Quick & Simple Home Headache Solutions

LI_4Many people have heard of using acupressure on the muscle located between the thumb and index finger to treat headaches. This point is known as Large Intestine 4 (LI 4) or Hegu (Chinese for “Joining Valley,” referring to the mound that muscle forms when you squeeze your thumb in towards your hand). A few other really useful points which acupuncturists often needle are located on the feet. One of my teachers at school would often repeat “feet help the head” to help us remember that points far away from a condition’s location are often the best ones to use. Next time you have a headache, try rubbing your feet–or, if you’re lucky, get someone else to do it! Pay particular attention to the tops of your feet, especially the areas about 1/2″ proximal to the webs between your toes. Feel for tender points, on one side or both, and apply gentle pressure until your headache dissipates.

The point between the big toe and 2nd toe is Liver 2 (Xingjian–Moving Between). The two next points are both St 44 (Neiting–Inner Courtyard), the traditional location and an alternate location. There is also a point located between the 4th and 5th metatarsal bones, just distal to where they meet, called Gallbladder 41 (Zulinqi–Foot Governor of Tears). This last point could prove especially useful for migraines or one-sided headaches, and not always on the same side of the headache–check both feet and rub the side that proves to be more tender. foot points

These simple ideas can work well, but more individualized care (through Tuina massage, acupuncture, and herbs) will often yield better, more immediate results. Schedule an appointment or contact me for a free consultation.