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What is the difference between acupunture and acupressure?

By November 29, 2008 - 12:39pm
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Somebody recently recommended acu...something for lower back pain and I can't remember if they said acupunture or acupressure. I'm not really sure what the differences are - does anyone have any imput? Would one be better for pain than the other?

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Miscortes outlines the differences and similarities between acupressure and acupuncture which is as straight forward as the difference between using needles or using pressure with the fingers. The difference is significant since penetrating the skin with needles causes multiple biological responses in the nervous system primarily in the release of enkaphalins and endorphins the bodies endogenous morphine system for pain relief - while noting some unique studies that show similar results between sham/real acupuncture she also doesn't note that such studies have often included the use of medications for say knee pain and all three have worked - the point being that with the other two you don't run the risk of side effects. We will hopefully develop an explanatory model for understanding the full extent to which expectation on both the physicians and patients part goes to create any healing opportunity. Chinese Medicine understands this and rather than ruling out placebo encourages it as the bodies greatest tool for self healing.

November 29, 2008 - 10:03pm
EmpowHER Guest

Acupuncture is the use of thin needles that is punctured through the skin in several strategic points throughout the body. It usually is used in a series of visits to the doctors office which involves about 30 minutes of pin pricks.

The Mayo Clinic provides some information on who acupuncture seems to be useful for...”Acupuncture seems to be useful as a stand-alone treatment for some conditions, but it's also increasingly being used in conjunction with more conventional Western medical treatments. For example, doctors may combine acupuncture and drugs to control pain and nausea after surgery.

Scientific studies generally test treatments against placebos, such as sugar pills. It's difficult to conduct valid scientific studies of acupuncture, because it's difficult to devise sham versions of acupuncture. In fact, several studies have indicated that sham acupuncture works as well or almost as well as real acupuncture.
This makes it hard to create a definitive list of the conditions for which acupuncture might be helpful. However, preliminary studies indicate that acupuncture may offer symptomatic relief for a variety of diseases and conditions, including low back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, migraines and osteoarthritis.

In addition, research shows acupuncture can help manage postoperative dental pain and alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. It also appears to offer relief for chronic menstrual cramps and tennis elbow.”

Acupressure, on the other hand, is utilizing your hands in the same manner using specific pressure points.
When these trigger points are pressed, they release muscular tension, and promote circulation of blood, and the body's life force energy to aid healing.

Both acupuncture and acupressure utilize the same pressure points while one employs needles.

The use of either method have their followers and disbelievers. The concept comes from ancient China and is still used in Western Medicine.

As for which is the better method, it clearly is in the eye of the beholder. Hope this helps.

November 29, 2008 - 3:03pm
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