Acupuncture and acupressure are the two traditional and complementary medicines that are often referred to interchangeably, and acupuncture is now offered at your local Wesley Chapel chiropractor too. Acupuncture and acupressure are alike in so many ways but also have some subtle and important differences.

Both of these therapies are part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine that was traced to be used thousands of years ago. Acupuncture and acupressure also both entered the Western medicine and are now very popular alternative therapies even in developed countries.

Aside from being similar in their roots, acupressure and acupuncture both circulate in the mechanism of acupoints or meridians in the body. Acupoints are specific areas in the body that are thought to be the entry and exit points of energy or referred to as “chi” in Chinese medicine. When these acupoints become obstructed, they lead to imbalance in energy flow leading to illness or disease.  These meridians are also connected to organs inside the body. Affectation of a certain meridian may lead to conditions affecting specific organs. Likewise, stimulating a particular meridian or acupoint can help stimulate and promote the health of a specific organ in the body. The main goal of acupuncture and acupressure is to maintain the normal functioning of the body by stimulating the acupoints or releasing negative energy in these sites.

The mechanism of the meridians or acupoints in the body makes acupuncture and acupressure very similar with each other. Nevertheless, there are also certain differences and these differences mainly surround the manner by which the treatments are employed.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture uses fine needles to release negative energy in the acupoints and allow better flow of positive chi in the body. Based on personal accounts, acupuncture is not painful and should not lead to pain. However, minimal discomfort may be felt when the needles are inserted, but should go away once the needles are in place. These thin needles should be sterile to prevent infections. They usually stay in place for several minutes and are carefully removed after the therapy.

Common conditions that benefit from acupuncture include back and neck pains, headache, osteoarthritis, menstrual cramps, shoulder pain and other similar conditions.

Acupressure

Acupressure employs the same principles as acupuncture, but mainly uses pressure instead of using needles. Therapists commonly use their fingers, feet, elbows, palms, and other instruments to provide pressure on the acupoints. Aside from releasing energy and establishing better energy flow, application of pressure on the acupoints can release muscle tension for better blood circulation and overall sense of well-being.

Acupressure target inner organs in the body such as the spleen, heart, liver, kidneys, large intestines, eyes and other vital organs by applying pressure on the involved area in the body (usually in the palms of the hand and soles of the feet). Most people associate acupressure with massage, but this specifically involves stimulating a certain organ in the body.

Both acupressure and acupuncture are traditional medicines that are found to be safe and effective to maintain health and well-being. Before undergoing one, talk to your chiropractor or therapist whether you need acupuncture or acupressure depending on the treatment you need.