Using Acupressure Pressure Points for Migraines
Six years ago, I was amid the worst case of a chronic migraine, chronic daily headache, and new daily persistent headache.
My neurologist suggested that I take some pain management classes to learn how to use mindfulness, breathing, and acupressure to manage my chronic pain. I had never used any of those natural techniques before, but I was eager to learn how to incorporate them into my daily routine.
What Is Acupressure?
Studied and developed by Chinese doctors, acupressure is an ancient healing art. These doctors saw that muscular tension concentrated around specific points in the body. When tension accumulates, it blocks the free circulation of energy through the body. This blockage or traffic jam lead to physical problems and stress disorders.
The use of acupressure releases muscle tension, eliminating toxins in the tissue thus freeing energy and blood flow. Oxygen and other nutrients can nourish more areas of the body as blood circulation increases.
Acupressure points are gateways for electrical energy or chi. This chi (the life source) moves through the body along pathways known as meridians. The key to health is having an unobstructed flow of energy through the meridians.
Acupuncture vs. Acupressure
Acupressure is a technique much like acupuncture. Instead of the use of needles, acupressure uses the fingers to press key points to stimulate the body’s natural, self-curative abilities.
“Acu” means “healing point,” so when you apply pressure to these “healing points,” you are stimulating the body’s natural ability to heal. Muscular tension is released, the circulation of blood and the body’s life forces to aid healing are promoted.
Acupressure and acupuncture use the same points, except while acupuncture uses needles, acupressure uses the gentle but firm pressure of fingers, the hand, and even the foot. Acupressure is safe to do on yourself and others, even if you have never done it before.
Creating a wellness routine which includes acupressure, breathing, stretching and meditation will help you develop potent and powerful skills to balance your body from the inside out.
Common Ailments and Symptoms Treated With Acupressure:
- Back pain
- Neck and shoulder tension and/or pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Breathing difficulties
- Sinus problems
- Digestive issues (i.e., diarrhea, nausea, ulcer pain, indigestion, abdominal cramps)
- Menstrual cramps
- Can be done nearly anywhere and anytime
- Immediately available
- Produces fast and safe results
- Can reduce the need for costly medical visits, dependence on medications and risk of side effects
Before beginning acupressure, there are few things to be careful about:
- Do not press on infected skin, open wounds or over tumors;
- Specific points must be avoided if pregnant as they can induce uterine contractions.
How Does Acupressure Work?
Think of acupressure as a healing touch that reduces tension, increases circulation, and enables the body to relax. Relieving stress through acupressure strengthens resistance to disease and promotes wellness. With acupressure, symptoms are considered an expression of the condition of the body.
When using acupressure for the treatment and management of a migraine and headache, the focus is on relieving pain and discomfort as well as on responding to tension before it develops into a “dis-ease” or before the constrictions and imbalances can do further damage.
Through a mild, painless stimulation, acupressure inhibits the pain signals sent to the brain. This has been described as closing the “gates” of the pain-signaling system, preventing painful sensations from passing through the spinal cord to the brain.
Tension accumulates around pressure points. If you have a chronically tense muscle or are in a spasm, the secretion of lactic acid causes the muscle fibers to contract. This secretion can be caused by stress, fatigue, trauma, chemical imbalances and/or poor circulation.
When a point is pressed, the muscle tension yields to the finger pressure, elongating and relaxing the fibers, allowing blood to flow freely, and for toxins to be released and eliminated.
Increased circulation allows for more oxygen and other nutrients to enter affected areas, increasing the body’s resistance to illness and promotes a longer, healthier, and more vital life.