A headache, which is medically referred to as cephalalgia, is one of the most common ailments that affects people of all age groups. It could either be a symptom of a medical condition, or may occur due to reasons ranging from poor dietary habits, stress, muscular tension to use of certain drugs.
While mild headaches may sometimes resolve on their own, drug therapy may be required for the ones that are severe. Besides drug therapy, there are also alternative healing therapies that may prove beneficial for treating recurring headaches. Acupressure is one such healing therapy that involves application of pressure on certain spots on the body. The stimulation of these pressure points is believed to restore balance and alleviate symptoms of various ailments.
Acupressure for Headaches
The acupressure technique involves the usage of two fingers, and application of gentle pressure on specific points to reduce the pain. It can be slightly uncomfortable but should not be painful.
This point lies in the depression which is at the base of your skull. Run your fingers from the center point of the back of your neck to past the first large muscle you can sense. Press slightly upwards and inwards until you feel a tender point. Then massage by moving your fingers in a circular motion. This point is on the gallbladder meridian, and is called Wind Pool (English) and Feng Chi (Chinese). It can also be used for blurred vision & other eye problems, fever, dizziness.
This point is located on the gallbladder meridian, at the base of the neck and at the highest points of the shoulders on either side of the body. Apply gentle pressure to this point for about a minute to the place where it is most tender. Also called Shoulder Well (English) and Jian Jing (Chinese), this point proves to be effective for dizziness, and for chest-related problems such as asthma and cough as well. It can also be used for neck lumps, swollen lymph nodes, retained placenta.
Called Union Valley in English and He Gu in Chinese, this pressure point is located between the thumb and the index finger, and in medical terms, is situated on the radial side between the first and the second metacarpal bones. Massaging the point in a circular motion reduces the headache (often headaches in the frontal portion). Apart from curing headaches, this point also helps in building up the immunity of a person. It can also be used for hay fever, toothache, retained placenta.
'The Great Surge', LV3, or Tai Chong in Chinese, is located between the big toe and first toe, on top of the foot, that is, the point between the first and the second metatarsal bones. Find a depression, as shown, and massage over the point in small circular motions. This point is also called the Calming Point and when teamed up with the LI4 acupressure point, improves the blood circulation in the body further helping in reducing the headache and also shortness of breath. It can also be used for vomiting, nausea, blurred vision.
Other Points for Headache Relief
Besides the acupressure points mentioned above, there are some other areas on the body, especially the head, that can be stimulated by a massage to provide quick relief from a headache. Here are a couple you can try if the above fail to give you respite from the headache.
Temples and Back of the Head
Feel your temples with your thumbs and gently massage them. Massage clockwise for around 20 seconds to a minute. Don't forget to breathe steadily. Applying gentle pressure to the depression located at the base of your skull and above your neck will also prove beneficial.
Though there are a few more pressure points, the aforementioned points are not only the easiest to locate, but are also quite effective. Remember, pregnant women should not use the LI4 and GB21 pressure points as they may cause uterine contractions. Those who have been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition should first consult their health care provider because acupressure may be contraindicated in some cases. In any case, acupressure points should be practiced under strict supervision and guidance of a certified acupressure practitioner.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.