Acupressure Treatment for Low Back Pain

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Acupressure Series

This is the second title in our acupressure series, which focuses on the common complaint of low back pain.


Learn how acupressure can help relieve low back pain and add to the therapist’s toolkit of therapeutic techniques.


Low back pain is a common reason for patients to seek treatment. However, low back pain can have a variety of causes and involve many areas of the body. Explore the Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine approaches to understanding and treating low back pain.

Learn how to assess low back pain for acupressure, and how to integrate acupressure into a manual therapy treatment plan.

Practitioners will become familiar with acupressure techniques to activate Meridian channels and the most common local and compensatory acupressure points to integrate into the treatment of low back pain.


In this course, you will:

  • Become familiar with professional responsibilities associated with incorporating a complementary modality into clinical practice.
  • Understand common causes of low back pain.
  • Discover how other professions approach the treatment of low back pain.
  • Examine and compare the Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine approaches to treating low back pain.
  • Learn how to assess low back pain and create a treatment plan that includes acupressure.
  • Explore the most common compensatory areas and their relationship to the low back, both anatomically and via Meridian channels.
  • Study the most common acupressure points for relieving low back pain, both in the low back and in compensatory areas.
  • Integrate knowledge and practice by examining a case study with a sample acupressure treatment plan.

Dexterity Professional Development submits courses for approval to regulatory colleges and associations across Canada. Timelines vary and courses are submitted on a rolling basis. As approvals are granted, this section is updated. Remember to check back often!

Under the CMTO’s new Quality Assurance Program (STRiVE), courses are no longer granted approval by the CMTO. It is up to the learner to demonstrate that a course is relevant to their learning goals and the STRiVE competencies. We have provided the description below to help the learner link the course to the STRiVE competencies. A course is often related to more STRiVE competencies than those listed.

The competencies below are established in the CMTO continuing education guidelines. This course addresses the competencies in many ways, including those described below.

Work within areas of personal knowledge and skills. This course provides the RMT with the opportunity to learn and become competent in a complementary modality that can be integrated into a massage therapy treatment. This knowledge involves recognizing where the use of this modality is appropriate, and how to use this within the parameters of the RMT’s scope of practice. Additionally, the course highlights high-risk conditions where the limits of the RMT’s scope of practice are reached, indicating the need to refer a patient to a medical doctor and/or collaborate with other medical professionals.

Function in a client-centred manner. This course reinforces the importance of the pre-treatment assessment in a low back pain acupressure treatment, particularly because low back pain may be indicative of more serious underlying conditions. Various presentations and causes of low back pain are covered in-depth to enable the RMT to select the appropriate treatment, make treatment modifications as necessary, and provide education to the patient.

Communicate effectively. This course provides the RMT with the tools needed to communicate effectively with pregnant clients. This will allow them to understand common symptom presentations, which will therefore allow the therapist to modify their treatment appropriately.

Use an evidence-informed approach in your work. This course was developed based on current evidence and research by an RMT experienced in manual therapy and acupressure. The Dexterity PD promise is to evaluate every course on a biannual basis to ensure any developments or changes in the profession are reflected in course content. Thus, RMTs who take this course and adopt its recommendations can be assured that they are practicing in a manner consistent with current developments. A resource list is included in the downloadable guide to every course so that RMTs can conduct further research and/or confirm course findings. Any treatment recommendations are based on this research and the opinion and experience of the RMT who developed the course. All course content and recommendations have been evaluated by two additional RMTs to affirm the accuracy of the content.

Practice in a self-reflective manner. This course enables the RMT to add the advanced complementary modality of acupressure for the treatment of low back pain to their reservoir of techniques. The RMT that takes this course has reflected upon their practice and their decisions and recognizes where knowledge should be enhanced. Through taking this course, the RMT draws on external information to achieve continuous learning and quality improvement.





Takayoshi Munemoto

M.A., RMT, R.Ac., CLT

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