The Best Pressure Points For Headaches That Won't Go Away, According to Acupuncturists
You're sitting at your desk, and without warning, your head starts to pound. You've been there before, right? You drink some water, stretch out a little, and pop a pain-reliever — but the headache continues. If this sounds like a pretty typical occurrence for you, then the next step — or hey, maybe this should be the first step, considering it works so well — is to take some advice from acupuncturists, and locate the best pressure points for headache relief.
Yes, in case you didn't know, there are actually specific places on your body you can apply pressure to, or gently massage, that can help relieve that aching head of yours. According to acupuncturist Robert Inesta, DC, L.Ac, CFMP, CCSP, the specific pressure point you might want to focus on to soothe your pain will likely depend on the type of headache you're suffering from. If you're not sure what he means by that, ask yourself this: Where, exactly, is your pain? Perhaps you feel it in your temples, or maybe it's slowly crawling up your neck.
"There are muscular trigger points [for example]," Inesta tells Elite Daily, "in which muscle fibers are contracting and holding tension. Or there can be fascial or connective-tissue tension points, in which layers of your connective tissue become restricted." Another possible source for your pain, he says, could be "tender areas in the tissue that are sensitized due to tension, nerve irritation, repetitive strain, trauma, or inflammation," which can all cause what's called a tension headache, and are typically associated with pressure points in the neck, head, and face.
In addition to learning about these various pressure points, Inesta adds that it's just as important to assess any other unexpected factors that may be causing your pain, too, like how you're feeling mentally and emotionally, what foods you're eating, and where you're at with your overall health, as these can all play a role in triggering headaches and migraines, he tells Elite Daily.
But if you've already eliminated most of these factors, and you're simply looking for a quick way to escape a sudden headache, here are some pressure points to focus on (as well as their really interesting names).
The Joining Valley
You may have heard of this pressure point before, as it's pretty popular.
According to Michelle Kitsmiller, L.Ac., Ma.O.M, a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, this pressure point is located on the webbing between your thumb and index finger, close to where the bones meet. "It is best pressed and held, or [massaged with] small, counterclockwise rotations," she tells Elite Daily.
The Wind Pool
This one is located at the base of the skull, outside of the muscles that run along the spine, Kitsmiller explains.
"Using your fingertips, press forward on these points," she says. "This is great for stress headaches, and those caused by neck pain."
The Palace of Wind
The "palace of wind" pressure point, Kitsmiller explains, is located in a depression at the base of your skull, where it meets the top of your spine. There's this nice little dip there that actually fits your thumb just perfectly.
Apply gentle massaging pressure here, and just breathe. Trust me, I just tried it myself, and it feels amazing.
The Liver 3
According to the above video from AcuPro Academy, this pressure point is called "The Liver 3," and it's located right on your foot. I know that might seem weird, that a spot on your foot could have anything to do with what's going up in your noggin, but licensed acupuncturist Lauren Kaneko-Jones tells Elite Daily that locating pressure points in your feet is actually a great way to target the source of pain that's causing a headache. Huh, who would've thought?
To get to this particular pressure point, Kaneko-Jones says, gently pinch and massage the skin between your big toe and your second toe.
The Gallbladder 21
Even if you don't have a headache, Kaneko-Jones tells Elite Daily, massaging this pressure point is going to relieve any tension you're holding in your body, and feel absolutely amazing. It's called "Gallbladder 21," she tells Elite Daily, adding that it's very powerful when it comes to relieving headaches.
Just give a a nice squeeze at the point where the tops of your shoulders meet your neck, and Kaneko-Jones says this will send energy all the way down your body, providing pain relief within moments of massaging.