Glossary of Acupressure Terms

Acupressure: An ancient healing art that uses finger pressure on the Acupuncture Points and Meridians to release muscular pain and tension and to increase circulation.

Acupressure Points: Places on the body along a Meridian that have high levels of electrical conductivity. See Pressure Points

Acupuncture: A method of Chinese medicine in which fine needles are inserted into the body at key points along the Meridians to relieve pain and treat various ailments.

Acu-Yoga: An integration of Acupressure and Yoga that uses full-body postures along with deep breathing to stretch the muscles, open the Meridians, and stimulate the Acupressure Points, for self-healing.

Affirmations: Positive statements that validate different aspects of oneself and of life, said aloud or silently. Affirmations reinforce the power of positive thinking and can be used to enhance the benefits of Acupressure.

Arthritis: Joint inflammation that causes pain and often limits the range of motion.

Blockage: Congestion of an area of the body that may cause it to ache, be tense, or feel numb.

Breath Visualization: Using the power of concentration and relaxation to direct long, deep breaths into specific areas of the body for healing.

Centering: Focusing attention to enhance awareness of the body in the present moment.

Cervical Vertebrae: The seven spinal bones in the neck.

Chakra: An series of energy centers, associated with the major nerve plexuses of the body.

Chi: The Chinese term for the vital life energy that circulates through pathways called Meridians. See Ki and Qi

Chronic Tension: A condition where a muscle is contracted over a period of time.

Coccyx: The last vertebra bone, located at the base of the spine.

Distal Points: Acupressure Points located at a distance from the area they benefit. See Local Points

Holistic: A perspective that the body, emotions, mind, and spirit are interconnected and affect each other. Also the idea that all aspects of life are unified and connected.

Homeostasis: The state of equilibrium or balance within the body.

Impotence: Lacking in physical strength or the inability to engage in sexual intercourse.

Intuition: The inner guidance of meaningful thoughts and impressions. An inner knowingness.

Lateral: Toward the side of the body. See Medial

Life Force: The vital energy contained in all things that circulates through the meridians.

Local Points: Acupressure points located in the area they benefit. See Distal Points.

Lumbar Vertebrae: The last five bones on the lower back above the base of the spine.

Medial: Toward the center of the body.

Meditation: Focusing attention to develop the spiritual capabilities of the mind.

Meridian: Human energy pathways that connect the various acupressure and acupuncture points and the internal organs.


Standard Meridian Abbreviations:

















Large Intestine


Triple Warmer


Small Intestine


Conception Vessel






Governing Vessel

Extra Point


Metatarsals: The bones between the ankle and toes, on the top of the foot.

Pressure Points: Places on the body along a meridian with high levels of electrical conductivity.

Referred Pain: Pain generated in one area of the body, but felt in another.

Sacrum: The flat triangular bone in the lower back at the base of the spine.

Sacroiliac joints: The two places in the lower back where the sacrum joins the hipbones.

Shiatsu: A Japanese style of acupressure using firm finger pressure on points along the meridians.

Thoracic Vertebrae: The twelve spinal vertebrae below the neck in the upper and middle back.

Trigger Point: Same as an acupressure point; specific body locations that, when pressed with the fingers, relieve tension, pain, or pressure.


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