Migraine headaches are often described as one of the most painful experiences a person can experience. People will find it difficult to think, work, rest, and so on. You can find acupressure points yourself at home or ask a trained acupuncturist for help. If you don’t want to take medication, try using acupressure to relieve migraine pain.
Using Acupressure Points on the Face
Stimulate the Third Eye Point. Each acupressure point has a different name, some based on ancient usage, and some more modern names (which are a combination of numbers and letters). The Third Eye Point, also known as GV 24.5 helps relieve headaches and head congestion. This point is found between the eyebrows, where the bridge of the nose meets the forehead.
Press this point firmly, but gently for one minute. You can try simple or circular pressure. Try to see which one is best for you.
Try the Drilling Bamboo point . The Drilling Bamboo Point , also known as Bright Lights or B2, helps relieve headaches that are at the front of the head. These acupressure points are in the inner corners of your eyes, just above your eyelids and on the bone that surrounds your eyes.
Use the tips of both index fingers and press both points together for one minute.
You can stimulate each side separately, if you wish. Just make sure it’s one minute on each side.
Press the Welcome Fragrance point . Welcome Fragrance , also known as Welcome Perfume and LI20, helps with migraine headaches and sinus pain. This point is on the outside of each nostril, near the base of the cheekbones.
Press deeply and steadily or use circular pressure. Do it for one minute.
Manipulating Acupressure Points on the Head
Press Feng Chi . Feng Chi , aka GB20 or Gate of Consciousness, is a commonly used point for migraines. GB20 is found just under the ear. To find this point, find the two cavities on either side of the neck at the base of your skull. You can palpate with your fingers, gently grasp the skull with both hands, and place your thumbs in the cavity at the base of your neck.
Use your thumbs to massage the acupressure points with deep, steady pressure. Press for 4-5 seconds. If you know where the cavity is, try massaging it with your index or middle finger, or use your knuckles.
Relax and breathe deeply when massaging the GB20.
You can massage and press this point for up to 3 minutes.
Manipulate the dots along the temple area. The temple region has a group of dots that curve around the outer ear on your skull. The first point, the Hairline Curve , starts just above the tip of your ear. Each dot is one index finger wide from the previous point, curving down and back around the ear.
Apply pressure to each point on either side of your head. You can simply apply pressure or circular motions for one minute. Stimulate each point exactly after the previous one for best results.
The points in order from front to back are Hairline Curve, Valley Lead, Celestial Hub, Floating White , and Head Portal Yin .
Stimulate the Wind Mansion point . The Wind Mansion Point , aka GV16 helps relieve migraines, stiff necks, and mental stress. This point is in the middle of the back of your head halfway between your ears and your spine. Find the cavity under the base of the skull and press it towards the center.
Apply deep, steady pressure on the point for at least one minute.
Applying Acupressure Points to Other Body Parts
Press Heaven’s Pillar . Heaven’s Pillar is on the neck. You can find it two index finger widths below the base of your skull. Just feel it with your fingers starting at the bottom or one of the spots in the cavity. You can find this point on the muscle tissue on the side of your spine.
Apply simple or circular pressure for one minute.
He Gu point massage , or Union Valley or LI4, which is in your hands. This point is on the membrane between your thumb and index finger. Use your left hand to press the right LI4 point and your right hand to press the left LI4.
Use deep, steady pressure for at least a minute.
Try the Bigger Rushing point . The Bigger Rushing point is another point that sits between your feet, just between your big and index toes, between the bones of your feet. Start at the webbing between your toes and work your way back by an inch so you can feel between the bones of your foot to find the point.
You can apply simple or circular pressure for a minute.
It may be easier to massage your feet using your thumbs. This is a great way to stimulate these points.
Learn what acupressure really is. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupressure is an approach that utilizes various points along the 12 basic meridians. These meridians are energy pathways that are believed to carry “ qi ” or “ chi ,” the Chinese term for life energy. The basic concept in acupressure is that disease occurs when there is an obstruction in qi . Applying pressure in acupressure can open this block and restore an easy and smooth flow of qi .
Acupressure has shown benefits in treating migraine headaches in various clinical studies.
Press with proper force. When you do acupressure, you should use the right force to press. Press the point with deep, steady pressure while stimulating the acupressure point. You may feel pain or tenderness, but it is still bearable. The sensation is between pain and pleasure.
Your overall health determines the amount of pressure applied to the acupressure points.
Some pressure points will feel tense when pressed. If you feel an increase in extreme pain, reduce the pressure gradually until you feel a balance between pain and pleasure.
You should not endure pain during acupressure. If anything hurts to the point of being uncomfortable or excruciating, stop the pressure immediately.
Select the correct acupressure point press. Since acupressure requires applying pressure to acupressure points, you need to make sure you are using the right fingers to help press the acupressure points. Acupuncturists usually use their fingers to massage and stimulate acupressure points. The middle finger is best suited for pressing acupressure points because it is the longest and strongest finger. You can also use your thumb. Hard-to-reach acupressure points can be pressed with your fingernail.
Other body parts, such as the knuckles, elbows, knees, feet, or soles of the feet can also be used.
To press the acupressure points properly, press them with a blunt object. At some acupressure points, the fingertips may be too thick. You can use a pencil eraser for small dots. Also consider using avocado seeds or golf balls.
Talk to your doctor about using acupressure. You can try these acupressure points yourself or visit an acupuncturist or traditional Chinese medicine doctor. If you want to try acupressure, always tell your doctor what you are doing. These points should not interfere with any medication or other approaches your doctor recommends.
If acupressure points are proven to relieve pain, make sure you tell your doctor about this. However, see a doctor if these points do not relieve the pain.
Identify the two types of headaches. There are two basic types of headaches: primary headaches that are not due to another disorder, and secondary headaches that are caused by another disorder. Migraine is a primary headache. Other types of primary headaches include tension headaches and cluster headaches .
Secondary headaches can result from a stroke, very high blood pressure, fever, or problems in the TMJ ( temporomandibular joint ).
Recognize migraine symptoms. Migraine headaches usually occur on only one side of the head. Generally, migraines occur in the forehead or temples. The pain level ranges from moderate to severe and may be preceded by an aura. Most people with migraines are also nauseous, sensitive to light, smell, and sound. Moving usually makes the headache worse.
Aura is a temporary disturbance in the way of processing information from the environment. Auras can be visual, such as flashing light, flickering light, or light zigzagging, or detecting odors. Other auras can include numbness radiating down both arms, speech impediments, or confusion. About 25% of people with migraines also have an aura.
Migraines can be triggered by a variety of things and their triggers vary from person to person. Potential triggers include red wine, skipping meals or fasting, environmental stimuli such as flashing lights or strong smells. weather changes, lack of sleep, stress, hormonal factors, especially female menstruation, certain foods, trauma to the head including traumatic brain injury, neck pain, and TMJ dysfunction
Know when to call emergency services. Headaches should always be evaluated by a doctor. In some situations, a headache can signal an emergency. The signs of an emergency are:
Severe headache that occurs with fever and stiff neck. It is possible that you have meningitis.
Sudden severe headache ( thunderclap ). This is a sudden, severe headache that can be a symptom of a subarachnoid hemorrhage ( subarachnoid hemorrhage ), which is bleeding under the tissue that protects the brain and spinal cord.
Sensitivity to pain, sometimes along with twitching of the veins in the temples. This (especially for the elderly who are losing weight) can signal large cell arteritis.
Redness in the eyes and the appearance of a halo around light. This can signal glaucoma, which can lead to blindness if left untreated.
Severe and sudden headaches in people with cancer or a weakened immune system, such as post-transplant patients and HIV-AIDS.
See your doctor. Headaches can be a symptom of a serious condition. You should see a doctor to determine if you have a problem with a primary or secondary headache. If you have one or more of the following conditions, make sure you see your doctor today or tomorrow:
Headaches that occur with increasing frequency or severity.
Headaches that start after age 50.
Treat migraines medically. Medical treatment for migraines usually includes determining and eliminating triggers, along with stress control and treatment. In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe medications such as triptans ( Sumatripna/Imatrex or Zolmitriptan/Zomig ), dihydroergotamine ( Migranal ), and medications to control nausea and vomiting, if they occur.
Triptans and dihydroergotamine should not be given to people with coronary artery disease or uncontrolled high blood pressure and should be used with caution in elderly patients or those with risk factors for heart disease, including obesity, high LDL cholesterol or triglyceride levels, or a diagnosis of diabetes.