We’ve all experienced that creeping tension that leads to a mild, throbbing, or stabbing pain in our heads at some point. And for many of us, headaches seem to come too often. It can be hard to think and concentrate, and sometimes, you just don’t have time to relax and sleep it away. This is one of our favorite acupressure points to ease a headache when we are on the go and don’t have time to take a nap and relax.
Time needed: 1 minute.
Acupressure for headaches
- First, drink some water!
Back in college, I heard that most headaches were caused by dehydration. Whenever either of us feels a headache coming on, the first thing we do is up our water intake.
- In the webbing between your thumb and index finger lies an acupressure point called Large Intestine 4.
This point, also called “Hegu” or “Converging Valley” is a wonderful acupressure point reported to clear unneeded, stagnant energy. Regardless of the type or reason for your headache, pressing this point can help relieve the pain.
Note: Do not press this point if you are pregnant.
You can press the point on either hand. I like to explore the difference in my hands: one of them typically feels more sore than the other.
- Press this point gently, and then increase your pressure until you feel a mild soreness.
Don’t press so deeply that you are bruising your hand.
- Breathe as you keep your pressure steady on the point.
As the feeling changes, try doing small thumb circles over the point.
- While you are pressing the point, move the joint that’s closest to your perceived pain.
In the case of headaches, move your neck. Look side to side, nod up and down, tilt your head side to side. Neck circles are a relaxing way to move your head. Also, move your eyes. Look to the left, right, up and down, and then circling your eyes. Exercising and stretching the muscles behind your eyes that may be contributing to your headache while pressing the Converging Valley point.
- Keep your pressure until you notice a change in sensation.
We generally notice when we press an acupressure point that needs work, it can feel intense at first. After several seconds (or a few minutes) of steady pressure, the intensity usually subsides and we move to the next point. However, when using acupressure for headaches, it is best to maintain steady pressure for a longer time.
- Repeat throughout the day when you feel the tension rising…and keep drinking your water!
The recommended daily water intake is a half ounce to an ounce per pound of bodyweight.
BONUS: The Converging Valley is on the large intestine meridian. So if your headaches are related to digestive stagnation, pressing this point can help things get flowing. 😅
Massaging the Converging Valley and drinking water are a great starting point for staving off headaches. We hope this helps you next time you have a headache. It is comforting to have a safe and natural way to help ease pain.
If you are interested in learning more about self massage, we have created the Whole Body Transformation: an online program that shows you how to give yourself a completely relaxing and effective massage.