When it comes to acupressure, the healing is in the fingers—and learning the techniques of therapy through home study courses is at your fingertips.

Acupressure is a form of therapy that uses the fingers and other body parts to apply pressure to key points, which stimulate the body’s self-healing abilities. 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.

The technique follows the same pressure points and meridians as acupuncture; however, 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.

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 styles of acupressure, is a vigorous technique that applies firm pressure to each point for three to five seconds.
  • The Jin Shin Do style of acupressure is more gentle and focuses on holding at least two points at once for a minute or more.
  • Tuina and Thai massage are used to rigorously stimulate healing energy in the points.

An Internet search resulted in numerous home study courses any massage therapist can take to learn acupressure. 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.

According to recent studies, acupressure relieved pre-operative anxiety among children undergoing anesthesia. During the study, “Extra-1 Acupressure for Children Undergoing Anesthesia,” 52 child subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the acupressure group or a sham acupressure group. The children studied were between 8 and 17 years old and were scheduled to receive general anesthesia for gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures.

Those in the acupressure group were given acupressure bead intervention at the Extra-1 acupuncture point, also known as the Yin-Tang acupuncture point, according to the study. This point is located between the eyebrows.

In the second group, the children received the same bead intervention, but it was placed at a point above the left eyebrow, an area not connected with any clinical effects.

The study found a significant decrease of anxiety among the children who received the Extra-1 point bead intervention compared to the control group.

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

—Jeremy Maready