by Jonathan Parker
What a pain!
One of the most common ailments you can experience is headaches. 90% of the population will get them at one point or another, and what I wouldn’t give to be the other 10%. Unfortunately with myriad causes of head pain, it’s bound to happen eventually. After all, changes in the weather aren’t always easy to avoid. Personally mine originate from lack of sleep and work stress, both of which I’m continually trying to avoid.
Well, a while back, one of those days caught up with me. A kind coworker of mine noticed my discomfort and asked if he could try something he learned while growing up in India. While he didn’t call it ‘acupressure’ the explanation of the technique seemed similar to something I had read about before and made me curious to learn more.
Acupressure is an alternative medicine approach developed in Tibet before acupuncture came to be. To keep it as basic as possible, the idea is this. You can affect the flow of energy and chemistry in your body by applying pressure at specific areas of your body. Call them meridians or pressure points or whatever you like. I try not to be skeptical of any approach until I’ve listened to others’ experiences and tried it for myself. Well, being at work, I didn’t have time to do any reading so I just let him give it a shot. He simply took the end of a pen and pressed (quite firmly actually, ow) at a spot on my thumb. And wouldn’t you know it? Headache gone. In seconds. I can’t speak for anyone else but this has become my default method whenever I feel a little head pain coming on. It doesn’t always work though, so I thought I would pull together a few different methods to give myself a broader approach to fixing the ol’ noggin. Here are five others I found.
- The inside of your eyebrows, just above the bridge of your nose. Application of pressure to this point – directly over the facial sinuses – can lead to some relief with headaches. Ever notice how your hands naturally gravitate to this area when you have pain?
- The temples – These areas seem to hold a lot of the muscle stress from the rest of the scalp. Just my personal observation. And gently massaging both temples with your thumbs or fingers can help relieve some of that built-up tension.
- The base of the skull. Again, here we have some of the primary muscles for the head and neck. Tilt your head back and press upwards in a circular motion.
- Between the thumb and index finger. There is a pressure point located in this meaty part of the hand. Firmly pinch the area between the thumb and forefinger with the … well, the other thumb and forefinger, and give it a good massage.
- This last one might be a little harder to do at work. Start between your big toe and second toe. On the top of your foot come back about one inch and press down.
So, next time you feel that ache behind your eyes, or anywhere else, try and remember some of these methods and deal with your pain a natural way before it gets too bad. Hopefully they will work for you.
Jonathan Parker is an EMT-Paramedic and Preparedness Instructor with a love for emergency medicine, self-sufficiency and homesteading. His goal is to empower people towards a natural and sustainable lifestyle.