Dr Santosh Singh *
Consultant Ayurvedacharya, Levioza Health Care, Mumbai, India.*
|They are both ancient Chinese therapies. According to ancient Chinese theory, health is determined by 'chi', the vital life energy. This energy flows through body along pathways called meridians, each of which is linked to a specific organ. If the flow of energy is balanced, the individual has good health. If this flow is interrupted, various problems occur. Acupressure and acupuncture restore health by restoring the normal flow of 'chi'.
Acupressure or 'contact healing' is given by finger and hand pressure while acupuncture uses the insertion of needles at specific points on the body. The needle insertion is usually painless though a slight discomfort may be felt. The needles are usually left in place or few minutes to half an hour. Relief may be obtained in one sitting after several sittings.
These methods stimulate the production of neurotransmitters and endorphins (natural painkillers) which decrease the pain.
Both these methods appear to be relatively safe and are commonly used for a variety of health problems including backache & migraine headaches. Their use in children is limited.