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Headache Pressure Points That Can Help Relieve Pain

Headache Pressure Points That Can Help Relieve Pain

Headaches are a problem that millions of people worldwide struggle with. And while most people either use medication or just bear the pain, some look to alternative medicine; specifically the use of headache pressure points.

Just how effective is this method, and is there any scientific basis for the claims of helping relieve pain? Let’s find out.

Acupressure: All You Need to Know

What are Headache Pressure Points?

Before we discuss what headache pressure points are, we first need to talk about pressure points in general.

In alternative medicine, specifically acupressure, pressure points are points in the body that can help relieve tension and promotes circulation. It is similar to acupuncture in that both forms of alternative medicine focus on certain points in the body.

The only difference is with acupuncture, a practitioner uses needles, while in acupressure, applying pressure to these points is enough.

What this means is that if you have an idea of where the pressure points are, and how to do it, you can perform acupressure at home. Proponents of acupressure tout it as an effective way of relieving pain, stress, as well as other health problems.

How Does it Work?

The theory behind acupressure is that you apply pressure to these points in order to release tension and promote circulation. This action of removing tension and improving blood circulation is said to help alleviate pain, relax tired muscles, and lower overall stress levels.

The origins of acupressure itself are rooted in traditional Chinese medicine or TCM. In TCM, it is believed that the pressure points are places in the body where energy, or “qi” would flow. Practitioners believe that by applying pressure, such as with acupressure, or by using needles, as in acupuncture, the flow of qi can be redirected or changed.

While the existence of qi has yet to be proven in modern medicine, there has been constant scientific interest with regard to acupuncture and acupressure.

Acupuncture: All You Need to Know

How effective are they?

One study showed that there is some improvement to headache pain when patients underwent acupressure therapy. Based on the results of the study, a one-month treatment of acupressure gave better results compared to muscle relaxants. In addition, the effects of acupressure persisted for as long as six months in some participants.

In a separate study, researchers looked at the effects of massage on pain, which included headaches. The results showed that massage can potentially be used as therapy for pain. Though, one caveat of the study was a very small sample size.

Admittedly, more studies need to be conducted with regard to the effectiveness of acupressure. However, it might be worth trying because acupressure has very few side effects, especially when compared with over-the-counter medication.

It is worth noting that before you undergo such therapies, it would be best to talk to your doctor about it.

headache pressure points

What Headache Pressure Points Can Relieve Pain?

Before you try out these headache pressure points, it’s important to remember that acupressure should never be painful. If you feel any pain, or even numbness while doing acupressure, it would be a good idea to stop, since it might cause problems.

To utilize these pressure points, all you need to do is use your fingers, and press firmly on these points.

Hegu

This is located right at the base of the thumb and index finger of your left hand. Using your right thumb and index finger, apply firm pressure for 5 minutes. You can also gently rotate your thumb as you do this. It should feel firm, but not painful.

Afterward, repeat the process on your other hand.

Zhongzu

This point is located in between the base of your pinky finger and your ring finger. Apply pressure here similarly to the Hegu pressure point, using your thumb and index finger.

Again, applying pressure to this part of your hand should not feel painful. Afterward, repeat the process once again on your other hand.

Key Takeaways

Acupressure can be an effective way of dealing with headaches and pain. But it is important to know that it has not yet been scientifically proven. Despite this, there is no harm in trying out acupressure on headache pressure points yourself, so long as you seek your doctor’s advice first.

Learn more about Headaches and Migraines here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Acupressure Points for Neck Pain and Headache • Explore Integrative Medicine, https://exploreim.ucla.edu/video/acupressure-points-for-neck-pain-and-headache/, Accessed March 10, 2021

Traditional Chinese Medicine: What You Need To Know | NCCIH, https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/traditional-chinese-medicine-what-you-need-to-know, Accessed March 10, 2021

Acupressure for Pain and Headaches | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/acupressure-pain-and-headaches, Accessed March 10, 2021

Effect of acupressure and trigger points in treating headache: a randomized controlled trial – PubMed, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20128040/, Accessed March 10, 2021

Massage Therapy and Frequency of Chronic Tension Headaches, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447303/, Accessed March 10, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jun 03
Medically reviewed by Nicole Aliling, M.D.