Acupressure [from Latin acus "needle" (see acuity) + pressure (n.)]
is an alternative medicine technique similar in principle to
acupuncture. It is based on the concept of life energy which flows
through "meridians" in the body. In treatment, physical pressure is
applied to acupuncture points with the aim of clearing blockages in
these meridians. Pressure may be applied by hand, by elbow, or with
Some medical studies have suggested that acupressure may be effective
at helping manage nausea and vomiting, for helping lower back pain,
tension headaches, stomach ache, among other things, although such
studies have been found to have a high likelihood of bias. Like
many alternative medicines, it may benefit from a placebo effect.
According to Quackwatch, acupressure is a dubious practice and its
practitioners use irrational methods.
2.1 P6 acupuncture point
7 External links
Acupoints used in treatment may or may not be in the same area of the
body as the targeted symptom. The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
theory for the selection of such points and their effectiveness is
that they work by stimulating the meridian system to bring about
relief by rebalancing yin, yang and qi (also spelled "chi").
East Asian martial arts also make extensive study and use of
acupressure for self-defense and health purposes, (chin na, tui na).
The points or combinations of points are said to be used to manipulate
or incapacitate an opponent. Also, martial artists regularly massage
their own acupressure points in routines to remove supposed blockages
from their own meridians, claiming to thereby enhance their
circulation and flexibility and keeping the points "soft" or less
vulnerable to an attack.
A 2011 systematic review of acupressure's effectiveness at treating
symptoms found that 35 out of 43 randomized controlled trials had
concluded that acupressure was effective at treating certain symptoms;
however, the nature of these 43 studies "indicated a significant
likelihood of bias." The authors of this systematic review concluded
that this "review of clinical trials from the past decade did not
provide rigorous support for the efficacy of acupressure for symptom
management. Well-designed, randomized controlled studies are needed to
determine the utility and efficacy of acupressure to manage a variety
of symptoms in a number of patient populations."
A 2011 Cochrane review of four trials using acupuncture and nine
studies using acupressure to control pain in childbirth concluded that
"acupuncture or acupressure may help relieve pain during labour, but
more research is needed". Another
Cochrane Collaboration review
found that massage provided some long-term benefit for low back pain,
and stated: It seems that acupressure or pressure point massage
techniques provide more relief than classic (Swedish) massage,
although more research is needed to confirm this.
Quackwatch includes acupressure in a list of methods which have no
"rational place" as massage therapy and states that practitioners "may
also use irrational diagnostic methods to reach diagnoses that do not
correspond to scientific concepts of health and disease."
P6 acupuncture point
An acupressure wristband that is claimed to relieve the symptoms of
motion sickness and other forms of nausea provides pressure to the P6
acupuncture point, a point that has been extensively investigated.
Cochrane Collaboration reviewed the use of P6 for nausea and
vomiting, and found it to be effective for reducing post-operative
nausea, but not vomiting. The Cochrane review included various
means of stimulating P6, including acupuncture, electro-acupuncture,
transcutaneous nerve stimulation, laser stimulation, acustimulation
device and acupressure; it did not comment on whether one or more
forms of stimulation were more effective; it found low-quality
evidence supporting stimulation of P6 compared with sham, with 2 out
of 59 trials having low risk of bias. EBM reviewer Bandolier said that
P6 in two studies showed 52% of patients with control having a
success, compared with 75% with P6.
A variant system known as two point acupressure attempts to bypass a
blockage of vital flow by using one acupoint to create a link with one
of the collateral meridians, and then using one additional acupoint to
stimulate or reduce the flow around the obstruction.
Acupuncture § Criticism of traditional Chinese
Clinical use of acupressure frequently relies on the conceptual
framework of traditional Chinese medicine. There is no physically
verifiable anatomical or histological basis for the existence of
acupuncture points or meridians. Proponents reply that TCM is a
prescientific system that continues to have practical relevance.
Acupuncturists tend to perceive TCM concepts in functional rather than
structural terms (e.g., as being useful in guiding evaluation and care
of patients).  Any benefit from acupressure may derive from the
There are several different instruments for applying nonspecific
pressure by rubbing, rolling, or applying pressure on the reflex zones
of the body. The acuball is a small ball made of rubber with
protuberances that is heatable. It is used to apply pressure and
relieve muscle and joint pain. The energy roller is a small cylinder
with protuberances. It is held between the hands and rolled back and
forth to apply acupressure. The foot roller (also "krupa chakra") is a
round, cylindrical roller with protuberances. It is placed on the
floor and the foot is rolled back and forth over it. The power mat
(also pyramid mat) is a mat with small pyramid-shaped bumps that you
walk on. The spine roller is a bumpy roller containing magnets that is
rolled up and down the spine. The Teishein is one of the original nine
classical acupuncture needles described in the original texts of
acupuncture. Even though it is described as an acupuncture needle it
did not pierce the skin. It is used to apply rapid percussion pressure
to the points being treated.
Acupressure Online Etymology Dictionary
^ a b Lee, Eun Jin; Frazier, Susan K. (2011). "The Efficacy of
Acupressure for Symptom Management: A Systematic Review". Journal of
Pain and Symptom Management. 42 (4): 589–603.
doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.01.007. PMC 3154967 .
^ a b Stephen Barrett, M.D. (March 9, 2006). "Massage Therapy: Riddled
with Quackery". Quackwatch. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
^ "Chinese Medicine Demystified (Part III): The "Energy Meridian"
^ Smith, Caroline A; Collins, Carmel T; Crowther, Caroline A; Levett,
Kate M (2011). Smith, Caroline A, ed. "
Acupuncture or acupressure for
pain management in labour". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
(7): CD009232. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009232.
^ "Massage for low-back pain Cochrane Summaries".
^ a b Dent, HE; Dewhurst, NG; Mills, SY; Willoughby, M. (Jun 2003).
"Continuous PC6 wristband acupressure for relief of nausea and
vomiting associated with acute myocardial infarction: a partially
randomised, placebo-controlled trial". Complement Ther Med. 11 (2):
72–7. doi:10.1016/s0965-2299(03)00058-x. PMID 12801491.
^ "P6 acupoint stimulation prevents postoperative nausea and vomiting
with few side effects Cochrane Summaries".
Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy [Jan 1999; 59-4]". Archived
from the original on 2012-12-23.
Felix Mann "... acupuncture points are no more real than the black
spots that a drunkard sees in front of his eyes." (Mann F. Reinventing
Acupuncture: A New Concept of Ancient Medicine. Butterworth Heinemann,
London, 1996,14.) Quoted by Matthew Bauer in Chinese Medicine Times
Archived 2009-01-22 at the Wayback Machine., Vol 1 Issue 4 - Aug 2006,
"The Final Days of Traditional Beliefs? - Part One"
^ NIH Consensus statement: "Despite considerable efforts to understand
the anatomy and physiology of the "acupuncture points", the definition
and characterization of these points remains controversial. Even more
elusive is the basis of some of the key traditional Eastern medical
concepts such as the circulation of Qi, the meridian system, and the
five phases theory, which are difficult to reconcile with contemporary
biomedical information but continue to play an important role in the
evaluation of patients and the formulation of treatment in
acupuncture." Acupuncture. National Institutes of Health: Consensus
Development Conference Statement, November 3–5, 1997. Available
online at consensus.nih.gov/1997/1997Acupuncture107html.htm. Retrieved
30 January 2007.
^ Colquhoun, David; Novella, Steven P. (2013). "
Theatrical Placebo". Anesthesia & Analgesia. 116 (6): 1360.
^ William Chi-Sing Cho (2013). Evidence-based Non-pharmacological
Therapies for Palliative Cancer Care. Springer Science & Business
Media. ISBN 9789400758339.
^ Sharma, Rajeev (2003). Medicina Alternativa. Alpha Science Int'l
Ltd. pp. 196–200. ISBN 9781842651414. Retrieved
Acupuncture at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Regulation of acupuncture
Fire needle acupuncture
Cargo cult science
Superseded scientific theories
Aquatic ape hypothesis
9/11 conspiracy theories
Chemtrail conspiracy theory
Climate change denial
Moon landing conspiracy theories
Doktor Koster's Antigaspills
Electronic Voice Phenomenon
Flat Earth Theory
Germ theory denialism
Hollow Earth theory
Voice stress analysis
Suppressed research in the Soviet Union
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
Cults of Unreason
Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience
Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science
The Psychology of the Occult
The Ragged Edge of Science
The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience
The Skeptic's Dictionary
List of topics characterize