Acupressure is an alternative medicine technique that involves applying gentle but firm pressure on certain sections of the hands and feet (sometimes including the wrists) that correspond to a body part that may be ill or feeling pain. This is a type of pressure point therapy that originated in China more than 4,500 years ago.

Some people tend to confuse acupressure with acupuncture. Both are the same in terms of principle. They stem from the belief that the body has qi (energy flow), from which life force comes from. In an ideal healthy body, qi should be able to circulate the body freely.

However, there are times when the circulation or flow of energy is stopped or blocked. When this happens, the body goes into an imbalanced state, which then leads to a variety of symptoms such as pain and diseases.

Acupressure and acupuncture use different methods in addressing the condition. Acupuncture uses fine point needles that are inserted into meridians to remove the blockage and improve the energy flow.

Although acupuncture has been proven to be helpful in treating or managing chronic pain and migraines, some believe that acupressure is better in terms of safety. With acupuncture, needles may lead to a punctured lung or increased risk of infection. These scenarios, though, are more likely when the acupuncturist is not well trained or inexperienced.

In acupressure, fingers are mostly used. However, others have defined acupressure as applying pressure to a trigger point. This means that objects like a weighted ball taped on the wrist may also be used. Others are also utilizing uneven stony paths or pressure mats for the feet.