DIY Acupressure Massage for Headaches
Hi everyone! Marissa Liza here from All Points Acupuncture and Wellness Center. I wanted to come back at you again and talk to you a little bit about some simple techniques and acupuncture points that you can massage at home to help prevent headaches.
Headaches are one of the most common things we see in practice. Most of the time, headaches are due to muscular pain from tightening and clenching our jaw. Oftentimes, from being seated at a desk all day or not realizing the amount of stress that we are under, we tend to tighten our shoulders and tighten our jaws. So, here are a couple techniques that you can do at home to help keep these areas as loose as possible.
Awareness of Our Shoulders
First, I encourage you during the day to set an alarm for every hour that you’re working. Once that alarm goes off, I want you to pay attention to where your shoulders are. Most of the time, we don’t realize that we’re sitting over our desk, with our shoulders up like this. This is also common while we’re watching TV or reading a book. And of course, most of us are on our phones a lot, so we tend to be hunched over with our shoulders up.
Once that alarm goes off, I want you to take a moment to press your shoulders down. Release all that tension. You can even use your opposite hand to massage the muscles in your neck and take deep breaths during this period.
Again, set an alarm for every hour that you’re going to be seated, whether it’s on the hour, on the half-hour, and take a moment to make sure that your shoulders are down and relaxed.
Unclench Your Jaw
The second thing that we tend to do that we don’t realize is clench our teeth. Most often, this happens when we’re driving, doing activities at home such as washing dishes, reading, being on our phone – our tension goes right into our jaw. This often happens while we’re sleeping, and unfortunately, the only way to prevent that is to wear a mouthguard.
If you find yourself getting headaches on the sides of your head, by your ears, or even sometimes into your jawline, most of the time, this can mean that you’re clenching your teeth and not realizing it.
What I encourage you to do (again, you can even try this every hour) is to trace the top of your eyebrows down to the sides of your eyes. You’ll find that there’s a little indentation here. Massage it in circles for one minute, and then the opposite way for another minute.
Again, we’re going to trace the top of our eyebrows down to the indentation on the side of our eyes and massage it for a minute one way and a minute the other way. Around, and down.
What we can also do when we find ourselves clenching our teeth is take a moment to take a deep breath and relax our jaw.
The Collarbone Acupuncture Point
Now, I’m going to leave you with one final tip that you can do at any time. One of my favorite acupuncture points to use, and that’s extremely effective at providing a calming feeling but also giving us an energy boost, is located right underneath your collarbone.
Your collarbone runs across the top of your chest. I want you to come to the middle of the collarbone and go right underneath it – there’s a bit of an indentation there, on each side. What you can do with your two fingers is gently tap this area, just as so. I do this for about two to three minutes, a couple times during the day.
This works great if you’re in a situation where you’re feeling very anxious, and you’re not really sure of a way out. Let’s say you’re having an anxiety attack when you’re at the supermarket, or you’re in the middle of a stressful email or a stressful meeting. Take a few moments, find that point right underneath your collarbone, and gently tap it.
I hope you guys have a great night, and I can’t wait to see you again soon. Take care!
May 25, 2020