There are dozens of different types of massage therapy, each of which has its own purpose and unique characteristics. However, among the most effective forms of massage therapy for pain relief is pressure point. Whether you suffer from occasional or chronic pain, you should consider pressure point massage therapy. It’s a safe and effective way to relieve pain while improving circulation throughout the body.
The Basics of Pressure Point Massage Therapy
Pressure point massage therapy lives up to its name by consisting of “pressure” placed on certain “points” of the body. It’s a form of alternative medicine that’s closely linked to acupuncture. Both acupuncture and pressure point massage therapy work on the principle of correcting blockages of energy (Qi).
Normally, Qi flows through our bodies unrestricted, helping us maintain good physical and mental health. When Qi becomes blocked in a meridian, however, it leaves us susceptible to disease and illness. Pressure point massage therapy is intended to correct blockages of Qi so that it may flow freely once again.
A professional massage therapist can perform pressure point massage by manually manipulating specific areas of the body. The key to a successful and effective pressure point session involves targeting the right areas. For nausea and vomiting, the P6 pressure point (see photo) is an excellent choice.
Does it Work?
Like all forms of traditional and alternative medicine, there’s no guarantee that pressure point massage therapy will relieve your pain or other adverse conditions/symptoms. However, several studies have found it to be effective for these purposes and more. A Cochrane Collaboration study found pressure point massage therapy to offer long-term benefit for lower back pain.
“It seems that acupressure or pressure point massage techniques provide more relief than classic (Swedish) massage, although more research is needed to confirm this,” wrote the study’s author (source).
Pressure Point vs Traditional Massage: Which is Best?
There’s no easy answer to this question, as pressure point massage and traditional massage therapy have their own purpose. If you are suffering from pain, inflammation, or any other condition that’s caused by a blockage of Qi, then pressure point massage will likely offer the greatest relief. On the other hand, if you are looking to improve flexibility and/or treat muscle knots, traditional massage is an excellent choice.
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