This treatment modality is thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health. Acupressure should be used with, not in place of, standard cancer therapy.
What does acupressure involve?
Acupressure is a non-needle variation of acupuncture involving deep finger pressure on acupoints and is similar to Japanese shiatsu. Rooted in the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, acupressure is performed to release muscular tension, promote the circulation of blood and restore the flow of qi, the body's vital energy, along channels in the body. Acupressure has the advantage of being a "self-help" remedy because, through the use of guidebooks, you can perform acupressure on yourself.
How is acupressure thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health?
Acupressure is believed to be effective in reducing tension and other stress-related ailments such as headaches and muscle aches, increasing circulation and enabling the body to relax deeply. By relieving stress, the body's immune system and, therefore, resistance to disease may be heightened. When tension is released, patients may feel better physically, emotionally and mentally promoting overall wellness and health.
What has been proven about the benefit of acupressure?
While some people do appear to benefit from acupressure, the mechanism by which this occurs in unknown. Post-operative pain and nausea has been found to respond to pressure point massage in some cases. Its occasional effectiveness may be due to relaxation and comfort from hands-on massage or the release of natural painkillers in the body called endorphins.
What is known about the potential risk or harm of acupressure?
While there are no inherent side effects, acupressure should be avoided in areas near varicose veins, wounds and sores. Because forceful pressure is sometimes used, patients with brittle bones, a history of spinal or other orthopedic injury or easy bruising should be careful when using acupressure. Patients undergoing long-term steroid therapy may have fragile tissues and should also use caution. If treatments are painful or soreness persists beyond a couple of days the therapist should be informed.
How much does acupressure cost?
Cost will vary depending on whether acupressure is self-administered or a therapist is used. If used as a self-treatment, no additional equipment is necessary.
For additional information:
1533 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709
Telephone: (510) 845-1059
Web site: www.acupressure.com
American Oriental Bodywork Therapy Association
Laurel Oak Corporate Center, Suite 408
1010 Haddonfield-Berlin Road
Voorhees, NJ 08043
Telephone: (856) 782-1616
Web site: www.healthy.net/pan/pa/bodywork/about1.html
Note: Information about therapies is intended to help you make informed choices, not to endorse any particular therapy. The information is courtesy of "Integrating Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer Patients," a handbook written as an independent study project by Heather Morein. For more information, see the full text of the handbook (PDF), including all references and appendices.