Acupressure uses firm pressure with thumbs, fingertips, palm of hands, knuckles and elbows to release muscle tension and relax the body.
Just as different massage techniques are used to facilitate muscle release, different types of pressure therapy techniques are used to release trigger points and locate muscle restrictions which cause pain, discomfort and many major health problems.
This therapy is considered a style of Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT) that is certified nationally by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), which also certifies Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine.
Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT), Acupuncture, and Chinese herbs are considered the three primary healing arts of Chinese medicine.
The Chinese have long believed that trigger point techniques can be learned in the comfort of your home, by anyone, giving you techniques to alleviate common pain issues.
Many styles of Asian bodywork can be vigorous, with brisk rubbing actions and deep kneading. However, slow steady pressure is often used to calm and relax muscles before deeper pressure begins.
This massage video clip demonstrates the treatment:
The national organization, American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia, (AOBTA.org) credentials ABT with standardized curriculum requirements, so, if you are looking for a massage therapist that practices Shiatsu (or any of the other styles), look for one who has been certified nationally by the AOBTA or NCCAOM and has studied Chinese medicine and technique.
Acupuncture is similar because it uses the same pressure points and meridians, but needles are incorporated into the treatment.
Because it relaxes the body and relieves stress, this therapy boosts our ability to fight disease and increases our overall sense of well-being.
Therapists will often incorporate massage stones into the treatment which provides relaxation and, with hot stones, warms the muscles before adding pressure.
Shaped trigger point stones are used to add sustained pressure to trigger points and tight muscles to encourage release and proper blood circulation.
An good example... Pressure Point Therapy to alleviate heartburn and/or upset stomach can be performed by locating the point midway between the navel and breastbone.
Light, sustained pressure for 1-2 minutes may actually take your painful heartburn away naturally.
Read more about it at http://www.acupressure.com/