A massage therapist’s fingers are a vital tool in acupressure therapy and can help ease clients’ pain. Acupressure is also a technique that can be learned through massage home-study courses that teach therapists how to use the fingers and other body parts to apply pressure to key points that stimulate the body’s self-healing abilities. When these key points are stimulated, the body’s circulation and muscular tension are improved.

There are several different forms of acupressure therapy you can learn, including some of the more common styles that include shiatsu, Jin Shin, 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 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 bodywork is a technique that rigorously stimulates the healing energy in the points.

Some of those acupressure therapy courses offered online 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. But with acupressure, needles are not used.

According to a recent study, acupressure therapy, along with hypnotherapy and transcendental meditation showed a significant decrease of blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The study, “Combined Therapy Using Acupressure Therapy, Hypnotherapy and Transcendental Meditation versus Placebo in Type 2 Diabetes,” involved 40 type 2 diabetes patients between 25 and 60 years old.

Half the group received the combined therapy while the other 20 participants received placebo caplets. All of the subjects received their treatment during a 10-day period.

Those receiving the combined treatment showed a significant decrease in their blood sugar levels immediately after the treatment and two weeks after treatments. Those in the placebo group didn’t show significant signs of change.

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