advanced enough to perform this massage for a reduced fee

  2. Ivy Baker says:

    I liked that you talked about how the acupuncture can help with back and neck pain. That is really good for me to know because my father has been having some upper back and neck pain. So, it seems like this could help him get some relief.

  3. Sharon says:

    I had a car accident 3 1/2 years ago, after trying all other avenues, I finally had back surgery in August. Now having physical therapy and therapist suggested I also go for Chinese acupressure massage. Does this sound like something I should do?

  4. Sherri Liberatori says:

    I am very interested in learning acupressure, becoming certified. Migraines are hereditary in my family and I often apply pressure to relieve them on myself. It is very effective. Can you please help me locate a program near the Rockford, IL area? I’m not really interested in a massage therapy degree.

    • Neal Lyons says:

      Sherri, start by contacting a full curriculum school near you. You can use our search box. Once in touch, you can sign up for specific courses you are interested in. Degreed schools offer much flexibility for one off courses

  5. Autumn says:

    Is it best to apply acupressure sequence points before or after neuromuscular therapy?

  6. Xstopper says:

    Would acupressure help me with spinal cord compression and weakness that came along with it ?

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