I get asked this a lot by my patients. Actually it is very simple. What these 2 modalities have in common is that they both are stimulating acupuncture points. Acupuncture points are just places on the body that have been found to have healing properties. These points were mapped out over thousands of years by the Chinese and continue to be added to and modified to this day. The main difference between acupuncture and acupressure is that the stimulation by the needles is usually much stronger. Another difference is that with acupuncture many needles can be stimulated simultaneously and this can give a more complete treatment. With acupressure only one point at a time is being stimulated so generally less points will come into play in an acupressure session. But there are many acupuncture points that can be pressed on at home that will yield good results. You will just get better results in an acupuncture clinic where several points can be combined to make a stronger treatment.
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond