Acupuncture and Acupressure: Which Treatment is Better for You?

Acupuncture and Acupressure: Which Treatment is Better for You?

Traditional Chinese medicine believes that our body has numerous energy points that, when blocked, cause discomfort and pain, leading to an array of health conditions.

When external pressure is applied to these points, it activates the body’s innate healing ability. As a result, it can help open blocked channels, providing relief from various types of aches, including discomforts in the back, head and neck.

This is where acupressure and acupuncture come in. These treatments are known to improve blood circulation, reduce pain, release muscular tension and improve the overall health of the body. They also aid in spiritual healing and improve mental health. These fields are widely taught in various schools of natural medicine in the UK, the US and other parts of the world.

The Differences Between Acupuncture and Acupressure

For the untrained, it’s natural to confuse the two fields. An in-depth look, however, will reveal that acupressure and acupuncture have noteworthy differences.

  • Acupuncture

Acupuncture aims to balance your body’s yin and yang. Any disruption in the natural energy flows is believed to cause health problems. The treatment is performed by inserting small, thin, metallic needles into the skin either manually or by using electrical stimulation. They are then left in the body for a certain period.

  • Acupressure

Acupressure uses the same techniques and principles as acupuncture, but it works by applying simple pressure to specific parts of the body. Instead of using needles, the practitioner uses their hands, elbows or knuckles to press key points on the surface of the skin. Sometimes the treatment also involves massage or stretching.

Medical Conditions Treated by Acupressure and Acupuncture

Although both treatments have similar benefits, they can be used for different medical conditions. Those that can be treated with acupuncture include:

  • Addiction
  • Chemotherapy nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Osteoarthritis

Acupressure can be effective in treating similar problems to acupuncture as well as other issues, such as:

  • Backaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Muscle aches
  • Reducing overall body tension
  • Tension due to stress

It is important to note that medical practitioners don’t recommend these treatments as a complete cure of a health condition. They may prescribe acupuncture and acupressure to complement other treatments.

Which Treatment is Better?

Needles being placed on skin

Patients who use acupuncture tend to have more chronic problems, while acupressure is a beneficial treatment for minor treatments such as motion sickness and nausea.

Acupuncture is believed to trigger a stronger simulation. However, the idea of being pricked with a bunch of needles may be off-putting for some. In this case, acupressure is the next option, since it gives a similar outcome to acupuncture.

When your budget is a concern, acupressure is more cost-effective since it can be done as a self-treatment. On the other hand, acupuncture should only be performed by a licenced practitioner.

Both rooted in ancient Chinese medicine, acupressure and acupuncture use the same principles that aim to treat various medical conditions. In some cases, they also help with anxiety and depression. Both are generally pain-free procedures, but it is advised to seek a recommendation from your doctor to determine if these methods should be part of your overall treatment.