Headaches come in all shapes and sizes. Migraine, tension, cluster and sinus are four broad categories. These categories can be broken down by location to frontal, temporal, occipital, vertex and whole head. There are also a few different kinds of migraine headaches. Just like headaches come in all shapes and sizes, there are different acupuncture points that will address each of type and location. Choosing the right points for your specific headache takes training and clinical experience, however, there are some points that are so effective, that they can be used for almost any type.
How acupuncture helps headaches
Most headaches happen in the nerves, muscles and blood vessels that cover a person’s head and neck. Tightness, restriction and impingement on nerves and blood vessels cause the pain that is a headache. Acupuncture reduces inflammation, increases circulation, relaxes muscles and even causes the body to produce powerful pain-relieving hormones and neurotransmitters. All of this not only relieves the pain of the headache but also helps the body retrain itself and heal. Some of the most commonly used acupuncture points for headaches are listed below.
Large Intestine 4 for general headaches
This acupuncture point, shown below, excels at treating almost any type of headache. This point travels up the neck and to the face and will increase blood flow and help reduce inflammation.
Liver 3 for general headaches
Located on the top of the foot (shown below) this point is often used in conjunction with Large Intestine 4 and is the number one point on the entire body for extinguishing pain. Since Large Intestine 4 targets the face and neck, when this point is added, it works synergistically to increase the effectiveness of the pain relief.
Gallbladder 41 & San Jiao 5
These two points are used together to address temporal headaches (sides of the head). Both points travel to the sides of the head and will relax the muscles in this area.
Bladder 60 & Small Intestine 3
These points are also used together but help with the back of the neck and head (occipital area). These are areas that are affected by stress and too much visual stimulation.
Stomach 36 & Large Intestine 4
Large Intestine 4 shows up again but this time in conjunction with Stomach 36. These two points alleviate frontal and sinus headaches.
If you are suffering with a headache, these points can be stimulated with medium to heavy pressure with the tip of your finger to help reduce and eliminate the headache. If your headaches are chronic or if you get more than one a week, it is a signal from your body that something is wrong, and you should seek help. At Princeton Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, we offer a 30-minute consultation. Stop suffering and listen to your body, acupuncture can help!
Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!