8 Pressure points to relieve your headache

A middle aged man massaging acupoints on his temples to relieve his headache

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Do you have a headache? If so, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from headaches regularly. In some cases, over-the-counter medication can help relieve the pain. But what if you don’t have any medication handy? Or what if the headache is not responding to over-the-counter medication to help relieve symptoms? In that case, you might like to try pressure points for headaches.

Pressure points for headaches or acupressure therapy are often used with other chiropractic treatments, such as adjustments to provide a comprehensive approach to care. There is limited scientific evidence to support the efficacy of acupressure; however, many people who have received treatment from a chiropractor report feeling relief from their headache symptoms.

This blog post will help you determine if acupressure therapy might be helpful for you and explores eight pressure points for headaches believed to help provide relief. Many more acupressure points may help with headaches, but the eight here are an excellent starting point.

Is an acupressure chiropractor right for you?

Acupressure is an ancient form of healing used for centuries in the Bharatiya (Indian) method and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The idea behind acupressure is that there are points on the body, called acupoints, that correspond to specific organs and systems. You can encourage the body to heal by applying pressure to these points.

Today, acupressure is a complementary therapy to traditional Western medicine. If you’re considering whether or not an acupressure chiropractor is right for you, you should keep a few things in mind.

First, acupressure is not a replacement for traditional medical care. However, acupressure may be worth considering if you’re looking for a natural way to relieve pain or stress. If you have a severe medical condition, you should always consult with your doctor first.

Second, not all acupressure practitioners are created equal. Make sure to research any practitioner you’re considering seeing to ensure they have the required training and experience.

Finally, there are potential risks involved with any manipulation therapy. Before beginning treatment, discuss your concerns with your chiropractor or general practitioner.

What are acupoints?

Acupoints are specific areas on the body that are believed to be connected to other parts of the body by energy channels. Stimulating acupoints is thought to promote healing and balance in the body. 

There are various ways to stimulate acupoints, including massage, pressure with the hands or fingers, and tools such as beads or balls.

There are 361 acupoints on the human body, often used in conjunction with acupuncture. However, whereas acupuncture involves the insertion of needles, acupressure uses pressure and massage. This makes it a less invasive option for those uncomfortable with needles.

Is acupressure the same as acupuncture?

Acupressure is more people-compliant than acupuncture due to its non-invasive and needle-free nature. Additionally, acupressure is more compatible with pharmacotherapy than acupuncture due to its ease of self-administration.

Acupressure has been shown to play a vital role in pain restoration, psychological wellbeing, and a patient’s quality of life.

Acupressure is often used with acupuncture, and the two therapies share many similarities. However, there are some critical differences between the two. For example, acupressure is usually preferred for people who are not yet comfortable with needles or when there is a need to stimulate more delicate acupoints.

Acupressure may assist the practitioner in identifying the specific acupoints before acupuncture with a needle. In addition, acupressure is a non-invasive therapy that does not require using foreign objects, such as needles. The best part about acupressure is that it provides a gentle and emotional touch for promoting your wellbeing.

What’s the difference between acupoints and trigger points?

Acupoints are specific areas on the body that are believed to be connected to various organs and systems. Stimulating these points is thought to promote overall health and wellbeing.

Trigger points, on the other hand, are specific areas of muscle tissue that are tight and painful. They are often caused by injury or repetitive strain. While both acupressure points and trigger points can be pretty sore, only trigger points tend to cause referred pain, which is pain that radiates from the point of origin.

Stimulating an acupoint may help relieve overall tension and stress while stimulating a trigger point is more likely to relieve localised pain.

8 Acupoints that may relieve headache symptoms

Headache disorders are one of the most common nervous system disorders, and almost everyone experiences them at some point.

There are many different types of headaches, but the most common is a tension-type headache.

Tension-type headache is often associated with stress or muscle tension and can cause dull, aching pain.

In developed countries, tension-type headache is prevalent, affecting over one-third of men and over half of all women. Although it is not usually serious, tension-type headaches can be debilitating and interfere with everyday activities.

Acupressure is an ancient form of healing that uses pressure on specific points of the body to relieve pain and promote healing. Many acupressure points may help relieve headache symptoms, and the eight pressure points for headaches listed here are an excellent starting point.

1. Union Valley

Union Valley acupoint or Large Intestine 4 (LI 4) is in the webbing between your thumb and index finger. This acupoint is believed to help relieve headaches and other symptoms such as stress and fatigue. Apply pressure for a minute or two by gently pinching the webbing using your opposite hand’s thumb and index finger. You may need to repeat this several times throughout the day to get relief from your headache.

Union Valley acupoint or Large Intestine 4 (LI 4) is in the webbing between your thumb and index finger

2. Third Eye

The Third Eye acupoint, Yin Tang or Governing Vessel 24.5 (GV 24.5), is in the bridge of your nose, between your eyebrows. This pressure point may treat several conditions, including headaches, eye problems, and stress. To apply pressure to your Third Eye acupoint, use your thumb or index finger to gently massage it in a circular motion.

The Third Eye acupoint, Yin Tang or Governing Vessel 24.5 (GV 24.5), is above the bridge of your nose, between your eyebrows.

3. Drilling Bamboo

Drilling Bamboo acupoint or Urinary Bladder 2 (UB 2) is in the indentations on either side of your nose bridge where they meet the ridge of your eyebrows. To apply pressure to the acupoint, use your thumb and index finger to press in and massage the point for a few seconds. UB 2 may ease several issues, including headaches, eyestrain, and tiredness, and may also be used to relieve cold or flu symptoms.

Drilling Bamboo acupoint or Urinary Bladder 2 (UB 2) is in the indentations on either side of your nose bridge where they meet the ridge of your eyebrows.

4. Gates of Consciousness

The Gates of Consciousness or GB 20 (Gall Bladder Meridian) are pressure points on either side of the neck, just below the base of the skull. These points are traditionally used in acupressure to treat headaches, neck pain, and dizziness. Stimulating these points is thought to promote the flow of qi and relieve blockages that may cause pain or other problems. Research on the benefits of Gates of Consciousness acupoint therapy is limited, but some studies suggest that it may help treat tension headaches and neck pain.

The Gates of Consciousness or GB 20 (Gall Bladder Meridian) are pressure points on either side of the neck, just below the base of the skull

5. Taiyang

The Taiyang acupoint, also known as EX-HN5, is located on the temple, in the indentation between the outer edge of the eye and the start of the hairline. This point is commonly used to treat headaches, specifically those originating in the temples or around the eyes. To apply pressure to this point, use your index and middle fingers to massage the area in a circular motion for several minutes. You may feel a throbbing or pulsing sensation as you massage this point, which is normal. If you are experiencing a headache, applying pressure to this acupoint can help provide relief.

Taiyang acupoint, also known as EX-HN5, is located on the temple, in the indentation between the outer edge of the eye and the start of the hairline

6. Wind Mansion

The acupoint Wind Mansion or Governing Vessel 16 (GV 16) is located on the back of the neck at the hollow or concave near the centre base of your skull. This point is often used to relieve headaches, neck stiffness, and mental stress. It may also help to fight sore throat, red eyes, and other symptoms of colds and flu. Gently apply pressure to this acupoint for one to two minutes. You should feel a sense of relaxation and relief from pain. If you do not feel any relief after two minutes, move your fingers in a circular motion slightly higher or lower until you find a more sensitive spot. Once you have found the right place, maintain gentle pressure while you breathe deeply.

The acupoint Wind Mansion or Governing Vessel 16 (GV 16) is located on the back of the neck at the hollow or concave near the centre base of your skull

7. Facial Beauty

If you’re suffering from a sinus headache, you may be able to find relief by massaging the Facial Beauty or Stomach 3 (ST 3) acupoint. This pressure point is located on either side of the nose at the bottom of the cheekbone. ST 3 may also help relieve nasal congestion, sinus problems, tooth pain and eye ache. Use your index finger to apply firm pressure and make small circles to massage the point. You can also try tapping the point with your finger. Some people find it helpful to do this for several minutes, multiple times a day.

Facial Beauty or Stomach 3 (ST 3) acupoint is located on either side of the nose at the bottom of the cheekbone

8. Wind Screen

The Wind Screen or San Jiao 17 (SJ 17) acupoint is below the earlobe, in the depression between the angle of the jaw bone and the mastoid. It is used to treat symptoms of headaches, dizziness, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Wind Screen can relieve pain and tension in the head, neck, and shoulders. It is also helpful for stress relief and anxiety. To stimulate SJ 17, use your thumb or index finger to apply gentle pressure to the point for 1-2 minutes. You may feel a sense of warmth or tingling in the area. This normal response indicates that the point is being stimulated effectively.

The Wind Screen or San Jiao 17 (SJ 17) acupoint is below the earlobe, in the depression between the angle of the jaw bone and the mastoid

Summary and how your chiropractor can help

Headaches can be debilitating and frustrating. However, there are several acupoints that you can use to provide relief. In this article, we have highlighted eight acupoints that can help relieve a headache. We also explain the benefits of each point and how to stimulate them.

If you suffer from headaches, give these pressure points a try! You may find relief from your pain with regular acupressure stimulation and steady diaphragmatic breathing. However, if your headaches persist or worsen, consult a medical professional. They can help determine your headaches’ cause and recommend additional treatment options.

Headaches can be caused by various factors, including stress, tension, and poor posture. If you are suffering from headaches, your chiropractor can help to determine the cause and recommend appropriate treatment options. In addition to manual adjustments, your chiropractor may suggest lifestyle changes and exercises that can help reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches. By addressing the root cause of your headaches, your chiropractor can help you achieve long-term relief from this debilitating condition.

What are some of the pressure points that you have found to help relieve headaches? Share in the comments below!

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