simple pressure of your finger tips can help alleviate your clients pain. And te ability to learn this technique is literally at your finger tips, by ordering a home study course through the Internet.

An Asian therapy that involves pressing points along the body’s meridians (energy channels) with fingers, thumbs or palms of the hand to stimulate body ki (also qi or chi) and bring about balance and health. When pressure is applied to these key points, they release muscular tension and promote circulation of blood and the body’s internal energy to aid healing.

There are several different forms of acupressure therapy you can learn, including some of the more common styles that include shiatsu, Jin Shin Do, tuina and Thai massage.

  • Shiatsu, one of the most well-known style of acupressure is a Japanese bodywork system that employs the thumbs to press upon tsubos (energy points) along meridian lines to create energy flow and health.
  • Jin Shin Do is a form of acupressure that holds vital points for prolonged periods.
  • Tuina is a Chinese massage utilizing a variety of hand movements to stimulate acupressure points.
  • Thai Massage works sen lines (meridians or energy pathways) with rhythmic pressing combined with stretches and joint movement, performed while a clothed client lies on a floor mat.

An Internet search revealed numerous home study courses that are available for a massage therapist to take. Some of those acupressure therapy courses include stimulation methods, relaxation techniques, human energy field, matching trigger points to the symptom, general techniques of acupressure, Eastern and Western approaches to health, law of the five elements, auriculotherapy, and Yin and Yang.

The techniques follow the same pressure points and meridians as acupuncture, except that with acupressure, needles are not used.

Acupressure techniques can be used to relieve pain, balance the body, reduce tension, increase circulation, relieve stress, strengthen resistance to disease and promote wellness. According to recent studies, acupressure on pregnant women showed a shorter length of labor, less pain, fewer cesarean sections and decreased use of oxytocin.

The study, “Effects of acupressure at the Sanyinjiao point (SP6) on the process of active phase of labor in nulliparas women,” included 120 women between 18 and 35 years old who were giving birth for the first time. The women were randomly assigned to one of two groups, where they received either acupressure, or simple touch. The acupressure and simple touch both were performed at the beginning of the active phase of labor for each woman, the study reported.

For those in the acupressure group, researchers applied acupressure at the Sanyinjiao point (SP6), near the ankle, for about 30 minutes. Those in the control group received only touch therapy and no massage or treatment was given. Researchers found that the mean duration of the active phase of labor was shorter compared to the control group, according to reports.

Also, the number of cesarean deliveries, severity of pain and oxytocin used was less in the acupressure group compared to the control group.

Make sure to check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.

Jeremy Maready