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This ancient and often very effective healing method was first used in China more than 5000 years ago. The name "acupressure" derives from the Latin "acus", or point and "pressus", or pressure. The acupressure technique involves applying pressure to or massaging specific trigger points on the skin, which is thought to have a therapeutic effect on the entire body. It is based on two traditional tenets of Chinese medicine: that energy forces flow through invisible channels in the body called meridians, and that illness arises from blockages of or imbalances in this energy flow. Acupressure is thought to restore the flow of energy, thereby curing disease and promoting health. Its practitioners believe that performed regularly, it can help prevent illness and alleviate pain and other symptoms of disease.

Help for motion sickness
Relive motion sickness by massaging the "Yin Tang" point, situated between the eyebrows, and the "Neiguan" point, located in the middle of the lower arm between the tendons, approximately three finger widths above the crease where the wrist joins the hand. The "Neiguan" point can also be stimulated with acupressure bands, sold in natural health stores.

The treatment
Many natural healers perform acupressure, but you can also perform this technique yourself. To begin, sit in a comfortable position and locate the desired acupressure point. Press firmly or massage the point with your finger tips for 15-30 seconds. Ease up slightly, then resume the pressure. Work on a point for 1 or 2 minutes.

Mode of action
According to practitioners of acupressure, the trigger points in the skin are connected to internal organs through invisible energy channels known as meridians. Pressing or massaging the points stimulates or relaxes the organs or tissues. The goal of acupressure is to keep the body's vitl energy flowing freely and evenly.

The viewpoint of mainstream medicine
Though the connection between meridians and organs is yet unproved, the method is gaining wide acceptance in the west because a growing number of conventional medical doctors have seen it benefit their patients.

Extra tip : Application of an essential oil on the acupressure points can help reinforce the effectiveness of the technique. However, be sure to dilute the essential oil before putting it on your skin.

Used to alleviate all kinds of pain, tension, headaches, irritability, fatigue, sleep disturbances and circulation problems


Relieve anxiety and panic attacks
Those who occasionally suffer from panic attacks can often be successfully treated with acupressure. The main trigger points for anxiety are located at the tip of the chin, just below the middle of the chest and at the upper end of the tibia (the bone between the inner knee and ankle). To find the tibia end, place your palm on your kneecap and locate the top of the bone with your ring finger. Massage the hollow above the tibia with your middle finger or thumb for 15-30 sec. Release briefly, then reapply pressure. Continue this process for several minutes.

Restore poor circulation
If your blood pressure falls or you have poor circulation and experience fainting fits, stimulate a trigger point: On the inside of the tip of the little finger, right next to the groove of the nail bed, is the ninth point of the heart meridian. Exert strong pressure on the point with your fingernail for 30 sec.

Acupressure treatment for headaches


Begin on the head by stimulating the acupressure points shown in red, then move to those on the feet and hands. Do not apply pressure to acutely painful areas or to inflamed patches of skin. If pain is localized in specific areas, you should also massage the following acupressure points:

  • For pain in the back of the head: stimulate the green point.
  • For pain in the temples: Press or massage the brown point.
  • For pain in the forehead: Apply pressure to the blue point.