Both acupuncture and acupressure have become popular topics of discussion in the recent years. They are both derived from the teachings of traditional Chinese medicine. According to this ancient method of healing, there are 12 meridians within the body that carry the Qi (pronounced “chee”) throughout the body. Blockages of this energy in particular areas along these meridians can cause for chronic pain in the body, headaches, stress and anxiety. Acupuncture and acupressure seeks to aid in the healing process. While acupuncture can only be practiced by a trained and licensed acupuncturist, acupressure can be self administered and practiced by just about anyone.
What’s The Difference?
Acupuncture is a form of Oriental Medicine that has been used for more than 5,000 years. It is known to treat more than 60 ailments and is used often times in tandem with traditional western medicine. Acupuncturist insert tiny metal needles into necessary acupoints in order to promote the flow of energy and balance within the body. Typically, practitioners of acupuncture undergo three to four years of training and have to pass state licensure exams.
Many acupuncturist practice acupuncture if they surmise that acupressure is not needed. Instead of using needles to stimulate points along the meridians within the body, it uses pressure. There are many videos online that give tutorials on the many acupressure points and how to stimulate them. This is typically used for acute symptoms, whereas acupuncture is more geared towards chronic ailments.
The bottom line, they are both in the same family of Oriental medicine, but are certainly different in their application and effectiveness. There is currently no degree program that focuses solely on accupressure. The benefits of it are not as tested, but are considered effective by many. If you are interested in acupuncture and acupressure, it is best to go to a licensed acupuncturist as they are well versed in each.
How Effective Are They?
According to Michael Forman Dom, P.A, a Miami acupuncture practitioner, many of his patients have been able to “reduce or eliminate many of their medications when they are on an effective acupuncture treatment plan.” In addition, acupuncture has been proven effective and even endorsed by medical professionals that practice traditional western medicine. As long as acupuncture is administered correctly, it has been shown to have few to no side effects. In recent years, most all insurance companies have recognized acupuncture as a great preventative and healing method of treatment. In fact, they will cover a visit to an acupuncturist just as they would to any other recognized specialty.
How to Find a Licensed Practitioner
Websites like WebMD and Yelp are excellent resources to help you find a highly reviewed and reputable practitioner of acupuncture. It doesn’t matter if you are in search of a Miami acupuncture practitioner or one in Chicago, they are in most large cities. When you have chosen a potential acupuncturist, it is important that you ask for proof of licensure and insurance. In addition, discuss your ailments and issues with them to ensure that they are experienced in what you specifically need. Lastly, work with an acupuncturist that you are comfortable with. Acupuncture is budget friendly, all natural, effective and non addictive. If you are curious about the health and mental benefits of acupuncture, there is no better time than now to give it a try.