When it comes to pain relief methods, people are, understandably, willing to try practically anything. From time-honored folk remedies to the latest pharmaceutical solution advertised on TV, the search for a pain-free life generates hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue each year – and that’s just here in the United States. One method of pain reduction more and more people are turning to is the use of pressure points, also known as acupressure. It’s been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for literally thousands of years and continues to win new converts here in the West, even today. But what exactly is a pressure point and do they really work?
Can Pressure Points Trigger Pain Relief?
In traditional Chinese medicine, the body’s life force is known as qi (pronounced “chee”). It flows through twelve meridians, or sections, of the body and if anything is inhibiting its path, your energy is out of balance and therein lies the source of your pain or discomfort. Acupressure is the practice of applying pressure to specific areas on the body to unblock those channels and reestablish your qi’s flow, rebalancing your energy, and relieving your issue.
For instance, there are several pressure points all over the body that are said to relieve headache pain, ranging from the Third Eye Point directly between your eyebrows to the Moving Between spot between your big and second toe. If you suffer from frequent headaches or migraines, you may also already be familiar with the Union Valley pressure point located in the fleshy area between the index finger and thumb.
There are also areas linked to achieving more restful sleep and also alleviating breathing problems, nausea, depression, and earaches, just to name a few. But does it actually help with any of those problems? Well, the answer seems to depend on whom you ask. Some studies have shown promising feedback for utilizing pressure points as a treatment method for stress relief, relieving lower back and stomach pain, but many doctors are still calling for further research before coming to any final conclusion. Is it a temporary placebo effect from your body’s own endorphins or does it actually provide real pain relief? Perhaps in cases like this, if you feel like it’s helping you – then it is.