Does Acupressure Work For Treating Migraines
Acupressure is an alternative form of treatment. For this reason, your doctor may not recommend it as your first line of treatment. However, as interest continues to grow in this field, more research is being done to better understand the mechanisms for this treatment.
For now, several studies show that acupressure effectively relieves pain compared to a placebo, but the research quality is questionable. There are no known major risks associated with acupressure, making it a viable option for individuals with recurrent migraines.
In addition to treating migraines, acupressure may provide relief for other common ailments, including:
Pressure Points For Earaches And Headaches
If you would like to try acupressure to treat a headache or earache, follow these steps:
Below is a list of pressure points, as well as a list of conditions each claims to treat.
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.
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Do Pressure Points Work For Migraines
Few treatments work universally for everyone who suffers from migraine attacks.
Research shows that for some people, stimulating pressure points in a therapy called acupressure may help relieve migraine pain.
It may also address migraine-related symptoms like nausea and fatigue.
Pressure points can be stimulated by either acupressure or acupuncture.
You can have a licensed professional perform acupressure or acupuncture therapy.
You may also perform acupressure on yourself at home.
Stop Headaches Before They Stop You
Being a small business owner, or a parent, a headache comes with stress. Add the fact that women are 3 times as likely as men to have migraines and it becomes clear a strategy is needed to bridge the gap. The power is in your hands.
While professional Massage therapists can most certainly provide relaxation and alleviate the tension that can cause headaches, so can using pressure points. Here are 3 pressure points that are easy to reach.
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Pressure Points To Relieve Your Headache
Do you have a headache? If so, youre not alone. Many people suffer from headaches regularly. In some cases, over-the-counter medication can help relieve the pain. But what if you dont have any medication handy? Or what if the headache is not responding to over-the-counter medication to help relieve symptoms? In that case, you might like to try pressure points for headaches.
Pressure points for headaches or acupressure therapy are often used with other chiropractic treatments, such as adjustments to provide a comprehensive approach to care. There is limited scientific evidence to support the efficacy of acupressure however, many people who have received treatment from a chiropractor report feeling relief from their headache symptoms.
This blog post will help you determine if acupressure therapy might be helpful for you and explores eight pressure points for headaches believed to help provide relief. Many more acupressure points may help with headaches, but the eight here are an excellent starting point.
How Does Acupressure Work
Stimulating the acupressure points along meridians, similar to acupuncture, helps to promote your bodys natural healing response. Acupressure may provide instant relief from tension headaches. However, a number of studies are underway to determine the long-term efficacy of this treatment for headaches.
For example, a recent study published in the British Journal of Pain investigated the effectiveness of acupressure for treating severe acute daily headaches headaches that last for a couple of days or longer, and are not caused by an infection. The participants in the study were evaluated at baseline and one month after the first treatment session. The results were significant for acute DADAHs.
According to acupressure researcher Pauline Autier, who conducted a review of the latest studies, The principle is simple: Inflaming pain points causes less pain and, at the same time, lessens its intensity. The theory goes like this: Your head has 10 pressure points or points of the ischial spines.
The first one is located at the base of the skull. While the rest of the body has 23 points, the head only has 10. Dr. Autier cites studies showing that applying pressure to these 10 points provides relief from headaches. The 10 points are pressure points for a different reason, and they all take your pain to a new level.
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Pressure Point To Relieve Tension Headaches And Jaw Pain
The pressure point known as SI-19 is located in each ear. Targeting this sweet spot not only alleviates tension headaches and jaw pain, it can also help treat tinnitus and toothache.
Starting at the tragus of your left ear, that small bit of cartilage in the centre of the outer ear, move your index finger toward your nose about two centimetres.
Open and close your mouth and you should feel a slight depression. Place your index, middle, and ring fingers on that spot and massage in small, anti-clockwise circles for about 30 seconds.
Slowly move your fingers down the jawline.
Repeat on your right ear.
Who Shouldnt Use Acupressure
Wondering if this is risky to try? Rest assured that acupressure is a relatively safe way to alleviate pain, and it can typically be used many times a day without causing any harm.
But that doesnât mean you shouldnât still be careful. Donât put pressure on any areas where you have burns, infections, contagious skin diseases, or active cancer.
Pregnant women should consult with a doctor before using acupressure because some points are believed to induce contractions. People with joint diseases like rheumatoid arthritis should also talk to their healthcare provider before trying acupressure.
To wrap all this up, acupressure is a natural, easy, and relatively safe method for pain relief, but it shouldnât be your primary treatment for any serious conditions or illnesses, including migraine. Many sufferers control migraine by combining alternative treatments and prescription medication.
If you’d like to work with a doctor who specializes in migraine to find the right treatment for you, we can connect you with a Cove doctor today.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
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Whats The Science Behind It
We should mention that the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of acupressure is pretty much inconclusive. A 2011 review published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management noted that 35 out of 43 studies found that acupressure did alleviate symptoms of various illnesses, but that many of those studies may have been biased. More research will likely be needed before scientists can decide if the benefits of acupressure are the real deal or just another example of the placebo effect.
Scientific studies aside, thereâs a lot of anecdotal evidence in favor of acupressure. Since it doesnât come with any negative side effects, giving it a try is relatively risk-free.
Neck And Shoulders: Gates Of Consciousness And Shoulder Well
The gates of consciousness, also called Feng Chi, refer to two pressure points where the base of the skull joins the neck of the neck. It is believed that applying pressure to these points can help relieve migraines and neck tension.
The shoulder well, also called Jian Jing, is a pressure point located at the top of each shoulder near the base of the neck within the upper trapezius muscles. It is believed that applying pressure to these points can help relieve stress, muscle tension, and headaches.
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Why Try Pressure Point Work On Your Headaches
With no side effects or big price tags, trying pressure point techniques is low cost and low risk for many people. Even better, with the following images and directions courtesy of Pointfinder.org, you can learn acupressure without leaving your home.
You can practice acupressure for headache and migraine attacks at home to relieve some of the pain, tightness, and abdominal issues that come with an attack. Working on pressure points for headaches is a safe, natural way to get relief from migraine and headache symptoms and a free tool worth adding to your toolkit.
Yang Hill Spring Pressure Point
Heres a lesser-known pressure point that you wouldnt think would be a headache pressure point, since its located on the outer leg, near the knee, but it has potential anti-inflammatory and muscle-relaxing effects, says Burns. To target this point, sit on a chair and feel for a slight depression right under your knee, on the outside of your leg. You will feel the depression just in front of a small bone below and to the right of your leg, she says. Then, youll want to approach that point either with firm pressure or a circular motion for a minute or two.
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Instep Yang Pressure Point
You can utilize this pressure point to target both headaches and sciatica pain. It makes sense to use this point after the Kunlun Mountains pressure point since its right above it, in the middle of the back of your calf, explains Burns. You can press on this area firmly or rub it in a circular motion for a couple of minutes, but note that you might feel some tenderness with that pressure, she adds.
Whats The Difference Between Acupoints And Trigger Points
Acupoints are specific areas on the body that are believed to be connected to various organs and systems. Stimulating these points is thought to promote overall health and wellbeing.
Trigger points, on the other hand, are specific areas of muscle tissue that are tight and painful. They are often caused by injury or repetitive strain. While both acupressure points and trigger points can be pretty sore, only trigger points tend to cause referred pain, which is pain that radiates from the point of origin.
Stimulating an acupoint may help relieve overall tension and stress while stimulating a trigger point is more likely to relieve localised pain.
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Drilling Bamboo Pressure Points
These pressure points are located on either side of the bridge of your nose, just below the start of your eyebrows. Pressing on them can help ease sinus pressure and eye strain headaches.
- Use your index fingers to apply firm pressure to both points at once and hold for 10 seconds.
- Release and repeat 5-10 times.
What Are The Pressure Points To Relieve A Tension Headache
While there are many pressure points out there that could help alleviate tension headaches, GB-20, GV-20, EM-5, LI-4, and Liv-3 were recommended to be the main acupoints for this condition. Below weve detailed each acupoint, their locations, and their role in helping chronic tension-type headache relief.
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Do Not Use This Point If You Are Pregnant
Try this spot behind your head as an alternative. From a seated position, clasp your hands together and flip them over your head to cradle your neck. Feel the ridge at the back of the head and neck where the muscles attach to your skull. You can massage the points along this area for pressure and tension relief.
When using pressure points, apply pressure firmly and steady for about 5 seconds each. Remember to breathe, drink extra water, and continue to develop a daily relaxation routine. Its a beautiful summer, remember to take your vacation days. We support you in your efforts to stay steady and headache-free and believe that prevention is better than cure!
Roll your shoulders back and take some deep breaths. Self care is its own reward!
Tension Headache Relief Pressure Points
Hands are used for most acupressure techniques. They stimulate specific pressure points along meridians to relieve tension, mild headaches, and inflammation. Try these massage techniques at home to get relief from a tension headache.
- Headache pressure point rubbing
- Rub your forehead for several seconds with one hand. Repeat on each side of your head, using pressure around the forehead.
- Hands on the head for a couple of minutes.
- Rubbing pressure points on the forehead for two minutes.
- Hands on the head for a couple of minutes.
- Mucus and turgidity points
- Using your thumbs and index fingers, apply pressure to the inner surfaces of your ears. Keep your hands close to your face.
- Mucus and turgidity points can be found on each side of your neck as well.
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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.
Gates Of Consciousness Pressure Point
Massaging these points on the back of your neck can help relieve tension headaches by helping your neck relax.
- Place your index and middle fingers of either hand on the base of your skull, in the hollow area between your two neck muscles.
- Press firmly upward on both sides simultaneously for 10-15 seconds, then release. Repeat until you feel your neck relax.
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What Are Pressure Points And How Do They Work
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, pressure points are sensitive areas that lie along channels or lines of energy in our bodies, called meridians. These meridians help regulate flow of qi, or life energy, that is present in all of us. Its kind of like an energetic electrical system that keeps our bodies humming along.
When qi gets blocked along your meridian lines , you can stimulate specific pressure points to help unblock those energy channels, relieving pain and tension.
The practice of unblocking and optimizing pressure points to release energy is called acupressure. It involves using different levels of touch on pressure points to stimulate the release of endorphins and chemicals that relax your body and ease tension.
How To Use Acupressure Points To Relieve Headache Nausea And Anxiety
Acupressure is an ancient practice from traditional Chinese medicine. It can seem mysterious because the theory is based on pressure points and energy channels in your body that you cannot see.
Acupressure uses the same framework as acupuncture. But acupressure does not use needles. You can do acupressure on yourself using only your fingertips.
We talked to MD Anderson acupuncturist Michael Spano to find out more about acupressure and learn how to use it for common problems like headaches, nausea and anxiety. Heres what he said.
What is acupressure?
Acupressure is the application of pressure on specific points on the body to control symptoms such as pain or digestive issues.
It is used in some kinds massage therapy like the Japanese practice Shiatsu. It can also be done as part of an acupuncture treatment, or you can do acupressure on yourself.
What are the four pressure points, and how do they work?
In traditional Chinese medicine, the smooth flow of Qi through the body is essential to health. Qi is best defined as the life force that circulates around our bodies in 14 channels or meridians.
Pressure points are spots along these energy channels that can help free the flow of Qi. They are sometimes called acupoints.
Acupuncturists use the same pressure points, but they access them with needles. Acupressure simply involves pressing or massaging at the site of the point.
How do you do acupressure on yourself?
Follow these steps:
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