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The Sussex College of Chinese Massage & Acupuncture

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Acupressure to upper-back Shu Points

Acupressure is a form of therapy that utilises the same theoretical principles as acupuncture for the selection of acupoints to be treated. It applies the same basic ideologies of acupuncture diagnosis and treatment, based on the theories and concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This understanding of the body’s energies is a very powerful tool for treating the underlying causes and symptoms of many common ailments, medical conditions and musculo-skeletal disorders.

The difference is, where acupuncture uses fine sterile needles for the treatment of acupoints, acupressure utilises the fingertips, thumbs, knuckles and elbows for acupoint stimulation.

It is sometimes considered a poor substitute for it’s counterpart, the more widely known and respected acupuncture, but in the right hands, it can be just as effective and often the preferred choice of treatment for certain types of disorders. This is particularly so of those disorders that affect the muscular system of the body and particularly where there is a lot of tension. In these situations it is often a very effective treatment. It is also very helpful to those who have a fear of needles, offering to those individuals a very beneficial alternative to acupuncture. Another benefit when compared to acupuncture, is that it can be offered to a patient without them having to undress. This can be a welcome advantage of the treatment for many.

The techniques of this simple treatment are relatively quite simple to employ. In fact, many therapists already use similar techniques in their present therapy routine, possibly without realising it. Having a good working knowledge of the location, theoretical principles and techniques of this type of treatment however, can bring about dramatic results that often leave the patient free from discomfort, pain, tension and stress. This can often leave the patient quite amazed at the results.


Acupressure can be particularly beneficial in conditions of stress and muscular tension. There are many acupoints that release muscular tension, particularly of the lower and upper back, neck, hips and thighs. Trigger points, ah shi points and meridian acupoints can all be utilised for the release of muscular tension, pain and stress to a greater or lesser degree. These powerful techniques can often bring about quite remarkable results.

Like acupuncture, acupressure requires a good working knowledge of the location and applications of the acupoints to be used. Unlike acupuncture however, it is a non-invasive treatment. For this reason, the principles and techniques can be administered almost anywhere on friends and family with often quite surprisingly positive effects for such a simple treatment. The key is, knowing exactly where to press and when.

For the professional therapist having this knowledge can be indispensable. Giving or receiving a massage or some other form of alternative treatment can be a wonderful experience for both the therapist and the patient, but having the knowledge and ability as a practitioner to release muscular tension, pain and stress, is a remarkable thing. This knowledge can take the treatment to a whole new level that can have lasting results to the patient both physically and emotionally.


Receiving a treatment can sometimes be slightly sore. It is important to realise that generally speaking, pain in the body is a result of stuck or deficient qi and/or blood. This stuck energy due to its nature of being stuck, is built up and in a state of excess. Therefore to apply pressure to this area can be slightly sore or painful at times. A good practitioner will gently release this built up pressure with gentle techniques to appropriate acupoints to relieve the stagnation.

Acupressure can be a very simple but powerful and effective treatment that can help many conditions and is well-worth the effort to learn and practice. It has been known to be very beneficial in helping the symptomatic relief of many conditions such as those listed below.

Asthma, Anxiety, Arthritis, Back Pain, Bronchial Disorders, Chronic Fatigue, Constipation, Cramp, Chronic Cough, Diarrhoea, Depression, Dizziness, Fatigue, General Aches and Pains, Gynaecological Disorders, Headaches, Insomnia, Muscle Tension, Palpitations, Rheumatism, Sciatica, Sports & Traumatic Injuries.

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