Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncture

Are acupressure and acupuncture the same?

Are acupressure and acupuncture the same things? Are they done at the same time? What's the difference?

41 Answers

Acupuncture is the act of inserting fine needles into acupuncture points in specific places on the body. Acupressure is the holding of specific acupressure points in specific places on the body. The theory is similar and the goal is the same. The goal of both modalities is to balance the body and assist the patients body in their own healing process.
Acupressure uses fingers. Acupuncture uses steralized bery thin needles. Sometime they both can be used at same time.
Not exactly. Acupressure is done by hand or a tool without penetration of the skin. Acupuncture uses a needle to penetrate the skin. They can be done at the same time and both are effective. The use of needles frees your acupuncturist to do cupping/moxa/estim or to allow you to relax and meditate by yourself.
Acupressure and acupuncture are not the same. Acupressure only uses hands or tool to press on the acupuncture points. Some areas with a lot of tissues and muscles may not have good results (can not reach the acupuncture points). Usually they do not do at the same time. Most acupuncturists use acupuncture, not acupressure unless patients are afraid of needles.
We do acupuncture by needles and acupressure by hands. Our session is acupuncture first and then acupressure later.
Acupuncture is insertion of needles, whereas acupressure is using pressure with the hand/fingers or tool. Both are applied to specific acupuncture points located somewhere on the body. Hope that helps.
Acupressure is just as the word sounds, pressure. Acupuncture is just as the word sounds, puncture. The points may be the same, but the process is different.
Acupressure is the manual manipulation of the body, while acupuncture uses needles to stimulate the acupuncture points along the body. They are not the same thing; however, they may be used together depending on the condition and if the Acupuncturist feels it is necessary to help with the condition.
Hello. Yes and no. Yes because there is a Hiltons law that sais "anything that effects superficial level of skin will effect underlining structure. No because we all looking for immediate reaction and its usualy done by nervous system, acupuncture (meaning the needles will hit the nerve faster rather then trying to achieve same result by acupressure).
The same is that they all work on meridian and point. However, for more internal organ disorders, acupuncture has more advantage over acupressure.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny, hair thin needles into specific points on the body. Acupressure is the manual stimulation of the same points without puncturing the skin. They both function by the same principles and are only different in application.
Acupressure is type of massage technique using acupuncture point to treat various symptoms. It could be very effective for some cases but there is no comparison with real acupuncture treatment. It is very hard to explain how the acupuncture works but as 5,000 years history proves that how could anything last that long period if it wasn't working.
No. Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles, acupressure does not.

Travis Buckmaster, L.Ac., PC
No, they are not the same. Acupuncture is done by a board certified medical professional. Acupressure can be done by yourself and/or a massage therapist. Acupuncture is much more effective in less treatments.


Amy Gendron, AP
Acupuncture uses a hair thin needle to stimulate Qi points in the body, Acupressure uses firm pressure by the hand or a tool to stimulate the point and can be used if the patient is uncomfortable with needles. Both are effective in treating pain and other health conditions.
Acupressure and acupuncture are both based on the same theories of medicine. However, as the name implies, with acupressure, the acupuncture points are stimulated using pressure or massage, whereas with acupuncture, the point are stimulated by the insertion of tiny needles.

Richard Mandell, Lic.Ac.
Thank you for your question! No they are not the same technique but they use the same points on the body. Acupressure is simply pressure manually applied to points on the body for a set amount of time per point. Acupuncture is the insertion of a needle in the acupuncture points on the body, retained for a set amount of time. They can both be effective in treating a vast variety of conditions.
Acupressure is similar to massage. Acupuncture is where a needle penetrates the muscle layer and can have an affect on the functioning of mental/physical systems.

Mike Berkley
Acupuncture is done with needles. Acupressure does not use needles but rather pressure on the acupoints usually with fingers. With acupuncture, many needles can be in the body at the same time. Whereas with acupressure, the practitioner can only contact 2 points at a time. Acupressure is a nice alternative for folks who don’t want needles.

Acupuncture is not the same thing as acupressure. Acupuncture uses needles on certain points of our bodies and the needles will be retained for around 30 mins. Of course, they penetrate the skin, and the effect is stronger and lasts longer. Acupressure is a stimulation of the points with the hand. It helps somewhat but the effects are not very strong nor do they last long.
No, they are different treatments. Acupuncture works by using needles, and Acupressure is a type of massage, it works by finger, but both work on points.
That's a great question. Acupressure is pressing on acupuncture points with the fingers and thumbs. Acupuncture is stimulating acupuncture points with sterile needles about the thickness of a human hair. They are not usually done at the same time. Acupuncture must be performed by a licensed acupuncturist. Acupuncture is more effective than acupressure. It can target a health problem or disease more precisely.
Generally, both can be effective if the practitioner is good at his work, but applying finger pressure to a point is somewhat limited compared to acupuncture due to the disruption of surface tissue whole applying healing to the spot with pressure. A hair fine needle can communicate to the point more effectively at a proper depth without the trauma to the covering tissue. Also, with acupuncture several key points can be stimulated at once for a longer period providing a more comprehensive treatment in a given time. 

Similar. However, it is different. Beginning medical practice and professional medical treatment.
Not really. Acupressure is basically pressure to the acupuncture points versus acupuncture is piercing the skin on those points and going into the actual meridians where the energy runs.

Dr. Maryam Mansouri, Lac., OMD.
Acupuncture and acupressure are not the same, nor are they traditionally done at the same time. We do not currently offer acupressure. However, the good news is that acupuncture is much more effective anyway!

An acupoint in the human body can be stimulated with different methods. Acupuncture and acupressure are both methods used to stimulate acupoints. In comparison, acupuncture uses a hair-thin needle to stimulate acupoints whereas acupressure uses a firm pressure to massage the acupoints. Acupuncture triggers a stronger stimulation to activate the body’s innate healing ability than does acupressure.

Thank you for your inquiry.


Dr. Lau
I think “NO” because acupuncture need to needle! Through the needle can insert deep an acu point. And then can handle body meridian. But acu pressure can not reach deep acu point. I think acupuncture and acupressure work together is best harmony.
Acupuncture and acupressure are using the same meridian system and Chinese medicine theory to treat different conditions. With acupressure people use pressure to affect the points. With acupuncture we use needles. Alos, in terms of the training of the practitioner, acupuncture school is a 4-year training. The average acupressure program is about 200 hours.
Acupuncture uses needles, acupressure uses fingers.
Acupuncture and acupuncture point pressure are different. Acupuncture uses thin needles inserted in the body’s acupuncture points to treat pain and various physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Acupressure does not use needles, which only uses fingers or tools to press the points. The person has to have an acupuncture license to do acupuncture treatment for patients.
Acupressure uses the same points as acupuncture, but uses pressing instead of needles. You can do acupressure at home, whereas you need lots of training to do acupuncture.

They are not done at the same time - it's one or the other at any given appointment.
Acupuncture = point + needle in.
Acupressure = point + pressure.

Thank you for your question.
Dr. Daisy Dong
Acupressure and acupuncture are sort of the same thing. Acupressure is using the fingers or an instrument to apply pressure at an acupuncture point. Acupuncture is using a needle to stimulate an acupuncture point. They can be done at the same time. Most acupuncturists are trained in a system of Chinese therapeutic massage called Tui Na. Part of the system is the application of pressure to acupuncture points using the fingers/hands/arms. Many practitioners will start or end an acupuncture session with a brisk massage that stimulates certain points. We also often show patients how to apply pressure to certain points so they can perform a degree of self care between visits. In my experience, acupressure can be a useful tool, but for faster, more lasting results, nothing seems to beat needles.
The short answer is yes and no. Acupuncture and acupressure are not the same because in acupuncture, needles are used to stimulate a particular point on a meridian. In acupressure, a finger is used to apply pressure on the same point to in order to stimulate it.
Most stimulation points are the same both in acupuncture and acupressure. An acupuncturist may stimulate a point either by applying pressure to the point or by needling it, both method can be used simultaneously. An acupressure therapist is not allowed to use needles, unless they are licensed to do so.
Acupuncture and acupressure are different methods of applying the same theory. Acupuncture uses needles, acupressure uses the fingers to apply pressure. They can be and frequently are used simultaneously.
By definition, AcuPUNCTURE uses needles that are inserted into the skin, whereas AcuPRESSURE neither uses a needle nor penetrates the skin. The pressure is done with fingers, palms, elbow, etc. Both use the same "acupoints" but in different ways. They can be used together or done separately.

Acupressure and Acupuncture both help balance the body's energy system, the acupuncture is more invasive by definition (because it penetrates the skin) and more can be done with the acupuncture i.e. moxa on needle, needle techniques to manipulate deeper or more releasing. Also, needles can be retained for a combination treatment where only a few points can be touched at a time.

One is not necessarily better than the other, it just depends on the patient and practitioner as it would for any modality.
They are two different methods to work with acupuncture points in our body. Using needles is called acupuncture, meaning you have punctured the skin. Acupressure applies to using pressure only on the point. I personally prefer acupuncture. Very tiny needles are placed on selected points for faster and better result. Thanks.
Acupressure uses stimulation of the acupuncture points either by applying pressure to a specific point or using tools such as tuning forks on specific acupuncture points. Acupuncture typically involves penetration into the skin with a sterile needle to activate the acupuncture point. If you have a fear of needles, I highly recommend acupressure or laser acupuncture.
Thank you for your question.
No, Acupuncture and Acupressure are not the same thing, however they may both be used to treat a condition. Acupuncture is done via using tiny needles to insert in Acupuncture points of the body. Acupressure on the other hand... is applying pressure to acupuncture points for period of time to stimulate the energy in the body to bring about relief of a condition. Acupuncture and Acupressure can be done at the same time, however not to the same points. The difference is Acupressure is non-invasive while Acupuncture is invasive. During Acupuncture the needle is inserted directly into the acupuncture points by puncturing the skin when applied. Acupressure can be done by anyone as long as they know the points and the indication of those points, while Acupuncture must be performed by a licensed Acupuncture physician. You can reach out to an Acupuncture Physician in your area and request a free consultation. The Physician may be able to show you the difference of both. I hope this may be of help. Good Luck!