Headaches can come out of nowhere and range from a dull ache to a raging pain. When a headache hits, it’s hard to perform everyday tasks or stay focused at work.
We want to take medication—even over-the-counter remedies—as infrequently as possible for a host of reasons. And sometimes we’re somewhere that we can’t reach for natural remedies such as white willow bark. When a headache hits at the worse time, look no further than these 6 pressure points for headaches.
Massaging the Pain Away
Have you ever wondered why you instinctively rub your head where it hurts?
Acupressure is an ancient technique applying the same theory as acupuncture. Whereas acupuncture uses needles to access energy meridians, however, acupressure uses gentle firm touch. The idea is to send signals into the body using an external force to stimulate vital energy (qi). By applying pressure along energy pathways, the natural healing process will kick into gear to restore balance, relieving pain and fighting illness. Meridians traverse throughout the body, connecting various points.
When you have a headache, you may begin to massage your temples or the base of your neck without thinking about it—it seems the natural thing to do. That’s acupressure.
In the treatment of headache, a Taiwanese study found acupressure more effective than muscle relaxer drugs in relieving pain and reducing the frequency of chronic headaches. (1)
Below are six pressure points for headaches to relieve pain using acupressure.
How to Perform Acupressure
Here’s how to use acupressure anywhere, from your desk, your home, or even in your car (2):
- Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take deep, even breaths.
- Apply deep, firm pressure to each pressure point and massage in a small circular motion; the object is to stimulate blood flow below the surface.
- Massage each point for 30-60 seconds. If your headache persists 10 minutes after massaging the last point, you may perform the steps again.
- You may administer acupressure as often as you like.