Acupressure 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 the meridians. Pressure may be allied by hand, elbow, or various devices.
Medical studies have suggested that acupressure is effective at helping manage nausea and vomiting, for helping lower back pain, tension headaches, stomach aches, among other things. Acupuncture points used in treatment may or may not be in the same area of the body as the targeted symptom. The traditional Chinese medicine theory for the selection of such points and their effectiveness is that they work by stimulating the meridian system to bring about relieve by rebalancing Qi.
In many East Asian martial arts, practitioners make extensive study and use of acupressure for self-defence and health purposes. The points or combinations of points are said to be used to manipulate or incapacitate an opponent. Martial arts practitioners regularly massage their acupuncture points in routines to remove blockages from their meridians, thereby enhance circulation and flexibility.