Acupressure is a branch of ‘Traditional Chinese Medicine’ (TCM) and it is believed to predate Acupuncture by several millenniums. Like Acupuncture, the precise date of its origin is not known.
The concept of "Qi” forms the basis of this therapy. According to TCM, “Qi” is the energy force that flows throughout the body along the “Meridians” i.e. special pathways. When any of these pathways is obstructed, it causes abundance of “Qi” at one end of the blockage and lack of it at another. This imbalance in the body energy results in an illness and in order to bring it back to its homeostasis, the blockage needs to be eased out.
The theory behind Acupressure maintains that it can be done by applying varying degrees of physical pressure by hand, elbow, or with the aid of various devices on specific points. It helps release muscular tension, promotes the circulation of blood and the body energy to aid healing. These points are same as the acupuncture points which are specific locations where the meridians come to the surface of the skin. There are 14 main meridians running vertically up and down the body. Out of these, there are 6 pairs of meridians that are connected to individual organs. There are also two unpaired midline Meridians.
The techniques of acupressure differ not only from country to country, but also from city to city in a same country and in a same state. For example, the practitioners of “Zen shiatsu” use their whole bodies as leverage to apply strong pressure, while those of the Chinese acupressure variation known as “Tui Na” use their hands for massage like kneading motions.
The therapy is found to be especially helpful for easing back pain and for certain types of headaches, including migraine. The acupressure specialists have developed a wristband that is said to relieve the symptoms of motion sickness and other forms of nausea.
The acupressure practitioners also claim to have cured Breast Cancer , Asthma , Diabetes, Renal (Kidney) Failures , Intestinal Problems ,Gouts/Stones in Kidney & Bladder, Paralysis ,PMS, Infertility, Menopause, Pregnancy Problems, Backaches, Spondalitis, Slipped Disks, Fractures, and Dislocations ,Arthritis and Rheumatism.
This therapy is also used by the experts in East Asian martial arts in order to keep oneself physically fit and thus less vulnerable to an attack. The same technique can be used to manipulate or incapacitate an opponent.
No wonder, this multi-purpose therapy has gained wide acceptance all over the world.