Acupressure and Natural Remedies for Treating Headaches
Acupressure and Natural Remedies for Treating Headaches
Headaches are an issue that people in different age groups around the world suffer from occasionally. Stress, eye strain, muscle tension, sinuses, hormonal changes, and more – the list of headache causes can be endless.
The good news is that instead of reaching for medication, you can try some easy remedies at home using pressure points for relief from headaches. Acupressure consists of firm pressure applied to certain points on the head, face, neck, hands, and feet with your fingertip, knuckle, or soft-pointed object such as a pencil eraser.
However, acupressure is not advisable for individuals who are sick or suffering from any heart-related issues, or pregnant women. It is best to avoid acupressure f the pressure point is under a mole, wart, varicose vein, abrasion, or any other break in the skin, nor do you want to practice it before and/ or for at least 20 minutes after an intense workout, heavy meal, or bath.
Acupressure Remedies for Headaches
You might think that pressure points for headache relief would be located on the face and head. However, the truth is other than the face, massaging certain points on your hands, back, and feet can also provide relief from headaches.
1. Union Valley
This pressure point is located on the web between your index finger and your thumb. Using the thumb and index finger from your other hand's, press and massage this area for about 10 seconds in one direction and then the other direction. Doing so is said to ease headaches, arthritis, toothaches, and neck pain. For additional relief, you can repeat the same process on the other hand as well.
Please note that pregnant women should avoid using this pressure point as it can lead to contractions and possibly harm the fetus.
2. The Third Eye
This point is just above the bridge of your nose in between your eyebrows. Applying pressure to this spot helps with headaches, sinuses, and strain felt on the face, head, and near the eyes.
With the help of your index finger, apply pressure firmly to this point for roughly a minute. Doing this a few times each week can help relieve headache pain.
3. Drilling Bamboo
This set of two pressure points is found at the depressions on either side of the area where the bridge of your nose meets the ridge of your eyebrows.
Place your index fingers on both points at the same time and press firmly for about 10 seconds and then let go. Do this a few times and you will feel much better if you are suffering from headaches brought on by eye strain or sinus pressure.
4. Gates of Consciousness
This is another set of two pressure points positioned at the base of the skull in the hollow spaces running parallel between the two vertical neck muscles.
Apply firm pressure for about 10 seconds in an upward direction on these points with the index and middle finger of either hand and then let go. Do this a few times to obtain relief from headaches resulting from neck strain.
5. Shoulder Well
This pressure point is located halfway between your shoulder point and the base of your neck, and it is said to be effective in reducing headaches and neck pain and easing a stiff neck and shoulders as well. Place your thumb on this spot and massage firmly in a circular motion for roughly a minute, then repeat the process on the opposite side.
6. Feet Pressure Points
You may be surprised to know that stimulating certain points in your feet can also reduce headaches and stress. These pressure points are found between your big toe and second toe about a half inch down from the top of your foot. You should apply firm pressure to this point on each foot for up to five minutes at a time.
More Natural Remedies to Relieve Headaches
Apart from stimulating headache pressure points, you can also try the following easy, natural remedies that work by reducing inflammation of the blood vessels that cause headache pain:
Drinking ginger tea or a concoction of equal amounts of ginger juice and lemon juice once or twice a day can provide fast relief from a headache by working on inflamed blood vessels that are causing the headache. You can also make a paste of crushed ginger root or ginger powder and water and apply it to your forehead for a few minutes.
Breathing in the sweet smells of essential oils such as peppermint and lavender can also help treat a headache. You can inhale the aroma by putting a few drops of oil on a handkerchief and smelling it as needed. You can also try mixing 2-3 drops of the oil with one tablespoon of almond oil, olive oil, or water and massaging your forehead, temples, and the back of your neck with it.
- Herbs and Herbal Oils
Thyme and rosemary are two herbs that work wonders for headaches. You can put 1-2 drops of these oils on each temple and on your forehead and massage gently. You can also drink a tea made by boiling 3-4 fresh basil leaves in some water. Add honey according to preference and sip the tea slowly. Other ways of consuming basil, which is another effective pain-relieving herb, include directly chewing a few fresh basil leaves or inhaling the steam of basil boiling in water.
Some head and neck movements like moving your chin up and down, left and right, and stretching your neck sideways towards each shoulder will help lessen the intensity of a headache. You can also slowly rotate your neck clockwise and counterclockwise to loosen stiff shoulder and neck muscles.
When Should I Seek Professional Help?
Using pressure points for headaches is free, safe, natural, and drug-free. However, you need to remember it is a complementary form of treatment and should not be the only thing you use to treat frequent headaches.
Though headaches are quite common, sometimes they can be a symptom of a serious underlying medical problem. It is best to visit your doctor in the following situations:
You suffer from severe and unbearable headache pain
A headache begins unexpectedly and sudden
Your vision is hazy or distorted because of a headache
A headache is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, or other symptoms