Acupressure treatment involves applying pressure to specific parts of the body to help relieve pain or illness. Practitioners may also use massage or stretches as part of the treatment, reports WebMD.
Acupressure treatment stems from traditional Chinese medicine. It is based on the theory that energy called qi flows through the body's meridians, which are pathways in the body. When the energy gets blocked, pain and illness can occur. The goal of acupressure is to get the qi to flow through the body once more. However, many modern Western practitioners simply believe that the treatment helps reduce tension in the muscles and stimulate circulation, both of which can help relieve pain symptoms.
Acupressure treatments attempt to remove blockages by stimulating specific points along meridians. Practitioners can do this by applying pressure in small circular motions, according to the UCLA Integrative Medicine website.
An acupressure treatment usually lasts around 1 hour. The patient lies down on the table and remains clothed throughout the treatment. As the practitioner stimulates the acupressure points, the patient should stay relaxed and breathe deeply.
Acupressure can reduce stress, tension, headaches, back pain and nausea. Because of its effectiveness in dealing with nausea, it can be recommended after chemotherapy treatments or surgery, or to treat motion sickness and morning sickness. Acupressure can also help relieve some depression and anxiety symptoms.