Do you ever get headaches? Do you sometimes hesitate to pop a pill or find yourself without pain medications? I do. Therefore, I would like to share with you a technique that I find personally helpful for head and neck discomfort that you too can easily do anytime, anywhere. This techniques uses the activation of pressure points to relieve your headache symptoms and can provide instant relief.
Headache Pressure Points: How they Work
Many headaches–especially those brought on by stress, fatigue, or anxiety–are caused by tightness in the neck and facial muscles that in turn diminish local blood circulation. One way to improve this circulation is to stimulate the nerves that regulate it by applying pressure to certain areas called pressure points. Stimulation of these points helps relax tense muscles and improve blood flow, and for many people, can bring immediate relief.
How to Use This Guide
The purpose of this post is to illustrate the locations of some of the pressure points known to be effective for the alleviation of tension and sinus headaches. While the traditional method of acupressure suggests pushing down on these pressure points for up to a minute or longer, I find that applying firm pressure with one or two fingers for 5-10 seconds, releasing, and repeating can also be effective for many people. I encourage you to spend some time playing around with this, varying the amount of pressure and duration, until you find what technique works best for you. You can even do it when you don’t have a headache, as it can help relieve tight or tense muscles and make you feel more relaxed.
6 Pressure Points for Headaches
One of the most effective pressure points for headaches. The easiest way to do this is to use your index finger and your thumb (or the knuckle of your thumb), placing them under your brows and above your eye sockets, pushing in and slightly upward.
This headache pressure point is located right above the bridge of your nose between your eyebrows. Applying pressure here can be helpful for sinus headaches.
This pressure point is located 2-3 cm below each eye. Try pressing at various points along your cheekbones.
This headache pressure point is located on either side of the mid-line at the level where the base of your head meets your neck. Use your hands to “grab” your head, focusing pressure from your thumbs onto this area.
This pressure point is located at the base of your skull. Find it by tilting your head back until you feel a slight indentation at the midpoint where your muscles meet. Apply pressure in and slightly upward.
This last headache pressure point is located at the base of your neck on either side of your spine. Using two or three fingers, apply pressure and gently massage in a circular motion. This is very effective for releasing neck tension.
So the next time you start to feel the discomfort coming on, before reaching for the ibuprofen, try pushing on these six headache pressure points. Your head will thank you.
*You can find more essential health tips like those presented in “Pressure Points for Headaches: Instant Pain Relief” in Being Empowered for a Healthy Heart: A personal guide to taking control of your health while living with chronic conditions, by Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH.