Acupressure is a form of Chinese medicine that entails applying force to pressure points on the body with fingers to naturally help balance and heal the mind and body. It is commonly employed by massage therapists, acupuncturists, and other practitioners of holistic healing.
While there are no formal certificate or degree programs in acupressure, there are for-profit institutions that provide basic distance learning training. Students usually complete anywhere between one and ten courses and are awarded a diploma or certificate of completion when they finish. Online courses in this field may also count as continuing education hours for recertification for massage therapists.
Students who are looking for a more formal degree option may consider an online graduate certificate in integrative medicine. While not focused specifically on acupressure, these programs take a similar holistic approach to healing, emphasizing the relationships between physical, mental and spiritual health.
Online Training Program
Although online training programs in acupressure are uncommon, there are for-profit organizations that offer ten-course programs that result in a diploma or certificate of completion. In general, there are no educational requirements for enrollment. In total, students can expect to spend about 150 hours completing coursework. Common course topics include the following classes:
- Eastern and Western approaches to health
- Acupressure techniques, treatments, and therapy
- Emergency acupressure
- Alternatives to acupressure
- Acupressure points
- Human energy field
Standalone Acupressure Training
Another option is to take a standalone distance learning acupressure course, which provides a basic introduction to the field. Massage therapists may enroll in these courses in order to expand their knowledge and skills in the realm of Eastern medicine. It may also be possible to apply these credits for continuing education requirements. Credits may be accepted by state boards, as well as the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP). Students are also awarded a certificate of completion.
Students who enroll in these courses can expect to study some of the following topics:
- Definition of acupressure and Qi
- Benefits of acupressure
- Acupressure points and body meridians
- Acupressure treatment plan design
- Where to find further education in the field
Graduate Certificate in Integrative Medicine or Holistic Health and Wellness
Graduate certificate programs in integrative medicine or holistic health and wellness, which emphasize general holistic healing and less hands-on naturopathic techniques, may be easier to find in distance-learning formats. Integrative medicine programs are aimed at healthcare professionals, such as physicians, who want to advance their knowledge in the field. Holistic health and wellness programs appeal to professionals in a broader range of fields, including social work, psychology, theology and education. The minimum admissions requirement is a bachelor's degree.
Students who are open to a combination of online and on-campus learning may be able to take acupressure courses on-campus while completing other naturopathic healing courses online. Common course topics of online classes related to holistic health include:
- Life coaching
- Relaxation therapy
- Applications of integrative medicine in clinical practice
Many of the individuals who seek acupressure training are massage therapists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for massage therapists was $38,040. Employment is this field is expected to grow 22% between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than the national average.
Graduate certificate programs in integrative medicine often appeal to workers in the healthcare field. Job growth for health diagnosing and treating practitioners is expected to grow by 17% between 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary for these professionals was $76,760.
While there are no formal certificate programs for individuals looking for an introduction to acupressure, students can find single- and multi-course training programs from for-profit education organizations. Alternatively, professionals in a wide range of industries may benefit from a graduate certificate in integrative medicine or holistic health and wellness.