There is nothing more stressful and annoying than a bad headache or migraine pain. It can cause difficulty thinking, working, concentrating and just resting.
Be it headache or migraine attacks, we all wish it to go away in no time. Most people reach for over-the-counter pills to relieve the pain, but they can have side effects for many.
Whenever you are plagued with an intense headache or going through a painful migraine attack, you can rely on acupressure, a traditional Chinese medicine used for thousands of years.
There are many acupressure points, which when stimulated can reduce headache pain. Believe it or not, acupressure is acupuncture without the needles.
You do not have to use all of these points to ease your headache. Using just one or two of them can solve your problem. Most importantly, you can try acupressure at home on yourself or you can get help from an expert.
Here are the top 10 acupressure points for relieving headaches and migraines.
1. Joining the Valley (L 14 or He Gu)
This acupressure point can help get rid of a headache as well as provide relief from a toothache, neck pain, shoulder pain, arthritis, constipation and hangovers.
This point is located in the web (fleshy area) between the thumb and index finger.
Using the thumb and index finger of your right hand, apply deep and firm pressure on the L 14 point of your left hand for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat with the other hand. Do as needed until the pain dissipates.
When applying acupressure, try to relax and breathe deeply.
Note: Do not press this acupressure point during pregnancy, as its stimulation can cause premature contractions in the uterus.
2. Third Eye Point (GV 24.5 or Yin Tang)
To get relief from headache, this acupressure point is also effective. It balances the pituitary gland and can even be used to treat hay fever, indigestion, ulcer pain, insomnia, fatigue, tiredness and eye strain.
This point is beneficial for improving spiritual and emotional imbalances as well.
The third eye point is located between the eyebrows, near the indentation where the bridge of the nose meets the forehead.
Close your eyes and locate the point. Apply firm yet gentle pressure with your thumb on this point for 1 minute, then release. Repeat as needed.
3. Drilling Bamboo (B2 or Bright Light)
If suffering from a headache due to stress or the common cold, use the drilling bamboo point for instant relief. This point also relieves vertigo, poor night vision, lazy eye and hay fever.
Stimulation of this point is highly beneficial for people suffering from sinus trouble and poor eye sight.
The drilling bamboo point is located where the bridge of your nose meets your eye socket and precisely just below the eyebrows. In fact, the distance between the third eye point and the drilling bamboo points are about 1 centimeter on both sides.
Using the tip of both your index fingers, apply pressure to both points at the same time for at least a minute, while taking deep breaths. If you want, you can even stimulate each point separately, but be sure to do it for 1 minute on each side.
4. Bigger Rushing (LV 3 or Great Surge)
The bigger rushing acupressure point is also effective. Apart from headache and migraine pain, stimulation of this point can provide relief from foot cramps, eye fatigue, hangovers, allergies and arthritis pain. It is even good for people having poor concentration and fatigue.
This point is located on the top of the foot, just near the valley between the big toe and second toe. It is about 1 or 1.5 inches back from the toes.
Sit comfortably and put your right foot up on your left thigh. Using your thumb, put pressure on the bigger rushing point for a couple of minutes. Repeat with the other foot. Continue the cycle 2 or 3 more times.
5. Above Tears (GB 41 or Zu Lin Qi)
To get relief from migraine pain instantly, the above tears point is also helpful. It can also provide relief from hip pain, shoulder tension, arthritis pain, water retention and sciatica problems. It even clears the head and benefits the eyes.
This acupressure point is located on the top of the foot, about an inch behind the webbing of the fourth and fifth toes, just at the groove between the bones.
Locate this point and apply firm yet gentle pressure with your thumb for a minute on each foot. While stimulating these points, it is important to breathe deeply.
6. Wind Mansion (GV 16 or Feng Fu)
The wind mansion acupressure point helps with migraines as well as neck stiffness and mental stress. It even helps deal with dizziness, throat swelling, earaches, eye pain and nose bleeding.
This point is located in the center of the back of your head, at the midpoint between your ears and just above the top of your spine.
Slightly tilt your head back and locate this point by finding the hollow under the base of the skull. Using your thumb, gently press at the point while pushing slightly upward for a couple of minutes. Also, apply pressure around the edges of the hollow.
7. Facial Beauty (ST 3 or Stomach)
This acupressure point is used to reduce migraines as well as combat head congestion, burning eyes, eye fatigue, and sinus and nasal blockages.
As the name suggests, it can also improve acne, skin blemishes, facial swelling and a poor complexion. It even help tone facial muscles and improve circulation.
This point is located under the cheek bone, about 2 to 3 finger-widths right under the middle of each eye.
Locate these points on both sides with your index fingers and apply firm pressure for about a minute. Make sure to breathe deeply while stimulating these points.
8. Shoulder Well (GB 21 or Jian Jing)
Another pressure point that helps in treating headache as well as migraine pain is shoulder well. Stimulating this point will also reduce neck stiffness, neck pain and shoulder pain, and help treat nervousness, irritability, muscle spasms and asthma.
This acupressure point is located on your shoulder, precisely halfway between the base of your neck and the outer point of your shoulder. It is about 1 or 2 inches out from the side of the lower neck.
Locate these points on both sides of your shoulders and use your thumb or any of the fingers to apply downward pressure to stimulate the points. Do it for 4 or 5 seconds, release for a few seconds and repeat again.
Note: Pregnant women should press lightly on this point as it may induce labor pain.
9. Heavenly Pillar (B 10 or Tianzhu)
This is a pair of acupressure points that are excellent for reducing headache and migraine pain. By stimulating these points, you can even reduce stress, anxiety, exhaustion, heaviness in the head, neck pain and stiffness, insomnia and eye strain.
Heavenly pillar is also effective at treating thyroid imbalance.
These points are located ½ inch below the base of the skull, on the muscles located ½ inch outward from the spine.
Locate these points and firmly apply pressure with your thumbs or index fingers for a couple of minutes, while breathing deeply.
10. Gates of Consciousness (GB 20 or Feng Chi)
Gates of consciousness is a combination of two acupressure points that have many profound health benefits.
These points can provide relief from headaches, tension, sinus issues, neck pain, irritability and depression. Stimulation of these points even regulates circulation to the brain and is good for the overall immune system.
These points are located on each side of the spine at the base of the skull, in the hollow between the two vertical neck muscles. These points are approximately 4 finger widths apart.
Locate these points with your thumbs. Slowly tilt your head back as you gradually press these points, while taking long, deep breaths. Press these points for about 1 minute, a few times a day.