Acupressure

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Acupressure (a blend of "acupuncture" and "pressure") is an alternative medicine technique derived from acupuncture. In acupressure physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points by the hand, elbow, or with various devices.

Traditional Chinese medicine's (TCM) acupuncture theory predates use of the scientific method, and has received various criticisms based on scientific thinking. The anatomical or histological basis of acupuncture points or meridians, if they actually exist, is unknown.[1] Acupuncturists tend to perceive TCM concepts in functional rather than structural terms, i.e. as being useful in guiding evaluation and care of patients.[2][3] Neuroimaging research suggests that certain acupuncture points have distinct effects that are not otherwise predictable anatomically.[4]

Contents

Background

Acupoints used in treatment may or may not be in the same area of the body as the targeted symptom. The TCM theory for the selection of such points and their effectiveness is that they work by stimulating the meridian system to bring about relief by rebalancing yin, yang and qi (also spelled "chi"). This theory is based on the paradigm of TCM .

Many East Asian martial arts also make extensive study and use of acupressure for self-defense and health purposes (chin na, tui na). The points or combinations of points are said to be used to manipulate or incapacitate an opponent. Also, martial artists regularly massage their own acupressure points in routines to remove blockages from their own meridians, claiming to thereby enhance their circulation and flexibility and keeping the points "soft" or less vulnerable to an attack.

Research

A preliminary randomized trial of Tapas Acupressure Technique found a possible weak correlation with weight loss maintenance using TAT versus Qigong or self-directed support, suggesting that TAT might outperform the other methods studied. The results were not statistically significant, but a separation test indicated that further study is warranted.[5] A full randomized trial of TAT versus standard weightloss management intervention is currently being conducted, funded by the NCCAM.[6]

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