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Acupressure and acupuncture

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Acupressure and acupuncture are a form of body work known as "transformational energy." The idea is that a life-force energy known as chi or qi flows through the body along pathways called "meridians."

Those who practice acupressure and acupuncture believe that when this energy is not balanced, the body develops disease.

During an acupressure treatment, your practitioner will apply pressure to specific places on the body. In acupuncture, your practitioner will use very thin needles instead of pressure. These methods are designed to balance energy flow and maintain health.

Scientific tests suggest that these treatments may actually work by stimulating certain chemicals in the brain, including endorphins.

Shiatsu massage may be considered another form of acupressure because it shares the same theory of energy flow and balance.

Learn more about acupressure and acupuncture.

Reviewed by: Paul Millea, MD, June, 2013
Additional Kaiser Permanente reviewers

© 2013 Kaiser Permanente

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