Acupressure and acupuncture share the same active points (also called trigger points, acupoints, acupressure points, or acupuncture points). The ancient Chinese developed system of active points stimulation over 5,000 years ago. The active points are located on imaginary lines called meridians. Accordingly, the points are referred to by the meridian they are located on and consecutive number of point on that meridian.

The ancient Chinese believed that life energy chi (pronounced chee) flows through these meridians. In a healthy person the energy flow trough meridians is unobstructed. The blockade of chi flow results in an illness. The Chinese believed that active points stimulation clears the meridians and improves the flow of energy.

The western medical science only begins to understand the mechanisms responsible for positive effects of active points stimulation. Stimulation of active points is thought to lead to increased release of endorphins. Endorphin is a natural body painkiller. Endorphin and morphine are chemically different molecules but, by coincidence, they have very similar 3-dimensional shape. This similarity in shape allows morphine to bind the endorphin receptor, reduce pain, and induce feeling of happiness. Thus endorphin released by acupressure stimulation may lead to relaxation and normalization of body functions.


Headache and Migraine: Frontal Headache | Back of the Head | Side of the Head | Top of the Head | Pain in the Eye (Migraine behind the eye)

Local Pain: Jaw | Toothache | Ear | Neck | Shoulder | Wrist | Hand | Backache | Hip | Knee | Ankle | Foot

Cold and Flu: Sore throat | Sinusitis | Loss of Voice | Earaches | Allergy

Nervous System: Anxiety Attacks and Nervousness | Depression | Insomnia | Fainting | Hiccoughs | Memory and Concentration Improvement

Cardiovascular: Angina | Palpitations | High Blood Pressure Treatment

Abdominal Discomfort: Constipation | Diarrhea | Heartburn | Stomachache

Women only: PMS and Painful Periods | Hot Flashes | Acupressure During Pregnancy

Urinary Problems: Bed-wetting | Incontinence | Urinary Retention

Other: Weight Loss | Nose Bleeding | Allergy | Itching | Asthma | Decreased Libido | Hangover Treatment


  • Use deep firm pressure to massage every point.
  • Usually acupressure points are more sensitive than surrounding area.
  • The massage duration indicated with point description is only an approximation. Massage every point until numbing feeling is produced.
  • You do not need to massage all active points included in the exercise. Some active points produce stronger effect than others. You may choose to limit the exercise to massaging these high potency points only.
  • You can repeat active points massage as often as you want. There is no limit on number of exercises per day.
  • When applying deep pressure the active point is expected hurt initially. In this case reduce the pressure to a “comfortably” painful level and persist with massaging the active point. Increase the pressure as the initial painful sensation begins to subside. Continue the massage until numbing feeling is produced
  • When massaging acupressure points sit comfortably or lie down, close your eyes and breath deeply.
  • It is not necessary to massage points on your own, you can ask somebody else to massage your active points.
  • An example of stimulation of active point Li4 is shown below. Point Li4 is located between thumb and index finger. Apply firm deep strokes of pressure in upward direction:



This acupressure guide is not a substitution for a qualified medical advice. If you do not know what is causing the pain or other symptom consult a medical doctor before you start treating yourself.


A randomized trial of Tapas Acupressure Technique for weight-loss maintenance found attendance at weight maintenance was 72% for TAT Tapas Acupressure Technique - higher than any other method studied. The study was published in March 2007 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

The Cochrane Collaboration, a group of evidence-based medicine (EBM) reviewers, reviewed the use of P6 for nausea and vomiting, and found it to be effective for reducing post-operative nausea, but not vomiting. The Cochrane review included various means of stimulating P6, including acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, transcutaneous nerve stimulation, laser stimulation, acustimulation device and acupressure; it did not comment on whether one or more forms of stimulation were more effective. EBM reviewer Bandolier said that P6 acupressure in two studies showed 52% of patients with control having a success, compared with 75% with P6 acupressure.

A Cochrane Collaboration review found that massage provided some long-term benefit for low back pain, and said: "It seems that acupressure or pressure point massage techniques provide more relief than classic (Swedish) massage..."


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