A Detailed Guide to Acupressure by Dr Prem – Origin, Procedure, Pressure Points, Benefits, Risks And More Tips

A Detailed Guide to Acupressure by Dr Prem

Acupressure is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine where the practitioner uses their finger, palms, elbows, and feet to put pressure on body meridians for treating specific disorders. It may also involve special kind of stretching massages.  This therapy is a common wellness resort program and is often combined with other forms of alternative treatments.

Acupressure is thought to be a treatment on similar lines to acupuncture, another popular treatment of TCM. You may ask, then what is the difference between acupuncture and acupressure?

The only difference between the two is the absence of needles used in the latter to penetrate the dermal layer. This effective massage therapy works deep into our body and can be done by ourselves too without the aid of any practitioner. However, both acupressure massage and acupuncture therapy should be done by professional practitioners.

In this Guide, You Will Learn About the Following:

A Detailed Guide to Acupressure by Dr Prem – Origin, Procedure, Pressure Points, Benefits, Risks And More Tips 

Understanding Acupressure Therapy

Meridian System Description Chart Male Body

Chinese massage therapy of acupressure has mapped out the human body thoroughly. Location of the most important points is believed to exist along meridians or channels. Therapy of acupressure is focused on these points.

It is also held that transmission of vital energy or more commonly the life force known as qi (chi) occurs along these invisible channels. Ancient Chinese doctors also held that 12 primary meridians inside us form a communication network taking specific organs in the loop.

Meridians start at our fingertips, form a web connecting vital organs, and establish contact with our brain. Conceptually, when one of the meridians is obstructed the energy flow gets disrupted throwing our system out of equilibrium. Consequently, illness sets in. Massage therapy of acupressure is thus employed to reinstate the equilibrium.

Procedure of Acupressure Treatment

Acupressure Treatment

Once the acupressure points of the human body are identified, the practitioner uses his fingers, elbows, feet, or specific tools to put pressure on the points lying along the body’s meridians. The therapy also may assume the form of stretching and massaging.

In an acupressure treatment session that usually extends into an hour, the patient lies flat on a soft massage table. Pressure is gently applied to the most important points with the target of reinstating health and balance in the body’s channels through which energy flows.

The counteracting forces of Yang (positive energy) and Ying (negative energy) are thus controlled in the process and the ailment is gradually removed. It is often asserted that the massage therapy of acupressure has enough curing potential to handle energy fields of mind, emotion, and spirit. It is also held that an efficient acupressure practitioner can transfer vital life force Qi to a person improving his physical and mental energy.

Identifying Acupressure Points

Acupressure Points

According to the TCM, 14 meridians present within our body carry energy to various organs and tissues. The points that are triggered by acupressure massage are nothing but those resting all along the meridians. More than 800 energy points are spread all over the meridians which can be manipulated by acupressure massage therapy to reduce pain and induce relaxation.

This treatment follows a two-way acupressure point treatment:

  • Local points: It concentrates on the areas of the body where the patient is suffering pain or discomfort. The therapist stimulates the area to alleviate the unpleasant feelings.
  • Trigger points: Here the therapist relieves pain by stimulating some other part of the body located at a distance from the area of pain the therapist is focused on.  These are the most important points.

Significance of Acupressure

Young woman getting acupuncture treatment in therapy room

Acupressure massage is a system that approximates a mixture of needle therapy and back rubs yet without the skin-infiltrating metal needles. It relies on invigorating the same meridian focuses as needle therapy, yet uses weight from the fingers, hands, and even elbows to clear blockages in the body’s regular vitality stream.

Acupressure experts deal with almost 400 “acupoints” along the 14 real meridians which – when pressed in simply the right route, with simply the perfect measure of energy – can give help from a wide mixed bag of uneasiness and diseases.

Clinical professionals utilize acupressure in the medicine of everything from head, neck, and spinal pains, sinus clogging, joint inflammation, and hypertension to peptic ulcers, stoppage, heartburn, and obviously sciatica.

Believe it or not, taking an all-encompassing approach and joining together the fortifying weight of trigger focuses with different unwinding and profound breathing methods – or other wellbeing pushing and sickness-avoiding medications – can prompt detectably enhanced wellbeing and prosper.

While acupressure may have originated in China, numerous spots like Singapore, India, and Thailand– the world’s most mainstream restorative tourism terminus in 2012 are home to various all-encompassing centers, health spas, and back rubs that give master acupressure.

In addition to numerous other TCM medications like needle therapy, Chinese natural cures, a methodology called moxibustion which includes applying hotness from blazing herbs to the skin, and different customary Chinese back rubs and meditation practices are also offered.

Benefits of Acupressure

Fight Back Pain with Acupressure

Chiropractic treatment

Acupressure in treating chronic lower back pain is effective to some extent. Apart from the legs, the lower back portion of our body bears the maximum weight providing support to remain erect. Prolonged strain, age, and other clinical conditions are responsible for LBP.

Based on the symptoms, the pain may be either due to trauma (caused by some sort of sprain) or accumulation of cold and dampness, or a deficiency in Kidney Qi. There are 12 main points on the bladder meridian and these are known as the Back Shu points. Depending on the symptom, specific points must be treated.

Remember never to apply direct pressure to the spine and always apply pressure either with the heel of the hand or the knuckles. You will need to access the acupressure points for back pain mentioned below. However, do not apply pressure on one point for more than 15 minutes, as that can lead to energy depletion and even nausea.

  • Find a Comfortable Position
  • Apply pressure on points Bladder 23 to Bladder 25 on the less painful side and more painful side.
  • Apply pressure on Points Bladder 27 to Bladder 34 on the less painful side and more painful side.
  • Apply pressure on Point Bladder 48 on the more painful side and less painful side.
  • Apply pressure on Point Bladder 54 on the less painful side and more painful side.

Fight Night Sweats Using Acupressure


It helps people who are suffering from Hyperhidrosis or night sweats (in general terms) with a special healing touch on specific points. With a gentle touch, it can release muscular tension and then promotes the circulation of blood and corrects the imbalances in the flow of qi (life force).

Opting for acupressure could make you relieved from stress levels as the procedure involves a gentle press on certain key points of your body thus stimulating the natural curative abilities. Without any drugs and side effects and under better supervision, the following methods could keep you away from excessive night sweats.

  • Pressure on Pericardium 6
  • Nourishing Food Intake
  • Release Endorphins
  • Develop a Disciplined Lifestyle
  • Soak In Warm Water
  • Pressure On Finger Webbings
  • Work On Source point
  • Some of the points are CV 17 for stress relief, calming anxiety, and K 27 which also works better for relief, anxiety, and breathing.

Fight Aching Heels with Acupressure Routine

Aching Heels issues

Heel pain or plantar fasciitis is a common problem that affects many people. Applying pressure at certain points on the foot and finding time for some massaging routines will go a long way in managing aching heels. Here are nine acupressure routines that will help.

  • The tennis ball heel stretch and press
  • The toe-top massage
  • The belt stretch and press
  • Outer heel press
  • Inner heel massage
  • Outer heel massage
  • The back heel press
  • Achilles tendon massage
  • Toe presses 

Constipation Relief with Acupressure

The man is sitting on a gray couch and holding his belly

Acupressure is found to be an effective method for treating constipation, providing instant yet long-term relief. Locating effective acupressure points is the key to successful treatment outcomes. The stimulation of the pressure points should be done with utmost care. One should keep note of the pressure exerted and the duration while applying this technique.

Six points spread across the body are linked to the digestive system and stimulating these points for a measured period, regularly, has profound benefits for even the chronically constipated. These points are located on the palms, legs, elbows, below the knees, and below the belly button.

  • The point on the palms
  • The point on the legs, above the ankle bone
  • The point on the legs, below the knees
  • The point on the elbows
  • The point below the belly-button
  • The point below the wrist

Health Issues That Can Be Healed by Acupressure:

Ankle pain

  • Nausea arising from any condition
  • Arthritis
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Reducing pain and other symptoms of cancer
  • Headaches
  • Sinus
  • Muscle pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Disruption of the digestive system
  • Ulcer issues

Acupressure For Beginners – Identifying the Trigger Points


Even for absolute beginners, self-massaging in acupressure is not a farfetched idea. You can do it by yourself and achieve similar benefits as if someone else did it for you. But first, you will have to identify the most important points triggering pain or discomfort. You can find these points from the acupressure massage points chart to understand their location.

Nonetheless, the points in the hands and legs can be identified and stimulated by ourselves with a little practice. For detailed knowledge of other points, an expert’s consultation is recommended. You need to keep your body and mind completely relaxed even after an hour of the self-massaging session.

For absolute beginners, massage therapy of acupressure when applied solo, patience, and stability are important prerequisites. An instant remedy should not be expected.  With time and religious regularity of a devoted session, the pain will start reducing greatly reducing the chances of recurrence.

You can buy an acupressure kit online and follow the instructions for better effectiveness. However, it is not advised to access certain sensitive acupressure points without the supervision of a professional. You can also visit wellness spas or wellness resorts that enable services with various alternative treatments performed by specialized practitioners.

The following is a general guideline for self-massaging:

  • Keep an hour aside for a relaxed session
  • Sit or lie down flat in a restful position.
  • Close your eyes, calm down and take deep breathing
  • Apply firm and profound pressure in an up and down or circular motion.

Treating Shoulder Pain 

Shoulder Pain  treatment

Prolonged stress causes neck and shoulder pain often referred to as tension headaches. To get relief from shoulder pain, there are several pressure points, but a beginner can start with one of the most commonly used points. The easiest way to find the first one is between the thumb and the first finger.

  • Apply a firm pressure till you experience a mild pain
  • Hold for a few seconds
  • Release the thumb and repeat thrice.

Treating Lower Back Pain

Back Pain

Two main pressure points can help you in treating your lower back pain. You will find the first one on your waist. You can find another pressure point in the midway of your calf muscle.

  • Stand up straight. Lightly hold your waist with both hands with thumbs wrapping the back.
  • Keeping the thumbs in place, massage with a circular motion applying firm pressure for five seconds. Repeat the process thrice.

Treating Sinus Pain

Sinusitis. Healthy and inflammation nasal sinus

The region between the eyebrows is the first point of relieving sinus pain. The second pressure point is your temples and the third point is the region from your temples to the sides of your nostrils.

  • You can try out the acupressure point as per your comfort.
  • Use your index finger or the thumb to apply pressure in a circular motion for 5 seconds.

Treating Diabetes

Test Blood Glucose For Diabetes in Pregnant Woman With Glucometer

The benefits of acupressure for diabetes are well-known and self-achievable. Five pressure points are used to lower blood sugar for diabetic patients, theyare between the thumb and index finger, the inner side of the wrist, the thumb and second toe, below the knees, and above the calves.

  • This treatment can be used twice to thrice a day and helps to regulate endocrine function, reduces blood glucose, etc
  • Acupressure for diabetes may not instantly reduce your blood sugar but will eventually show results with consistency.

Precautions with self-guided acupressure:

applying gentle pressure

An important technique of pressure application is to maintain a firm pressure but not painful. You can apply these techniques several times a day and also make use of an acupressure kit if required. Give a break if you develop sore muscle from the pressure. Start by applying gentle pressure and increase it gradually.

You can find various acupressure points in detail in the acupressure massage points chart to access the desirable points. However, please note that acupressure is not the sole treatment for treating major medical conditions alone. Make sure you are aware of acupressure effects and uses before you expect it to cure diseases.

Massage therapy with acupressure is primarily aimed toward prevention. It is more of restoring the equilibrium of the body and mind and regulating the flow of energy. Rather than curing serious ailments, it strives to block the path of ailment from invading the body. It should not be misinterpreted as a device for a remedy for a serious malady.

Acupressure Becoming Increasingly Popular Among Medical Tourists

Professional masseur using acupressure techniques for client's neck massage

World health tourism is surging day by the day and the alternative treatments offered at wellness tourism destinations are becoming increasingly popular amongst people. As a result, more and more people are looking forward to these treatments. The greatest advantage of acupressure is the absence of side effects and that no pharmacological agent is being used.

Acupressure involves pressure applied by the hands and fingers to stimulate the meridian points. There are about 400 such major points with 14 major meridians which when pressed correctly can provide effective relief from diseases and the discomfort caused by them. The force, applied during acupressure, releases tension in the muscles and enhances blood circulation, which is the driving factor for the healing of various ailments.

Clinical practitioners use acupressure techniques for the treatment of problems of the head, neck, and back like sinus congestion, arthritis, hypertension, peptic ulcers, constipation, indigestion, and sciatica. They combine the stimulation of meridians with different relaxation and deep breathing techniques thus leading to health improvement and better well-being.

All these potential benefits of acupressure are making it a popular treatment option for medical tourists although it is not a part of the mainstream healing process. Acupressure is doing a great business these days with a record number of patients from all over the world opting for acupressure treatments to heal their mind, body, and soul. Although acupressure is believed to be originated in China, many countries of the world including Singapore, India, and Thailand, are among the most famous medical tourism destinations.

Risks Involved in Acupressure Therapy

 woman receiving a back massage in a spa

Acupressure massage therapy should be avoided by people with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease, or spinal cord injury. These conditions can worsen with the physical manipulation done in acupressure.

Pregnant or potentially pregnant women are not advised to undergo acupressure, as some acupressure points can lead to miscarriage. However, depending on the area to be treated, discuss with your doctor about your safety.

People with major medical conditions such as a cancerous tumor, cancer, heart disease, chronic disease, muscle injury, etc should discuss their condition with a licensed and certified doctor or acupuncturist before opting for acupressure.

Precautions For Acupressure Appointment

Amazed woman looking at a coffee cup

  • Do not indulge in smoking, drinking alcohol, or caffeine at least 12 hours before your acupressure appointment. These substances tend to increase your blood pressure and can make you extremely restless post the acupressure treatment.
  • Any use of medicines, intoxicating food items, medicinal herbs, or drugs should be avoided at least 4 hours before and after acupressure to avoid its interaction with the treatment. Thus, make sure you inform your doctor about any medicines that you are currently using.
  • There should be a gap of two hours before you go for your appointment. Also, ensure that you consume nutritious, light, and healthy food before and after acupressure therapy to prevent food coma and stomach discomfort.
  • If you get a question about what are the side effects of acupressure then the answer is almost nothing. However, if you feel tired or have mild side effects such as lightheadedness, emotionally vulnerable, soreness, etc. you should simply rest yourself and go take things easy both mentally and physically.

Important Facts About Acupressure

acupressure session

  • Acupressure can be done twice or thrice a day. However, it should not be applied for more than a maximum of 15 minutes per session. It can cause bruises or intense pain.
  • The acupressure treatment done to treat sensitive areas or serious pain should only be performed by a certified professional. The wrong points or pressure levels can lead to worsening conditions.
  • It is usually recommended to wear loose, comfortable, cotton clothes for the acupressure therapy; as tight clothing, belt, pants, jackets, etc. can cause an interruption in the circulation necessary during the therapy session for complete benefits.

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