NOTE: Grant will be away training in Thailand until December 20.

What is acupressure?

Acupressure applies the same principles as acupuncture to promote relaxation and wellness and to treat disease, but uses pressure with thumbs, elbows or knees.
Women doing traditional Thai massage

Introduction

Acupressure involves applying firm pressure on specific points or areas of the body. Practitioners usually apply acupressure with their thumb or fingers, but they can also use their elbows, feet or knees. In treatments like Tok Sen, Luk Pra Kob or Ched Hak, practitioners use tools like wooden sticks, compresses, leaves and fangs or claws from wild animals.

In Traditional Thai Medicine, acupressure points are physical locations on the Sib Sen that a practitioner manipulates to release blockages of Lom Pran. In a Thai massage, the practitioner uses acupressure combined with stretching to manipulate the points, whereas, in Foot Reflexology, a practitioner uses acupressure almost exclusively.

Some acupressure points are more important because they directly correlate with specific physical or mental functions or organs. Practitioners focus more on these points when they do a therapeutic massage for a particular illness or pain.

Scholars debate whether acupressure originated with traditional Chinese medicine or Indian Ayurveda Marma therapy. But acupressure has existed in many Asian traditions for centuries.

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