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Alternative Therapies:  Acupressure

Acupressure is a mixture of massage and acupuncture, and is thought to be the forerunner of acupuncture. Instead of inserting needles, practitioners use firm thumb or fingertip massage on pain relieving pressure points. Acupressure is used to balance a flow of energy called Qi, which is believed to run through invisible channels known as meridians.

Practitioners claim success in relieving many ailments, including allergy, arthritis, asthma, back pain, circulation problems, depression, digestive problems, insomnia, migraine and tension. However some painful symptoms are warnings of serious illness, so always consult your doctor before using acupressure.

All practitioners start by compiling your case history. You are then questioned about your diet and way of life, and your pulses are taken, as in acupuncture. Each therapist has his own way of working and applies pressure in a variety of ways to tone or sedate the energy channels. This massage is believed to produce swift results.

There has been little direct research into how acupressure works, but the use of acupressure bands on the wrists to combat motion sickness and other forms of nausea has been scientifically studied.

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