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Pressure Points To Relieve Migraines

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What Is The Science Of Pressure Points And Migraines

7 Pressure Points To Relieve Your Headache

Using pressure points originated in traditional Chinese medicine . According to TCM, 12 principal energy meridians run through the human body, connecting the brain and different organ systems. These meridians promote harmony and balance by transporting energy, or Qi.

When you experience a migraine, it could signal that a meridian is blocked. Blocked meridians can create an imbalance in the body, manifesting as disease, illness, or pain. Traditional Chinese medicine believes you can restore balance and relieve symptoms by applying pressure to locations along the meridians.

These targeted locations are what we know as pressure points.

While research continues in the field, there is still limited information regarding the role of pressure points. One recent study¹ found moderate evidence that acupressure effectively relieves pain in cancer patients. A study review² showed acupressure provided positive outcomes for patients suffering from pain, insomnia, and other conditions.

However, this study also noted that bias, lack of information, and methodological flaws are rife across acupressure research.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Pressure Points For Headaches

There are several benefits to using pressure points for headaches.

  • The first benefit is that it helps relieve pain and tension in the head. Pressure points are located in different body areas, but most are located near joints and muscles. When you apply pressure to these areas, it can help increase blood circulation to the area and reduce muscle tension.
  • This can be especially beneficial for people who suffer from chronic headaches or migraines. Regularly using pressure points can help reduce the frequency of these headaches by reducing muscle tension in your neck and shoulders, which often leads to a headache.
  • Another benefit of using pressure points is promoting relaxation throughout the body. If you are stressed out, this can cause muscle tension throughout your body, including your neck and shoulders, which may lead to a headache or migraine attack. Applying pressure on certain points in your body can promote relaxation throughout your entire system and reduce stress levels and muscle tension in your neck and shoulders.
  • Finally, theres also evidence that applying pressure on certain areas of your body may be able to change chemical levels in your brain that affect mood disorders such as depression or anxiety

Pressure Points May Help Chronic & Tension Headaches

In 2002, a small study looked into whether massage could help adults with chronic tension headaches.

Four adults were given a massage 2 to 3 times weekly, for a period of 6 months. Everyone who participated reported fewer headaches within the first week. By the end of the 6 months, the average number of headaches each person experienced was reduced from almost 7 to just 2 per week. And the headaches they did get were shortened by half from 8 hours to 4 hours on average.

Back in 1990, a larger study was conducted on 21 women with chronic headaches. Participants were given 10 intense, one-hour massages over 2 weeks. The results indicated that those massage sessions led to reduced duration, severity, and frequency of headaches.

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What To Expect With Acupressure

If you visit an acupressure specialist, youll probably have an evaluation of your overall health, and then work with the provider to create a treatment plan. If acupressure and migraine relief pressure points are going to make a difference for you, you may feel a difference immediately, or it could take a few sessions.

Whether you practice on yourself or go to an acupressure specialist, you might feel a slight soreness on the pressure points later on. If you tend to bruise easily, you might notice some bruising. You could also feel more relaxed, or more energized following a session.

While migraine pressure points may or may not bring relief, its handy to keep in your chronic migraine toolkit. Its worth a try, but wont replace more science-backed methods, such as your Axon Optics migraine glasses.

The Uses Of Migraine Pressure Point

How to relieve a headache or migraine through pressure points ...

The pressure points are a great way to get instant relief. Taw says you can feel some pain reduction just from applying them correctly.

There are a variety of ways you can utilize pressure points for headaches like:

A preventative measure to avoid migraines by using these specific acupoints for when you can feel a migraine is about to start.

Read Also: What Do Sinus Headaches Feel Like

Pressure Points In The Hand And Wrist

You can also try pressing on tender spots in your hands to see if it helps your head pain. The spots shown in Figure 7-9 are considered by many to be headache pressure points. At worst, pressing on these points will help your hands feel better.

If any of these spots are tender, press and hold for three breaths, relax, and repeat up to three times. You can repeat every hour as needed.

If you find other tender spots in your hand, work on them as well. If a spot is tender, its a sign that the tissue is not happy. Relieve the tenderness with the press-and-hold technique. This helps get the fluids flowing in your tissues, thereby facilitating their healing. Treating these pressure points may also help your headache.

Other spots that may alleviate your headache are on the palm and wrist .

Figure 710 : Pressure points to relieve headaches found in the wrist

I find the most common tender spot for headache suffers is in the web of the hand between your thumb and forefinger .

A foot massage also never hurts. If anything, it will help alleviate your headache in addition to making you generally feel better.

Pressure Points For Headaches: The Best Way To Get Rid Of A Migraine

by Edan MasorMay 27, 2021

You are not alone if you suffer from pressure points for headaches. It is a common problem with many people who have frequent migraines, and can be very debilitating. Luckily, there are some pressure points that you can use to alleviate the pain and get your life back on track!

In this article we will talk about some of the best ways to relieve pressure points for headaches so that you can start living your life again without being in constant pain!

Headache relief is available when you know where to look! If its a tension headache, try these pressure points before considering medication or other remedies.

These five simple steps can help relieve your severe tension headache in no time at all and give you the chance of getting some much needed rest so that you can feel better tomorrow. Some people find prolonged periods of computer work leave them with terrible neck and shoulder knots.

This article will show how to use pressure point massage for those painful knotted up muscles too! The key is knowing which spots are best suited for what kind of discomfort whether were feeling an ache from our job or a migraine


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Ear: Ear Gate Daith And Ear Apex

The ear gate, also called Ermen, is a pressure point located at the upper area of the base of the ear that connects the ear to the head. Applying pressure to this point can help relieve ear and jaw pressure, which can help ease migraines and tension headaches.

The daith refers to a section of cartilage located above the ear canal opening. Applying pressure to this point, or ear piercing to the area, may help relieve migraines by altering stimulation of the trigeminal and vagus nerves that contribute to migraine pain.

The ear apex, also called Erjian, is located at the middle of the top of the earlobe. It is believed that applying pressure to this point can help relieve earaches, migraines, and tension headaches.

What Is Acupressure Therapy

11 Pressure Points For Headache Relief

Acupressure is an alternative form of therapy that uses manual pressure to stimulate specific pressure points on the body which are considered to be lines of energy. The overall goal of acupressure is to diminish pain and promote healing in the body.

Acupressure is derived from the same principles as the ones of acupuncture. Both of the methods are based upon ancient Chinese medicinal procedures, and both involve triggering sensory nerves underneath the skin by putting pressure on specific places to release endorphins to provide relief from pain. These points are called acupoints. Pressing these points can help release muscle tension and promote blood circulation.

If youre using manual pressure to release endorphins, its acupressure and if youre using thin needles to stimulate the pressure points then its acupuncture.

For people suffering from migraine, stimulating the pressure points on the body may provide the relief theyve been looking for.

Read onwards to learn about these common pressure points used for migraine relief.

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Ways To Stimulate Migraine Relief Pressure Points

Acupressure is often self-applied. Its good to get guidance on these methods, and, in addition to professionals, there are many resources that can help. Specific techniques vary, but generally, heres what you can do:

  • Locate the point youd like to stimulate .
  • Press on the area with your thumb.
  • Continuously apply pressure while making small circles.
  • Repeat the process on the opposing pressure point.

Acupressure is also performed by licensed massage therapists with training in this modality. Regular sessions may be helpful along with other treatments as a preventive measure. These professionals undergo significant training and are licensed by states to perform this work.

What Can Trigger A Migraine Headache

Different things can trigger migraine headaches. Below are some possible triggers:

  • Stress: Stress, tension, and anxiety are possible triggers.
  • Foods: Food such as aged cheeses, salty foods, cured meat, and pickled foods can trigger migraine headaches.
  • Drinks: Wine, other types of alcohol, and caffeinated drinks can be triggers.
  • Medications: Birth control pills, vasodilators, or overuse of pain relievers can trigger migraine headaches.
  • Sensory stimuli: Bright lights, loud sounds, or unusual smells can contribute to migraine headaches.
  • Weather changes: Changes in the weather or barometric pressure often cause migraine headaches.
  • Hormonal changes: Menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, or hormone replacement therapy can affect migraine headaches.
  • Sleep: Too little or inconsistent sleep can be triggers.

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When To Contact A Doctor

You should talk with your medical professional if you have migraine headache symptoms but have not yet received a full diagnosis. They may be able to help identify an underlying condition that might produce symptoms similar to migraine headaches.

If you already have a diagnosis of migraine headaches but are experiencing more frequent migraine attacks or worsening symptoms, speak with your medical professional to adjust your current treatment plan.

Always speak with your doctor before starting new or alternative therapies.

For Upper And Lower Back Pain

7 Pressure Points to Relieve Your Next Headache

Pain in the upper back and lower back can be caused by many different factors, including poor posture and sitting too long.

When your upper back pain occurs due to tight muscles, you can apply pressure to the LI 4 and TE 3 pressure points mentioned for shoulder and neck pain.

For lower back pain and muscle stiffness, there are two key pressure points in the lower back to massage:

Bladder 23 – These points are found on the lower back at the same height as your belly button. The two points are two finger widths from the spine on the right and left sides.

Bladder 47 – These two points are found next to the B 23 pressure points. The B 47 points are four finger widths from the spine on either side.

To apply pressure to the lower back acupressure points, I find this to be the easiest way to apply steady pressure:

  • Stand up and use your knuckles on the pressure points.
  • Apply steady pressure and slowly move in a circular motion for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 4 to 5 more times on both sides.

For more on back pain relief, see the in-depth guides:

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The Causes Behind Headaches And The Types Of Headaches

According to the World Health Organization, almost half of the adult population worldwide will experience a headache in any given year. The reasons behind a headache can vary from stress or emotional distress to medical disorders, such as migraines, hypertension, anxiety, and depression, explains James Mcintosh for Medical News Today.

The International Headache Society puts headaches into two main categories: primary and secondary.

Primary Headaches

Primary headaches are not caused by other conditions. Instead, they have to do with overactivity of or problems with pain-sensitive structures in the head. Chemical activity in the brain, the nerves of the blood vessels around the skull, and the head and neck muscles can play a role in this type of headache.

Some common primary headaches include:

Tension-Type Headache

This is the most common primary headache disorder, and it often begins during the teenage years. As the name suggests, this type of headache can be stress-related or caused by musculoskeletal problems in the neck.

People describe it as a feeling of pressure or tightness, often like a band around the head. Sometimes, this pain can spread into or from the neck.

There are two types of tension-type headaches:

  • Episodic, which usually lasts for a few hours but can persist for several days. It happens on fewer than 15 days per month, and is the most common type of all.


Cluster Headache

The symptoms include:

  • Cold stimuli
  • External pressure on the head

Other Migraine Pressure Points

There are some additional pressure points present on your face, neck, and shoulders that may help relieve headaches and other pain. They include:

  • Third eye: This is known as GV24.5 or Yin Tang and is located in the centre of your forehead, just above your brows. In a small group of U.S. military troops, acupuncture on sites like GV24.5 boosted energy and stress, according to a 2019 study.
  • Drilling bamboo: Sometimes known as bamboo gathering, BL2, or Zanzhu, these are the two indented spots where your nose reaches your eyebrows. A study published in 2020 indicated that acupuncture on BL2 and other locations was just as effective as drugs in reducing migraine attacks.
  • Gates of consciousness: This is also called GB20 or Feng Chi. Its located at the two side-by-side hollow areas where your neck muscles meet the base of your skull. This point may help with fatigue and migraine episodes.
  • Shoulder well: Also known as GB21 or Jian Jing, it sits at the top of each shoulder, halfway to the base of your neck. This pressure point may reduce pain, headaches, and neck stiffness.

You can do acupressure easily by yourself at home by using your fingers to apply pressure to different acupoints.

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How To Properly Apply Pressure

When performing self-acupressure, you need to use enough pressure, but not too much.

To start, do the following:

  • Locate the pressure point you are going to focus on. Double check your placement.
  • Place your index finger or thumb on the pressure point. It should be just enough pressure to indent the skin slightly.
  • Move the thumb or finger in slow circles, keeping pressure even.
  • After every few circles, slightly increase the pressure until you start to feel your muscles relax beneath the finger or thumb.
  • Continue the pressure point circles for at least a minute. You may feel a dullness or achy feeling, which is a normal response to acupressure. You should never feel a stabbing or sharp pain.

You can repeat stimulation of each acupressure point after several minutes if you do not notice improvement. You can focus on just one pressure point, or multiple points.

Bright Light Pressure Points

How to Ease Headaches with Pressure Points | WebMD

Another couple of pressure points that are effective for relieving headache pain and sinus congestion are the Bright Light pressure points. These are located just beneath the tip of your eyebrows. There is one of these pressure points for each eye, just above the eye and below the eyebrow tip, in the fleshy area surrounding your eye. Both pressure points can be stimulated using one hand. Apply pressure for one minute, and then release. This will help relieve tension.

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Massage Therapy For Tension Headaches

One small 2015 study investigated the effects of massage therapy in 56 adult participants who experienced two or more tension-type headaches per week.

Over 6 weeks, some of the participants received massage therapy, and others received placebo therapy. The massage therapy focused on stimulating myofascial trigger points in the head, neck, shoulders, and upper back.

Participants from both groups reported reductions in the frequency of tension headaches. However, there was no significant difference between the two groups. The authors concluded that clinical improvements are sometimes due to a placebo effect.

However, the group who had the massage therapy did report a more significant reduction in pain compared to the placebo group. The study suggests that massage therapy may help to alleviate tension headache pain.

A 2017 study investigated the effects of massage therapy on people with myofascial pain syndrome . MPS is a type of skeletal muscle disorder that can cause muscle pain, tenderness, and tension headaches.

Researchers divided the participants into three groups: those who received massage therapy, those who received a placebo treatment, and those who received no treatment. The people in the massage therapy group received two 45-minute massages a week for 6 weeks.

Preventive Medications And Treatments

Several classes of drugs that may be prescribed to prevent migraines from forming are:

Botox injections to specific regions on the temples, head, and neck are also considered in difficult cases. This therapy is effective but temporary, with treatments required every three months.

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