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Big Think extends a warm thank you to Cogito and the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University for facilitating this interview. Steven Castellano is a senior at High[…]

The scientist explains how acupressure can alleviate pain and increase


Question: What is acupressure?


Steven Castellano: So acupressure is, it refers to I guess the gentle massaging of specific target points in the body and you could kind of do a 90 degree angle for like 3 minutes a day. It’s what I do in my study. So it’s just like a form of massaging and what is supposed to do is I guess the theory behind acupressure there’s eastern and western theory. The eastern theory is that it regulates the flow of chi it’s an internal energy, that kind of flows to the body.

It suppose to like relieve the pain and restore balance to the body whereas I guess like in more western theory is that, they have a gate control theory and if we have a pain sensation then rubbing area, itching it you’re sending another sensation down to similar nerves and then the second sensation might override the first sensation. So, I mean, there’s different theories on and how it actually work is mainly for pain relief and I believe the second part of that question was how was it different from acupuncture? It’s not too different.

Acupuncture uses needles, it’s basically the same target locations, acupuncture is probably not minimal risk whereas acupressure you’re just massaging the body so it’s a little gentler. Acupuncture affects are said to be more exaggerated. So I guess if you want to have more folks experience you go to acupuncture specialist and get the needles.


Recorded on: May 08, 2009