Acupress is a natural topical pain reliever that claims to be based on thousands of years of Eastern medicine knowledge and is acupuncture with the needle.
The product is an As Seen on TV medicine that’s only available by calling 800-831-7954 or going to Acupress.com.
The Acupress website features a video in which multiple people give testimonials and/or their opinions about using a natural pain reliever. The video shows a dancer, mom and golfer talking about how Acupress relieves their pain and is easy to use.
“My hands used to hurt so much after working my dog and after Acupress, the pain’s gone,” a woman in the video says.
In this review, we’ll discuss how Acupress works and what its ingredients are, talk about the science behind the ingredients, then discuss how much it costs.
How Acupress Works
The Acupress pain applicator is a plastic cylinder with an applicator that you press on your skin, causing the applicator to dispense a mixture of the following ingredients:
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Purified water
- Centella Asiatica extract
- Ginkgo biloba
- Monogina fruit extract
- Rosemary leaf extract
According to the product’s website, this mix of ingredients can help relieve pain in joints, muscles and your back, as well as pain from arthritis.
Various testimonials featured on the site say it’s a mess-free, non-greasy way to apply pain relief medication.
When you buy this product, the company will also send a book and a bottle of AcuBath, a solution you mix with bathwater that they claim can open up “meridians”, a term used by Eastern medicine that refers to areas of the body where energy enters and exits.
The book you get is an information guide to using Acupress and, based on what we’ve seen, offers advice about acupuncture and how you can apply the principles of that practice to your use of Acupress.
Whether or not this product works for you has a lot to do with two things: your particular health situation and the effectiveness of the ingredients in Acupress.
Pro tip: The website does not say how long one container of Acupress lasts.
Do Acupress’ Natural Ingredients Relieve Pain?
Perhaps the most recognizable ingredient in Acupress is ginkgo biloba, which refers to an ingredient taken from the gingko biloba. The ingredient is a popular one in supplements, with many manufacturers claiming it can increase your memory.
We turned to WebMD to research the ingredient’s effectiveness for pain relief and found that the site does not list “pain relief” as a condition for which gingko biloba is effective.
WebMD says that research shows the gingko could help with things like anxiety, Alzheimer’s-related dementia, glaucoma-related vision loss and several other conditions.
However, there was no mention of gingko’s effectiveness with muscle pain, joint pain and arthritis.
We checked other ingredients with WebMD and found that the site says there is insufficient evidence for both Centella Asiatica (also known as “goto kola”) and calendula as it relates to a variety of conditions. The site did not list “pain relief” as an arena in which the ingredients are effective.
An archived WebMD article about ascophyllum, or seaweed, notes that it can help fight arthritis. However, these comments came in the context of eating seaweed, not applying it to your skin.
In general, WebMD did not mention the effectiveness of any of the ingredients when used on the skin as opposed via an oral medication.
Acupress’ Cost and Return Policy
One tube of Acupress was $19.95 at the time of publishing. Shipping is free and, as we mentioned earlier, the company will throw in a bottle of AcuBath and a book along with your Acupress order.
The product’s return policy is a 30-day unconditional guarantee, through which you can return an empty bottle and get a refund, minus any money you’ve paid for shipping. If you received AcuBath and the Acupress book with your order, you don’t have to send them back.
How Acupress Compares to Other Topical Pain Relievers
We did some research on other topical pain relievers similar to Acupress and found a pair of them on walmart.com: Outback All-Natural Pain Relief and Capzasin Quick Relief Gel.
Outback utilizes eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil, and costs $19.95 for a 1.69 oz. Bottle. According to the back label, the product claims to relieve pain and reduce inflammation and muscle pain “for up to 4-6 hours.”
Capzasin’s ingredients include capsaicin and menthol. Capsaicin is the component in peppers that make them spicy. Based on these two ingredients, it seems as though this medicine serves to heat the area to which you apply it much in the same way IcyHot or BenGay does.
These three topical treatments share one thing in common: none of them use traditional pain relievers like acetaminophen to relieve pain. In that sense, they don’t solve the issues behind the problem, but they override your feeling of pain, says Rafael Salazar, an occupational therapist and owner of Georgia-based Rehab Solutions.
“For the most part, over-the-counter topical pain relievers are effective for one main reason: They introduce a novel sensory stimulus to the area of the body in pain,” he told us. “Menthol isn’t a pain reliever, but when it is applied on the skin, it causes the skin to feel that cool/burn sensation. This sensation ‘overrides’ the nerves sending pain signals, causing a relief I the pain.”
In general, we think that Acupress is most comparable to Outback because they both use natural ingredients and they both cost around the same amount of money. However, based on our simple analysis, we believe it may be better for your wallet to try Capzasin and see how it works, as a tube is half the price of Acupress and Outback.
Our Final Thoughts About Acupress
Based on our analysis of this product, we think it could be a great fit for someone who wants to use a pain reliever that uses natural ingredients to relieve pain, or those who are exploring Eastern medicine and want to know what a modern-day OTC product influenced by Eastern medicine looks like.
Also, we think this could be a good option for someone who typically uses pain-relief ointments they have to apply with their hands.
As we consider what you may not like about the product, we’d say that the price tag would be one of the drawbacks. Capzasin is just one of several different topical treatments that you can apply without getting your hands slathered in the medicine.
Also, the research we looked at didn’t say that the ingredients in Acupress have been proven to relieve pain via a topical application. At the time of publishing, we could not find any customer reviews that confirmed or denied Acupress’ ability to effectively relieve pain.