Relieving tension, stress and pain is literally in your hands. To relieve headaches you just need to follow our in-house guide.
Do acupressure exercises to relieve your headaches
There is nothing like a throbbing headache to ruin your day. But instead of having the reflex to take a pill, you might actually be helping your body heal itself. In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and acupressure have been used for pain management for thousands of years, and it appears that Western science is beginning to adopt this approach as well. “Science is increasingly showing that stimulating certain pressure points can affect nerve fibers in the brain as well as the peripheral nervous system,” said Paul Robison, acupuncturist in Washington.
A 2016 review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, for example, found that acupuncture was effective in treating patients with frequent or chronic headaches such as tension headaches. And a 2017 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that acupuncture not only helps get rid of migraines, but it can also reduce their frequency.
Acupuncture involves inserting needles along specific pathways called meridians, which can stimulate the body’s healing process. Acupressure (also acupressure or many pressure) stimulates the same points but this time using the fingers rather than the needles. “It’s a simple matter of releasing the tension and restoring balance to the body,” says Paul Robison.
Use acupressure or acupuncture to relieve headaches
Acupuncture professionals use super-fine needles to stimulate strategic points. Although acupressure is not as specific, it can help, according to Paul Robison. Either way, you will get better results if you seek professional help; They can also help you develop a personalized protocol that you can follow at home. For those looking for immediate relief, Paul Robison provides this Guide to Stimulating Pressure Points for Different Types of Headaches.
Pressure point to relieve tension headaches and jaw pain
The SI-19 pressure point (short for Small Intestine Meridian Point 19) is located in each ear. Massaging this sore spot not only relieves tension headaches and jaw pain, it can also help treat tinnitus and toothache.
- Starting at the tragus in your left ear – a small piece of cartilage in the center of the outer ear – move your index finger about an inch from your nose.
- As you open and close your mouth, you should feel a slight hollow. Place your index, middle, and ring fingers there and massage in small anti-clockwise rotations for about 30 seconds.
- Slowly move your fingers along the jawline.
- Repeat from the right ear.
Pressure point to relieve tension headache type headaches
Often caused by stress and nervous tension, pain in the top of the head is the most common type of headache. Massaging the DU-20 point (known as the crossroads of all meridians and also translating to “convergence”) can help relieve the kind of dull ache usually associated with the feeling of tightness in the skull.
- Squeeze your middle and middle fingers on the highest point at the top of your head.
- Using very small rotations with your fingers, slowly work your way down either side of your skull towards your ears.
- Repeat as needed.
Pressure points to relieve headache due to eye strain
These types of headaches are very rare, which is surprising considering that they are directly related to eye strain. Two points are stimulated to relieve pain, which is usually concentrated on both sides of the forehead: Yuyao, in the middle of the browbone in a hollow just above the pupil, and UB-2, located directly above from the inner corner of the eye.
- Using the tips of your index fingers, squeeze the middle of your eyebrows for a minute, then release.
- Still using the tips of your index fingers, press the small hollow at the inner corners of your eyebrows.
- Exert constant pressure in small rotations for a minute, then release. Repeat three or four times.
Pressure points to relieve headache from sinusitis
Pain located above the nasal area caused by a headache due to sinusitis is often caused by an acute infection, which can block the sinus ducts and prevent normal drainage. In this case, you will need antibiotics or a decongestant to get rid of the infection. In the meantime, you can help relieve the pain by massaging two points: LI-20 (short for point 20 of the large intestine meridian), located next to the nostrils, and DU-24, located just below the bone. of the skull at the level of the hollow of the top of the neck.
- With your thumb and forefinger, press on either side of the bridge of your nose.
- Hold for one to two minutes. Repeat three times.
- Using your two index fingers, press point DU-24.
- Using very small rotations, slowly move your fingers on either side of your skull towards your ears.
The pressure point for general headache relief
Not all pressure points that relieve headache pain are located on the head. The LI-4 point (also called Hegu) is between the base of your thumb and your index finger. Applying pressure to this area can relieve pain and headaches. This is because “the meridians are energy flowways in the body,” says Paul Robison. You can treat pain by going to either end of these pathways.
- Form an L with your left hand.
- Using your thumb and index finger of your right hand, squeeze where the two feet of the L meet.
- Rotate your thumb while exerting pressure for five minutes. Be firm, but don’t push enough to make it hurt.
- Repeat with the right hand. Warning to pregnant women: It might be better to avoid stimulating this pressure point as it could induce labor.
Pressure point to relieve headaches in the temples
People instinctively massage their temples – or the GB-1 point of the gallbladder meridian – when they are stressed, according to Paul Robison.
- Place your index fingers in the slight hollow on either side of your head, behind your eyes between your forehead and your ears.
- Massage gently in a firm circular motion for 30 seconds, then gradually release the pressure. Paul Robison suggests moving from the top to the front of your pain is due to lack of sleep or prolonged screen time and moving from the back to the bottom of the pain is caused by physical exertion.
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