Types of Acupressure

Types of acupressure

Here are some of the most common forms of acupressure massage used today, which are considered to be the most beneficial for a range of ailments and symptoms:

Tui Na Chinese massage

One of the most common acupressure treatments is the ancient Tui Na Chinese massage. It involves a range of full body stretches and hand movements. Many of the techniques are similar to Western massage styles such as gliding, kneading, rolling, pulling and tapping. Stimulation of the acupoints is done by using knuckles, palms, fingers and thumbs to target key muscle groups. This therapy is considered to be more effective for healing very specific problems.

Shiatsu massage

Shiatsu is an ancient Japanese healing art that involves the use of hands, arms, legs and even feet to apply pressure to meridian points. Some versions do use other healing techniques. It also incorporates a number of different dance-like movements to stretch the body and to apply a very direct and firm pressure to the meridian points.

Similar to other forms of acupressure, the movements, pressure applied and meridian points will depend on the patient’s reason for choosing the therapy.

If you would like to find out more about shiatsu massage, visit our fact-sheet.


Originating from South Korea, Su-Jok is considered to be one of the simplest acupressure therapies. ‘Su Jok’ translates as ‘hand feet’. It is a healing art that concentrates on applying pressure to the acupoints on these body parts. The reason it focuses on the hands and feet is because the meridian points correspond to other organs in the body. Massaging these meridians enables fast healing through the qi energy pathways. Su-Jok is thought to provide swift relief. It is believed to be particularly good for chronic pain and tension-related problems.


Reiki is another Asian healing art that follows similar processes to acupressure by using the same acupoints on the body. It primarily involves using the palm of the hand to channel and stimulate life energy. It’s also believed to have the same effect as acupressure.

The difference is that Reiki therapy can be used to heal the body from a distance. It also uses alternative healing techniques such as the use of homeopathic medicine, crystals and aromatherapy. Reiki works to restore the balance of energy in your body. It ultimately aims to promote self-healing, block pain and remove emotional issues.


Self-applied acupressure

A trained practitioner will offer the most effective type of acupressure, but you can self-apply the technique. Individuals can use an acupressure mat to discover what points to target that can help relieve their symptoms. With this information, they can use their finger and thumb to administer the pressure from their own home.

Some types of self-applied acupressure utilise the acupressure mat. Used in addition to acupressure treatment, this self healing tool – which is covered in spikes protected by rounded tips – can be used a couple of times a week to achieve a range of self-healing, relaxation and meditation benefits. It is recommended that users lie on the mat for a duration of 20-30 minutes. In this time the pressure can most effectively release endorphins and help to soothe muscle aches and pains. But make sure you seek advice from a trained practitioner beforehand.