Acupressure for Headaches in Vermont
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. Regardless of the type of headache, acupressure for headaches can be a great way to provide some instant relief, and can even stop a headache from escalating into a full-blown migraine.
Causes of Headaches:
There are many factors in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory that may play a role in the root cause(s) of a headache. These include body constitution, emotional health, excessive work, social activities and exercise, improper diet, physical trauma and hormones. Headaches can also be diagnosed according to specific symptoms, times of occurrence, location, type of pain, and various other triggers.
Treatment of Headaches with TCM:
The treatment of headaches is most effective when we address the symptoms of the headaches as well as the underlying cause of the headaches. We call this treating the Root (underlying cause) while also treating the Branch (symptoms). For this reason, it is best to see an acupuncturist in order to have a full evaluation and develop a treatment plan that is best for the individual. Often times, treatment will involve a combination of acupuncture, dietary therapy, and possibly Chinese herbal medicine. There are, however, things you can do at home to help prevent and treat your headaches. One of these things is performing acupressure for headaches on yourself.
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.