ANSWERS: 1
  • As defined by traditional Chinese medicine, "pressure points," or acupressure points, are areas of concentrated energy in the body. Pressing them with intention can stimulate physical, mental, and emotional responses.

    Misconceptions

    The potential to harm with pressure points is often dramatized in action movies. But while they are used in certain martial arts, it is more accurate to think of them as part of an ancient healing system.

    Theory

    Traditional Chinese medicine is centered on a basic concept of "yin" and "yang," distinct energies representing extreme states of being. Health is maintained through a holistic balance of yin and yang.

    Significance

    This balance is achieved by stimulating acupressure points to release perceived "blocks" along invisible pathways of energy known as meridians. When meridians are "blocked," energy cannot flow naturally through the body, and illness results.

    Considerations

    Western medicine has a more scientific perspective of pressure points, approaching them as areas of muscular tension. They are implicated in injuries of muscle tissue and nerves, not energy.

    History

    Though a relatively new treatment in the West, acupressure has been practiced for more than 5,000 years. Its original guidebook, the "Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine," outlines knowledge of the body that predates conventional medicine by about 4,000 years.

    Source:

    National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

    Mayo Clinic

    Acupuncture.com

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