Acupressure and Acupressure Bands and Seeds

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What is acupressure?

Acupressure is a technique where pressure is applied to specific points (acupoints) on the body. This technique uses tools such as acupressure bands, seeds, or fingers. Acupuncture needles are not used. Acupressure does not break the skin.  

What are acupoints?

Acupoints are specific points on the body. When we press on these points, it helps to promote the free flow of the body’s energy (qi, pronounced “Chee”) to improve health and healing. There are over 365 acupoints on the body and about 200 on the ear.

What do you use for acupressure?

  • Acupressure - Acupressure can also be done using fingers Acupressure bands
  • Acupressure seeds
  • Acupressure can also be done using fingers

Why are acupressure bands and seeds used?

Acupressure bands and seeds are tools used to stimulate acupoints. They can be left in place longer than acupuncture needles. They apply a gentle constant pressure and do not break the skin. The patient or parent can stimulate the qi by using light to firm finger pressure at the acupoint.

Benefits of acupressure may include:

  • Relaxation
  • Improve quality of sleep
  • Assist with digestion
  • Relief from a headache  
  • Decrease fatigue

Acupressure Bands

What are acupressure bands?

Acupressure - What are acupressure bands? Acupressure bands are made of fabric and have a plastic bead sewn in to help with nausea and sometimes anxiety. They are placed on a wrist point. You and your child will be instructed on how to place the bands properly.

How long can the bands stay in place?

We recommend that the bands be removed at least every 6 to 8 hours to give the point a rest. They can be removed at any time and replaced as needed. Consider removing the bands if they become too tight, uncomfortable, the skin becomes irritated, or if they are no longer needed.

Do acupressure bands need cleaning?

Yes. They should be cleaned at least once per week. Clean your bands more often as needed. Wash your bands if they become wet or soiled. They should be laundered like other personal items. It is recommended to place them in a bag for washing. Bands should be replaced after 6 months.

Acupressure Seeds

What are acupressure seeds?

They are small seeds that are attached to a piece of tape and then placed on an acupoint on the body. Some seeds are from the Vaccaria plant others are made of metal, plastic, or crystal.

How long can acupressure seeds remain on the body or ear?

The seeds can remain in place for 2 to 3 days. After 3 days, they need to be removed. If your child has discomfort or skin irritation, remove the seeds immediately.

Do acupressure seeds hurt?

No. Most children do not feel them. Others may experience pressure as pain. They may not like the feeling of the tape on their skin. In this case, the seeds can be removed immediately.

Are acupressure seeds safe?

Acupressure seeds are safe when placed by a trained healthcare provider. If they fall off before 3 days, do not worry. If you have questions or concerns, contact the acupuncturist. If the seed falls into the ear, contact your child’s healthcare provider.

Are there any side effects of acupressure seeds?

Children may perceive the seeds as being painful; they can be removed. If your child has a skin reaction to the seeds, remove them immediately and contact your child’s healthcare provider.

Who can provide acupressure?

Only trained individuals can perform acupressure at CHOP.

Does acupressure replace medical care?

Acupressure does not replace medical care. Our staff can suggest ways to include acupressure in your child’s plan of care. If you have questions or concerns, or the seed falls into the ear, contact your child’s healthcare provider.

Additional resources

November 2022