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Acupressure For Headache: The Best Pressure Points For Relief And Precautions

Headaches are one of the most common disorders affecting the nervous system. Be it a sudden throb or a constant pain; headaches can be quite agonising and make it difficult for you to function normally.

Headaches can be caused by various reasons including diet, level of hydration, work and home environments, as well as your overall health. In most cases, headaches are relatively harmless, however, in some cases, it can be an indication of severe health problems such as stroke, brain tumour or aneurysm [1].

Most times, you pop in a tablet for some relief from the pain; however, these pills come with various side-effects. If you are looking for a safe treatment for your headaches, acupressure is the answer. Acupressure is one of the oldest healing techniques that comes without any side-effects. Also, the best part of it is, one can do it sitting right at their desk or any other place at home.

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Acupressure For Headache

Acupressure is a technique where practitioners use their fingers, palms, elbows, feet, or specific devices to apply pressure to various essential points of your body. It also involves stretching or massaging [2].

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As studies and practitioners point out, acupressure is aimed at restoring the health, fitness and stability of your body, by regulating the opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). This ancient healing art helps stimulate the body's natural self-curative abilities and is effective for stress-related ailments and for boosting the immune system [3][4].

Acupressure on the hands and feet is called reflexology and can be done at the comfort of your home. The pressure points in your body are extra sensitive and can help stimulate relief in your body [5]. Various studies have pointed out the positive impact touching pressure points can have on your health. It not only helps in providing pain relief but also helps improve your overall health and restore balance in the body [6].

We have listed seven major acupressure points which help in providing quick relief from a headache.


1. Third Eye

The point precisely in between your eyebrows is known as the third eye. Using your thumb apply slight pressure on this third eye point [7]. Keep doing it for a few seconds to about a minute at regular intervals. The firm pressure applied to the pressure point is asserted to provide relief from sinus and eye strain as well, which, in fact, is one of the major causes of headaches [8].


2. Union Valley (Hand)

It is the point that lies exactly between the thumb and the index finger. You can get relief by firmly (not painfully) pinching this area with the thumb and index finger of your opposite hand [9]. After that, make small circles with your thumb in one direction for 10 seconds and then in the other direction for the same time. This one helps relieve tension in the head and neck.


3. Foot

Whenever you have a headache press the acupressure point that lies just between your big toe and the second toe on your feet. Using your thumb, keep pressing it for a few seconds to get immediate relief from headache [10].

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4. Ear

There are about five acupressure points at the curl of your ears, starting right from the top of your ears and then at one finger distance. Using all the five fingers of your one hand just gently apply pressure on all the five points simultaneously, providing immediate relief from severe headache [11].


5. Gates Of Consciousness (Back Of The Head)

The acupressure point to get relief from headaches also lies between your ears and spine on the backside of your head. It is just exactly between the junction of the two muscles. Applying slight pressure on these acupressure points help provide relief from a headache that is caused by severe nasal congestion and cold [12]. That is, place your index and middle fingers of either hand and firmly press upward on both sides at once for 10 seconds. Repeat it till the pain subsides.


6. Drilling Bamboo (Inner Corner Of Eyes)

This acupressure point is also located right below the eyebrows. Apply pressure on this point, and you can get relief from a headache caused by sinus and cold. Using both of your index fingers, apply firm and even pressure to the point, hold for 10 seconds and repeat [13].


7. Face

Applying pressure on the acupressure point that is located on either side of the nostrils helps in getting relief from a headache that is caused by sinus.



Avoid acupressure in the following cases [14]:

  • If the pressure point is located under a cut, bruise, wart, abrasion etc.
  • Pregnant women, especially ones over three months, should not make use of acupressure, before and within 20 minutes after a heavy meal, exercise or bathing.
  • If you have any heart condition.
  • Note: It has to be taken into consideration that acupressure should not be used as the only treatment method for curing headache. Acupressure is recommended as an instant pain relief management and not a long-term cure for severe headaches [15].


On A Final Note…

Acupressure releases tension, increases circulation and reduces pain, making it an effective treatment for headaches. Acupuncture and acupressure are often confused between. Acupressure is done by either using hand or by a jimmy, a pen-like instrument while acupuncture is done with the help of needles. Acupressure has no severe side effects while in acupuncture, one needs to be very careful as it could negatively affect your internal organs.

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