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Acupressure or Acupuncture – Fingers or Needles
Acupressure and acupuncture are not one in same techniques. They differ slightly because acupuncture makes use of thin needles in approaching health concerns while acupressure never breaks the skin. On the other hand, they do a have a few things in common. For instance, both are centered on touching meridians which carry energy or chi along those meridians right through an individuals’ body.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clearly states that illness occurs due to the blockage of chi in any of fourteen different meridians. Acupressure and acupuncture both advocate the free flow of energy without obstructions. Both methods are used to treat arthritis, allergies, migraine headaches, depression, menstrual cramps, nausea and anxieties.
Because acupuncture uses very thin, long needles to puncture the skin it should be performed by an experienced practitioner who is skilled in traditional Chinese medicine. Acupressure is much less technical; it can therefore be learned from a book and may even be; in some instances, performed on oneself. Somewhat surprisingly, acupressure was practiced long before acupuncture became known.
In addition, since acupuncture requires the skilled use of a tool (needles) it requires much greater accuracy in order to bring quick relief whereas acupressure is less precise since the only tool is the practitioners finger. Due to the release of toxins or through realignment of muscle groups, in some instances acupuncture can result in some short term, minor side effects.
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Acupuncturist Education & Training
Acupuncturists are trained in anatomy, physiology, and many other areas of science and medicine. They have comprehensive knowledge about the nervous system (i.e., central nervous system and peripheral nervous system) and the vascular system (i.e., deep vascular system and superficial vascular system) and understand the mechanism of action between insertion of acupuncture needles and the reactions of body tissues and nerves.
Education and training in acupuncture takes several years. Acupuncturists undergo training in a number of different areas, including acupuncture treatment, clinical acupuncture, diagnosis and evaluation, needle placement, stimulation techniques, and sterilization procedures.
In the United States, there are a number of accredited schools that offer education and training programs in acupuncture. These programs usually take about 4 years to complete. After successful completion of an acupuncture program, students are awarded a Master of Science in Acupuncture. A few schools also offer advanced education and training, leading to a doctorate degree in acupuncture. To practice acupuncture in the United States, students must then take and pass a state licensing examination.
Medical doctors and other candidates for certification in medical acupuncture (e.g., osteopathic physicians, dentists) must meet specific requirements in education, training, and experience. They must hold a valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine; must complete at least 300 hours of education and clinical training in an acupuncture program approved by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM); and must have 2 years of experience in medical acupuncture.
Standards for medical acupuncturists are maintained by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA). Once a physician has completed these requirements, he or she is considered "board eligible" in acupuncture. The doctor then has 2 years ...