Acupuncture and Acupressure Points for Headache Relief

Matthew Wagner, C.A., M.S.O.M.

Headaches are the kind of annoying pain that can really put an end to your day. Other areas of pain are usually easier to deal with.  But, a bad headache will stop you in your tracks and send you right to bed.  So, let’s talk about some self-care to make you feel better in the moment.  Remember, these tips are only meant to offer quick relief for transient pain.If your pain doesn’t go away, gets worse, or comes back quickly, you’ll need to come in and get it treated!

If you don’t want to read, here’s a video:

 

The first thing to recognize is that not all headaches are the same.  The headaches that occur in specific parts of the head occur for different reasons.  These areas of the head all have different pain referral patterns, nerve flow, vasculature, and other unique structures, such as sinuses, ears, joints, etc.  So, in order to treat a headache effectively, we have to differentiate it first.

I’m going to list a couple of different zones which are influenced by distal areas on the body.These zones are:

  1. Frontal - including the forehead, nose, sinuses, jaw, teeth, etc.
  2. Temporal - including the temple and stretching to just behind the ear.
  3. Occipital - the back of the head
  4. Vertex - the top of the head. 

These four different zones of the head are all treated by different reactive areas of the body.  For the purposes of this quick self-care guide, it doesn’t matter why this is.All that matters is that it works.So, try it out and see how it works for you.  We could choose many different points on the body to treat these headaches - some would actually be better than the ones that I am about to suggest.  But, we also have to limit our points to areas that you can actually reach and effectively use on yourself.  So, with that in mind, we have our simple list of headache points:


Frontal or Sinus Headache

The frontal or sinus headache is treated by the space between your thumb and your index finger.  (This is the acupuncture point named Large Intestine #4)


Image Credit: Deadman p. 103


Temporal or Stress Headache

The temporal, or stress headache is treated by the tender muscle between the heads of the 4th and 5th metacarpal.  (This is the acupuncture point named San Jiao #3)


Image Credit: Deadman p. 393


Occipital Headache

The occipital headache at the back of the head is treated by the muscle at the fleshy edge of the hand, right in front of the pinky finger. (This is the acupuncture point named Small Intestine #3)


Image Credit: Deadman p. 233

However, an easier point to get a better response form is actually the inside of the elbow, between the boney nob (medial epicondyle) and the insertion of the bicep. (This is the acupuncture point called Heart #3)


Image Credit: Deadman p.214


Vertex Headache

The vertex headache is treated by a spot on the foot between the knuckles of the big two and the second two.  (This is the acupuncture point called Liver #3)


Deadman p. 477

So, there you have it.  There is a quick and easy guide to treating common, transient headaches.Good Luck!  Remember, if your headache is chronic, complicated, and difficult, come in to see me!  There’s no reason to put up with it any longer.

Make your acupuncture appointment today with Matthew Wagner, L.Ac. at Medicine Grove Acupuncture Clinic in Madison, Wisconsin.

Recent Blog Posts