Many people reach for medication to ease a headache. However, the ancient art of reflexology can provide natural, and even more instant, relief, says Safe Alternative Medicine. Your feet are most commonly linked to reflexology, but your hands have many of the same connections to other parts of your body and are generally easier to reach. Simple hand manipulation exercises may not cure a headache altogether, but altMD says they can give you some relief -- and they're easy to do on the go.
According to Safe Alternative Medicine, there are points on your hands and feet that directly relate to certain parts of your body, with the left part of your hand affecting the left part of your body and the right sides of your hands and body being connected. By massaging these areas on your hands, you can improve circulation to the corresponding body part or organ and relieve tension.
Using Reflexology Safely
This form of therapy is noninvasive, and Safe Alternative Medicine suggests that it may be especially useful if you can't use other treatments such as medications. However, do stop if you feel any actual pain when doing these exercises. altMD also advises using reflexology with caution -- or avoiding it altogether -- if you have conditions such as an infectious disease or deep vein thrombosis, and if you are pregnant or regularly use strong pain medication.
Headaches and Your Hands
altMD says the fleshy part between your thumb and forefinger and the top of the thumb can provide general headache relief. The tops of each finger, excluding your thumb, may give you some relief from sinus headaches, and the sides and base of each finger can relax a tense neck and shoulders, which is a common cause of headaches.
Working the Web of Your Hand
The key, says Headache Expert, is to find the tenderest spot in the web between your thumb and forefinger, and then use the thumb and forefinger of your other hand to pinch this spot. Hold and take a few slow, deep breaths before you release, then repeat on your other hand.
A good way to get an all-over hand massage that can, in turn, provide all-over headache relief, is to gently roll a golf ball between your palms, says Safe Alternative Medicine. Make sure the ball massages every part of your hands, especially the bases and tops of your fingers, which are headache-relieving hot spots.
Jessica began her writing career in 1995 and is Senior Editor at a London communications agency, where she writes and edits corporate publications covering health, I.T., banking and finance. Jessica has also written for consumer magazines including "Cosmopolitan" and travel, home/lifestyle and bridal titles. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and journalism from the University of Queensland.