Headaches are obviously no fun, but as tempting as it is to reach for some aspirin, you might want to try a more natural solution first. Working with pressure points to relieve a headache is kind of magical. These are bunches of nerves located on certain points of the body, such as the temples, and help regulate blood circulation throughout the body. When stimulated, they can relax tight, stressed muscles and boost circulation. Since most common headaches are caused by tension—tight muscles in the face and neck area—working with pressure points may ease the pain.

Temples

Your temples are located on the sides of your head, at eyebrow level. To find them, touch the end of each of your brows with your thumbs, and then move your thumbs about 1/2 inch toward the back of your head. Stop there and press gently. Using your thumbs, lightly massage both temples simultaneously, with small, counterclockwise motions, for one minute while taking deep breaths.

Inside the Brows

Two pressure points are located at the inside ends of the eyebrows, right above the bridge of the nose. Don’t just press into these areas as this might cause an overwhelming feeling. Using your index fingers, gently massage the areas for 30 seconds.

Base of the Skull

Place your thumbs on the sides of your spinal column on the back of your neck, where the neck meets the base of the skull. Tilt your head back gently and press upward into your neck for two minutes. Take deep breaths. If this is uncomfortable, sit in a chair and bend over, propping your elbows on a table or desk. Press your thumbs into the base of your skull on the sides of your spinal column and tilt your head back.

Your neck area is filled with bunches of nerves and muscles. It’s where your body meets your brain. Major electrical impulses travel through the spinal column, making it an information highway. Keeping your neck muscles relaxed will benefit your brain function and mental clarity, whether you experience headaches or not.

Between the Thumb and Index Finger

In the webbing between the thumb and index finger is a pressure point well known to cure headaches. The point is located close to the bone in that area, not in the center of the webbing. Use your thumb and index finger to squeeze the point on your opposite hand. If you’re doing it properly, you will feel the nerve beneath the skin and some pressure as you squeeze. Squeeze the point for a minute on each hand. Be sure to take deep breaths.

Feet

According to the art of reflexology, points on the feet are connected to the body’s organs. By stimulating certain points on the feet, you can relieve a headache. In the space between the big toe and second toe is a pressure point. Use your thumb to apply pressure to the top of this spot. Rub the area for one minute.

Tips

  • When working with your pressure points, try to be in a relaxing space. If you’re at work, take a few moments to be alone.
  • Try using essential oils while working on your pressure points. Chamomile, lavender, and peppermint are known to soothe headaches. Dilute a few drops in a carrier oil, like almond or olive oil, and massage into pressure points.