Acupressure is just one of a number bodywork therapies with roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Examples of other bodywork therapies are medical qigong and Tuina. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of acupressure.
Acupressure applies the same principles as acupuncture to promote relaxation and wellness and to treat disease.
TCM theory describes special acupoints, or acupressure points, that lie along meridians in the body. These are the same energy meridians and acupoints as those targeted with acupuncture.
Acupressure practitioners use their fingers, palms, elbows or feet, or special devices to apply pressure to acupoints on the body’s meridians. This technique is called also digitopressure when using only fingers. Sometimes, acupressure also involves stretching or acupressure massage, as well as other methods.
During an acupressure session, the vet gently presses on acupressure points on the body of your dog, cat or horse. In many cases it could be useful before starting an acupuncture treatment, just use the fingers on acupressure points to reduce muscle tension, improve circulation or stimulate endorphins release, which are natural pain relievers that help the patient to relax.
In general, acupressure is very safe and this allow the owner to continue this treatment at home after a brief explanation from the Vet how to do it properly.
Deep tissue work such as acupressure needs to be avoided if the treatment is in the area of a cancerous tumour or if the cancer has spread to bones, a spinal injury, or a bone disease that could be made worse by physical manipulation or if your dog or cat is pregnant because certain points can induce contractions.