Is acupuncture the same as acupressure? |
Is acupuncture the same as acupressure?

Is acupuncture the same as acupressure?

29 Jul, 2019

Many of us use the words acupuncture and acupressure interchangeably. However, there is a slight difference between the two. Acupressure is acupuncture therapy without needles. After reading this most of you must have already decided to go for acupressure assuming that anything with needles including acupuncture will be painful.

However, that’s not always the case. Acupuncture is in fact, painless and though both these therapies have same healing mechanisms they are both used for slightly different purposes. Both the therapies primarily aim at balancing the energy in the body. Here area few differences between the two similar therapies. 


The most common health ailments that can be cured with acupressure are nausea, migraine, and headaches. Acupressure is also practiced to relieve muscle tension and trigger the release of endorphins. The most common distinction between acupressure and acupuncture is that the former can be self-administered. 


As acupuncture involves needles, this therapy requires licensed practitioners. Some regard acupuncture to be more effective than acupressure as the needles can be placed all over the body at once, creating a good flow of energy in the entire body as opposed to acupressure that involves applying pressure on one point by a therapist. According to few studies, acupuncture has shown notably good results in treating osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, and menstrual cramps. 

Acupuncture can be administered using heat, pressure or laser light in conjunction with the needles whereas for acupressure the variation lies in the different massage oils used at the point of pressure. 

What do these therapies do?

Both these ancient Chinese therapies stimulate the meridians by balancing the energy flow within the body and increase the circulation of blood and releases endorphins. These therapies are also known to be effective in hormonal imbalance. The sole aim of acupressure and acupuncture is to restart the body’s self-healing mechanism. 

How to decide between the two?

Acupuncture is known to heal more acute health problems such as insomnia, hormonal imbalance whereas acupressure can be used to cure some regular and common health problems such as headaches and nausea. Hence, if you are looking to cure a specific ailment and are willing to sign for more than just a few sessions then acupuncture is your option. However, for those of you who have an extreme fear of needles, you may want to try acupressure instead. 

Can either of the treatments cure a disease completely?

Most alternative therapies are used in combination with traditional medical treatments. However, if practiced with utmost precision and discipline, alternative therapies can cure the disease solely of its roots. However, a strict routine with regards to lifestyle changes and discipline in following a stringent schedule of treatments is necessary. As most alternative therapies harness the innate healing power of the body, you will need to follow all these precisions. 

How to get started?

For acupuncture, the therapist will plug in only a few needles at a few spots to see how your body responds. In case, of acupressure, the therapist will start by applying very little pressure for the first session and then gradually extend the duration of the session. Some of you might feel little soreness after the session but your body is expected to get used to it eventually. If you feel extreme pain or dizzy after every session then you need to let your therapist know. 

Acupressure and acupuncture are both garnering a lot of attention these days because of their impressive healing properties. Alternative therapies like these are also a great way to know your body. On Thriive, you can find licensed acupressure and acupuncture therapists to cure yourself with this ancient Chinese healing process.  

Komal Patil is a business management graduate finding purpose through words, writing stories and poems.

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