5 Major Acupuncture/Acupressure Points for Headaches

By Isabel Meijering, DACM, L.Ac – April 4, 2022

Let’s talk about headaches. We have all had one at least once in our lifetime. Although headaches are a product of various causes and situations, there are some major acupuncture points that will help decrease and take away your pain.

1. Large Intestine 4 (LI4)

This point is one of the most widely used points in all of acupuncture. It is located in the webbing between your thumb and pointer finger on either hand. This is the command point for your head and face, making it a perfect place to start treating headaches. 

If you take your thumb and pointer finger on one hand and grab LI4 on the opposite, you will find a tender spot. This takes a good amount of pressure, so don’t be shy! Once you find the uncomfortable spot, hold it and take deep belly breaths. You can hold this point and massage it for a few minutes if need be or until your headache decreases. 

2. Yintang

This point is often referred to as the pineal gland point or third eye. It is located directly between your eyebrows. It is a great point to use for sinus headaches and headaches due to emotional overwhelm. 

I like to use either my thumb or pointer finger for this point and, again, use firm pressure. Hold this point while you take deep, soothing breaths and close your eyes if you feel called. Massage the point as long as you need to until your headache lessens or subsides.

Person getting acupuncture.

3. Taiyang

One of my all-time favorite acupuncture points, this one is located at the level of the other canthus (the eye’s outer or inner corner) of your eye, in the middle of your temples. 

Massage this point with both your pointer and middle fingers while closing your eyes and taking deep, soothing breaths. You can even hold the point with a lot of pressure when you find a tender spot. I like to massage this area in circles and even pull the skin back toward my ears. Here, around your hairline, you may find other tender areas. Welcome to a part of your gallbladder meridian! This is a fantastic region to use massage and acupressure when you are feeling angry, upset or overwhelmed. 

4. Gallbladder 20

Speaking of the gallbladder meridian, let’s move to the back of the neck. This acupuncture point will focus on headaches located on the occiput, back of the head and upper neck, commonly from muscle strain and tightness. This point is between the sternocleidomastoid (the largest muscle toward the front of your neck) and trapezius (muscles toward the back of your neck) insertions to the skull. 

In other words, using both your pointer and middle fingers, run your fingers up your neck until you catch on the base of your skull. Now, if your fingers are toward the center of your skull, slide your fingers laterally toward your ears and you will feel your fingers dip into a depression between neck muscles. It will also be tender when using strong pressure. This is it! Or, really, any area at the base of your skull that is tender will benefit from acupressure. It does not have to be the exact spot I am referring to in order to be successful.

5. Liver 2

This acupressure point is located in the webbing between your big toe and your second toe. Use great pressure when massaging this point. You will notice soreness and tenderness here with dizziness, vertigo and emotional upset, especially anger and frustration. 

This is a great start in learning the world of acupressure. I hope these points help you in moments when you need a clear head! 

 

About the Author

Isabel smiling.

Dr. Isabel Meijering is an acupuncturist in Austin and is the owner of Admiring You Wellness. She has her doctorate in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine and specializes in cupping therapy, pain management, psycho-emotional support, menstruation support and allergies. She also has a B.S. in biomedical sciences with a minor in psychology and has a deep love for both eastern and western medicine.

 
 

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