Got a headache? Before you reach for some aspirin, try working with pressure points. Pressure points are bunches of nerves located on certain points of the body, such as the temples. Pressure points help regulate blood circulation throughout the body. When stimulated, these areas will help relax tight, stressed muscles and increase circulation. Since most common headaches are caused by tension--tight muscles in the face and neck area--working with pressure points may help ease or totally cure headaches.
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Find and massage your temples. Your temples are located on the sides of your head, at eyebrow level. To find them, touch the end of each of your eyebrows with your thumbs, and then move your thumbs about 1/2 inch toward the back of your head. Stop there and press gently. Using your thumbs, massage both temples simultaneously, using small, counterclockwise motions. The movements should be light. Massage temples for one minute while taking deep breaths.
Two pressure points are located at the inside ends of the eyebrows, right above the bridge of the nose. Do not just press into these areas as this might cause an overwhelming feeling. Using your index fingers, gently massage these areas for 30 seconds.
Place your thumbs on the sides of your spinal column on the back of your neck where the neck meets the base of the skull. Tilt your head back gently and press upward into your neck for two minutes. Take deep breaths. If this is uncomfortable, sit in a chair and bend over, propping your elbows on a table or desk. Press your thumbs into the base of your skull on the sides of your spinal column and tilt your head back.
Your neck area is filled with bunches of nerves and muscles. It's where your body meets your brain. Major electrical impulses travel through the spinal column, making it an information highway. Keeping your neck muscles relaxed will benefit you greatly, whether you experience headaches or not.
In the webbing between the thumb and your index finger is a pressure point well known to cure headaches. The point is located close to the bone in that area, not in the centre of the webbing. Use your thumb and index finger to squeeze the point on your opposite hand. If you are doing it properly, you will feel the nerve beneath the skin and some pressure as you squeeze. Squeeze the point for a minute on each hand. Be sure to take deep breaths while treating yourself.
Use your feet. According to the art of reflexology, points on the feet are connected to the body's organs. By stimulating certain points on the feet, you can relieve a headache. In the space between the big toe and second toe is a pressure point. Use your thumb to apply pressure to the top of this spot. Rub the area for one minute.
Tips and warnings
- When working with your pressure points, try to be in a relaxing space. If you are at work, take a few moments to be alone.
- Try using essential oils while working on your pressure points. Chamomile, lavender and peppermint are known to soothe headaches. Dilute a few drops in a carrier oil, like almond or olive oil, and massage into pressure points.