Headaches can be a real, well, headache! When one comes along, we either try to muscle through it or we go to our trusty pain reliever. But, what if there was a different way to manage headaches? Would you give it a try? Acupressure can be useful for all types of headaches, including tension headaches, sinus headaches and migraines.

Acupressure can be used in addition to your regular headache care. It is a technique that is thousands of years old and is used for many health purposes. Acupressure is a self-care tool that may shorten a headache episode and may also decrease the number of headache days you experience. Once you learn this simple acupressure routine, you can use it anywhere and anytime. Some find that using this routine regularly may reduce the frequency of their headache symptoms.

Some acupressure points are in areas of your head that you might naturally rub during a headache. Other points in this routine are located elsewhere on the body in areas that are known to help headaches. Some points may be difficult to reach. If you cannot easily reach a point, simply skip that point in the routine and use the others.

You may find your results are best if you can begin the routine as soon as you feel the headache coming on. Doing this routine regularly may also help prevent headaches.

Join Licensed Acupuncturist Stephanie Gregory from the Portland VA Medical Center in this acupressure self-care for headaches session. This acupressure video is not intended to replace any medical treatment and should be used in conjunction with your regular care. If you are uncertain if this routine is good for you, talk with your health care provider before beginning. This 8 ½ minute video teaches a self-care technique that may be useful to reduce headache pain.

Click here to download a handout that accompanies the video above.

More resources

Too much stress in your life, causing you headaches, poor sleep and other issues? Learn to manage your stress with mindful awareness. Click here to learn more: https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/circle-of-health/mindful-awareness.asp.

Check out VA resources and interactive tools that can take you to the next step in your Whole Health journey. Get started here: va.gov/WholeHealth.


Stephanie Gregory, LAc; Laurieanne Nabinger, RN, LEAMP; Sharon M. Weinstein, MD, MT; and Juli Olson, DC, DACM, contributed to this story.

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