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Acupressure Points For Migraines

  • Dr.Sreelekha Daruvuri Dr. Sreelekha Daruvuri
  • 3 Min Read
  • Fact Checked

Migraine headaches are very common and can cause extreme discomfort – for some, they can be debilitating and affect day-to-day life. Symptoms like nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound/light, are prevalent and can last from a few hours to days. Besides intensity, the frequency of a migraine also has an impact on the person suffering from it – migraine headaches can occur as little as once a year or as often as once a month. The intensity and frequency of migraines depend on multiple factors – the triggers, an underlying medical condition, and/or the treatment sought out. While one of the mainstays of migraine treatment is to avoid or eliminate the trigger that causes it, there are other ways to help this process. One of these ways is exploring acupressure points for migraines.

The exact cause of migraines is not known, but experts have revealed that the condition does have a strong genetic component associated with it. Besides genes, another talked about the mechanism that could result in migraines are abnormal brain activity that can affect signaling and chemical release in the brain. There are different types of migraines that are identified based on the symptoms they cause, however, all types of migraines do share similar symptoms and triggers. Some migraine triggers include alcohol, certain foods, weather changes, lack of sleep, dehydration, and stress.

There are medications that can help alleviate the painful symptoms of migraines – there are medications that can abort an acute attack such as Triptans and NSAIDs, medications that can prevent attacks such as SSRIs and Beta-blockers, and non-pharmacological treatments such as cognitive=behavioral therapy, and acupressure.

Acupressure Points For Migraines

Acupressure is an alternative technique used in medicine, it is often used along with acupuncture. The basis of acupressure – a method commonly used in Chinese medicinal practice – involves putting pressure on specific points on the body. These points, referred to as acupoints can alleviate muscle tension and increase blood circulation. The light pressure put on acupoints is done using either a professional’s fingertips or a device that aids in massaging. In most cases, pressure on these specific points is applied for about 15-30 seconds and is repeated based on the condition and patient’s requirements. Acupoints are present on all parts of the body, but the ones most commonly used are the points on the ears, hands, feet, face, and neck.

Following are some acupressure points for migraines:
Ear: This acupoint is at where the top of the ear meets the temple and the tip of the ear. The can greatly reduce pain felt on the face.
Hands: This acupoint is between the base of the thumb and the index finger. This point can help alleviate the severity or intensity of a headache.
Foot: This acupoint is between the fourth and fifth toe base and is considered to be one of the most important acupressure points for migraines. Other acupoints in the foot include the
 skin depression between the great toe and second toe and 1-2 inches behind it.
Third eye: This acupoint is at
the middle of your forehead just above the eyebrows. 

Acupressure is a relatively easy technique and when done right and frequently can help with migraine headaches. Though more research is needed in using this as a therapeutic option, few practitioners advise it as an alternative therapy. Although before you try alternative ways to help control migraine headaches, consulting with a physician is important as there could be an underlying medical condition that could be causing severe headaches. Migraines although self-diagnosable, should never be diagnosed without a professional as they can be confused with other types of headaches that could be of medical concern.

When to see a doctor for migraine headaches?

If the headache is:
– Too severe or unbearable
– Associated with confusion and disorientation
– Associated with loss of consciousness
– Accompanied with seizures or fits
– Accompanied with weakness in one side of the body 

While all types of migraines are usually diagnosed by a physician, and at times can be self-diagnosable, it’s important to understand that headaches can be caused by other abnormalities. If you’ve been suffering from severe and constant headaches, don’t self-diagnose, and consult with a general physician instead. Receiving a proper diagnosis i.e which of the above types of migraines, is important because it rules out any other causes and therefore a treatment plan can be set in place. 

  • Dr.Sreelekha Daruvuri
  • Written by

    Dr. Sreelekha Daruvuri

Dr. Sreelekha Daruvuri, MBBS with 5+ yrs of experience working as a Primary care Physician on MFine. She initially worked with corporate hospitals and then as a resident in JIPMER for 2 years. She believes in a holistic approach to health care. She is also a public speaker, a blog writer and holds an interest in spreading awareness on health through digital media.

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