Acupuncture for Headaches and Migraines

Most people have experienced some kind of headache over the course of their lives. Headaches can vary greatly in intensity and duration. They can range from a mild tension headache after a long day at work or school, to a much more severe and physically debilitating migraine.

According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, acupuncture may have lasting effects  in helping reduce chronic migraines. Participants in the study reported fewer migraines per month after receiving traditional acupuncture treatment during the four-week study. Participants who received the acupuncture treatment also reported less migraines in the following month after treatment. These results are significant for people who suffer  from chronic headaches and migraines; acupuncture can prove to be a long-lasting  alternative to help reduce the number experienced each month. If you or someone you know suffers from chronic headaches and migraines, contact an acupuncturist for alternative treatment options. If you’re interested in learning more about acupuncture for headaches and migraines click here.



Want to try something at home? Here are some recommended acupressure points that can help you find some relief.

Acupressure For Headaches:

Acupressure can have a similar effect to acupuncture, and can easily be done anywhere. Below is a list of acupressure for headaches points to try at home:

Large Intestine 4 (He Gu – Joining Valley)


– This point is located on both hands, about 1.5 inches in from the edge of the webbing between your thumbs and index fingers. Put your left thumb on the right hand point and your left index finger on the other (palm) side of the webbing to create a pinching technique. Squeeze and massage the point in very small circular movements for 1-2 minutes. Repeat on the other hand.


Press and knead these points anytime you have pain in your head or face; close your eyes and focus on the points as you press them.


Liver 3 (Tai Chong- Great Rushing)


– This point is located on both feet, between the first and second toes, near the junction of the two metatarsal bones. Liver 3 has far reaching effects and is indicated for many different conditions such as menstrual cramps, vision problems, rib pain, shortness of breath, and of course headaches.


– The combination of these two points (called “The Four Gates”) has a powerful effect on pain anywhere in the body, but especially pain in the head.


Gallbladder 20 (Feng Chi – Wind Pool)


These points are located on the back of the neck in the depression found on both sides at the base of the skull. Bending your head slightly forward, and then back again with your thumbs in the area can help you locate these points easily. They are often quite tender when pressing, and you will begin to feel a deep ache while massaging the points. Gently massage the point in small circular rotations or press for 1-2 minutes. Try to take deep breaths while massaging these points. This is not only a great point for acupressure for headaches, but also for other conditions such as a stiff neck, vertigo, red/painful eyes, blurry vision & insomnia.


You can give yourself acupressure with these three powerful points preventatively or whenever you feel a headache coming on. I hope these points provide you with some at-home relief from headache symptoms. If you are looking for a more comprehensive evaluation and treatment for your headaches, please give us a call at IAOM and schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners.