Headaches can be awful and debilitating. One minute you are planning an outing with some friends and it seems the next you are bed bound for the next 10 hours. One thing I have found to be extremely helpful in my headache relief is pressure points that my massage therapist taught me years ago. They worked so well, I was able to stop seeing her! Pressure points may not be for everyone, but it doesn’t hurt to try…at least not much.
Headaches- Why am I having Headaches
There are many different types of headaches: Cluster, Migraine and Tension are the three main primary headaches. People can also get secondary headaches from tumors, bleeding, or other cause, if this is a concern for you, you should see your doctor. Headaches can be contributed to stress, tension, caffeine intake, dehydration, poor posture, and so many other things. I recommend keeping a headache journal for at least 2 weeks to see what is contributing to headaches. Document everything: How you sleep-length, body position. What and when you eat, drink. What type of exercise or activity you do or lack of. If you are doing stretches or not. If you are a smoker how much you are smoking. How much stress your body is under. What was your posture like. Get a little journal or tab of paper and keep track, once you find out the reason you can better prevent and treat headaches into the future.
Pressure Points for Headaches
Pressure points for headaches
Pressure Points- How can I do Them
I have found two pressure points to be very helpful for my headaches which are caused by a combination of stress, tension, lack of sleep, and sometimes caffeine variences (drink 4 cups coffee one day, none the next, and the 3rd day=headache).
Find the pad between your thumb and index finger. Feel around. If you press with your opposite thumb and forefinger to pinch the area is it tender or even painful. Tension can build up here and it can trigger headaches. Press firmly as tolerated to the area. Massage around for up to 2 minutes. Repeat on the other hand. I will do this up to 3 times a day.
Occiput or Back of the Head Pressure Point
On the back of the head there is another poiunt. Feel the back of your head, along the border of where your skull meets your neck, can you feel two points, almost like half balls. Apply pressure there, do you feel some tenderness? Apply pressure and massage as tolerated in a circular motion for up to two minutes. I will often repeat this every hour until I have headache relief.
Other Headache Treatments
There are many other headache treatments that I will utilize.
1. Biofreeze, muscle rub (Vicks, Icy hot) or peppermint oil. I will actually use these options with the pressure points. Applying them to the pressure points makes it easier to massage and offers some other topical benefits. Biofreeze works especially well for tension headaches as it works to cool and relax the muscle. Most offer aromatherapy benefits as well from the camphor, menthol, eucalyptus, or peppermint scent.
2. Drink Water. I will try to drink a large glass of water at the beginning of a headache. Also it is good to do before and after applying pressure points for our headache as there can be a release of toxin build-up or caffeine deposits as I understand from my massage therapist and being well hydrated will help flush them out of the body instead of them being deposited somewhere else.
3. Drink Coffee. I pay attention to what I eat and drink so when I know Monday I had 6 cups of coffee, Tuesday I didn’t drink coffee, when I wake up in the morning Wednesday with a headache, I need some coffee. Or I will have a headache all day. But one small cup with relieve my headache almost immediately in these cases. It is good to be consistent. In general daily recommendation on caffeine is 400mg per day, so about 4 cups of coffee should be the limit.
3. Acetaminophen. I use this very sparingly. Over-the-counter medication also known as Tylenol, Back pain reliever, Non-aspirin pain reliever. This is a pain medication that blocks the pain receptors so you do not feel the pain. It works to varying degrees. If taken in large amounts it is toxic to the liver and it should not be taken with alcohol. Acetaminophen is also in combination medications for migraines or headaches as well that may include caffeine and aspirin.
4. Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID). Ibuprofen works well for some headaches as it decreases inflammation. Naproxen (Aleve) and Aspirin are also in the drug class.
5. Sleep. If you have the time and can get by with a little rest, sleep can be great for helping the body rest and fix the cause of a headache. Sometimes I will even just rest my eyes with a cool washcloth over them for 5 minutes if I can fit it in.
6. Diphenhydramine. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), I know, sounds odd to use an allergy medication for headaches. But the diphenhydramine can help with stomache spasms and nausea. It also tends to work very well in combination with Ibuprofen for headache relief. It may cause drowsiness or jitteriness depending on your metabolism and chromosomes, so if you are new to it and cannot take a nap, I would wait.
Pressure Points for Headache Relief- Try It!
Pressure points may be able to get rid of headaches or at least help with some relief. Doing them more regularly can also help if you, like me, suffer from tension headaches as routinely stretching and doing pressure points relieves the tension that causes the headache. Two different pressure points that you can try from this article and if you suffer headaches, why not try them. They are simple, free, and may offer you that relief you need to get back to living.
There are many options for headache relief. Finding what triggers your headaches can better help to find the best treatment. You can also talk with your doctor or primary care provider about options, but it is often nice to have a couple weeks journal to show them what you have done and what triggers you have found.
I hope you found this informative and helpful. Please feel free to share if you have other headache remedies that you have found to be beneficial!