If you’re looking for a way to treat your headache naturally, you may think about acupressure and pressure points.
Pressure points are parts of the body believed to be extra sensitive and able to stimulate relief in the body.
Reflexology is the study of how one part of the human body is connected to another.
Practitioners of reflexology, a discipline of Chinese medicine, believe that touching pressure points in a certain way can:
- Ease pain
- Improve health
- Restore balance in the body
Practitioners of reflexology believe you might have to massage one location, like your hand, to treat a different area, like your head or neck. The right pressure points may help ease your pain.
If you’d like to treat your headache this way, read on to understand how to do so correctly.
The Science Behind Pressure Points and Headaches
Studies have looked into how massage therapy on the head and shoulders can relieve headaches, sometimes involving the stimulation of pressure points on the head.
One 2020 study investigated how massages might help adults experiencing chronic tension headaches.
In the study, massages reduced the number of headaches in each subject within the first week of treatment. By the end of the study, the average number of headaches each subject revied fell from almost seven headaches per week to just two per week. The average length of a subject’s headache also decreased by half during the treatment period.
Scientists have also looked at how one-hour massage treatments affect women with chronic headaches over two weeks. The women received massages from certified massage practitioners.
Researchers found that intense massage sessions led to reduced intensity, occurrence, and duration of headaches.
Studies on stimulating pressure points for migraine relief have also been done.
How Can I Use Pressure Points to Relieve Headaches?
There are several well-known pressure points in the body believed to relieve headaches.
The union valley pressure points are located on the web between your thumb and index finger. This pressure point is believed to relieve tension in the head and neck. To treat headaches:
- Pinch this area with your thumb and index finger firmly for 10 seconds.
- Make small circles with your thumb on this area for 10 seconds.
- Repeat the process on your opposite hand.
Bamboo points are located at the indentations where the bridge of your nose meets the ridge of your eyebrows. Touching these pressure points can relieve headaches caused by eyestrain and sinus pressure. To use these pressure points to treat headaches:
- Apply pressure to both points with your index fingers
- Hold for 10 seconds
- Release and repeat
The Gates of Consciousness
The gates of consciousness pressure points are located at the base of the skull next to your two vertical neck muscles. Applying firm touch to these pressure points may relieve headaches caused by neck tension. To use these pressure points:
- Press firmly on both sides with your index and middle fingers
- Hold for ten seconds
- Release and repeat
The Third Eye
The third eye pressure point is found between your two eyebrows, where the bridge of your nose meets your forehead. Pressure applied to the third eye point may relieve eyestrain and sinus pressure that often causes headaches.
- Use the index finger of one hand to apply firm pressure for one minute
Some research suggests that using pressure points and massage therapy on the head and shoulders can help relieve headaches.
Reflexology is a noninvasive, nonpharmaceutical way to treat headaches. It’s very safe. Seek professional medical help if you experience recurring or unusually intense headaches.