Headaches present differently for each person, with varying degrees of pain, tension, and/or tenderness. So, a lot will depend on the location of the pain, as far as which points will require acupressure. To begin, the first step is to sit comfortably, take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed, and loosen any tension or tight muscles in the body. Performing acupressure while relaxed ensures optimal results.
First, Large Intestine 4 is such a powerful acupuncture point for headaches that it is often referred to as “the headache point.” It is located on the padded area of your hand, between the thumb and index finger and between the first and second metacarpal bones. Massage this point with your thumb on both hands for approximately 30 seconds.
Second, Taiyang on the temples. If your headache is on one or both sides of your head, which can include the temples, then apply pressure at a point called TaiYang, which is half way between the outer corner of the eyebrow and your hairline. Using a firm touch from your middle finger, press and hold for 10 seconds. Next, without lifting your fingers, make little clockwise circular motions for 10 seconds. Repeat this procedure in a counter-clockwise motion. This may be repeated for up to 3 minutes.
Third, there is Gall Bladder 20 called Feng Chi. For relieving pain and tension in the back of the head and neck, the area including and surrounding GB20, is an excellent choice. You will find your left and right GB20 point about 2 inches outward from your spine, at the base of your skull. The medical term for this part of the cranium is the occipital bone. Cradle the back of your head in both hands and use your thumbs to firmly rub back and forth right below your occipital bones. Create some heat with a vigorous rub, then use your thumb pads to press into the area. This can be done for 2 or 3 minutes.
Do you or someone you know suffer from headaches or migraines? Call today to find out how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!
Qigong breathing means breathing fully from your abdomen or from the bottom of your lungs. It is exactly the reverse of the way you breathe when you’re anxious or tense, which is typically shallow and high in your chest. This is the way we breathe when we were a baby. All mammals breathe this way whenever they are in a state of relaxation, i.e., when there’s no clear and present danger in their environment.
Qigong breathing helps center your awareness in your body, rather than in your head, so that you feel more physically and energetically grounded. It helps you to relax your neck, shoulders and arms. It improves the circulation of blood and the flow of Qi in your internal organs.
Belly breathing provides a wonderful massage for your internal organs and increases the blood circulation throughout your internal organs. It expands our oxygen intake to a maximum, and releases accumulated toxins rapidly.
Steps of Qigoing Breathing
Qigong breathing can be done sitting down, laying on a floor, or walking. To practice abdominal breathing, follow these steps:
Take several slow and deep breaths through your nose, focusing your mind only on your breaths.
Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose from your abdomen in a circular motion, as if you’re drawing a circle with your breath. You will see your stomach rises (inhale for 5 counts, and gradually increase to 10 to 20 counts).
When you inhale fully, pause for a moment and squeeze your sphincter muscle (around your anus) slightly.
Exhale slowly through your nose for 5 counts which can increase at a later point. (Some prefer to exhale through the mouth and/or a longer exhalation, but they are not critical). Imagine your belly flattens all the way back to your spine, when you exhale.
Repeat the above process as long as your feel comfortable, up to 30 minutes to an hour.
Resume your Qigong breathing when you are about to sleep.
Practicing good sleep hygiene and keeping your body in sync with the rhythm of day and night can help your body cope with sleep deprivation. By following few of these suggestions, you should notice a great improvement in your sleep.
Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Keep it dark, cool and quiet. Angle the clock face away from the bed. If you get up to use the bathroom during the night, don’t turn on the light; use a nightlight to safely guide you. The optimal temperature for sleep is 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Avoid heavy meals and sugary or high grain snacks before bed. They will raise your blood sugar and make it difficult to fall asleep. Reduce nicotine, caffeine and alcohol use. If you are hungry, try yogurt, a banana or half of a turkey sandwich.
Reduce Late Night Activity
Stop working at least an hour before you plan to go to bed. Let your mind relax. Limit television and computer use in the evening. If you want to read in bed, avoid backlit devices as the light stimulates the brain. Read a book or use a device that requires you to use a separate soft light source.
Establish a relaxing routine as you prepare for bed. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time everyday, even on weekends. Relax by taking a hot shower, practicing mediation, or try progressive muscle relaxation, starting at your toes and working up to the top of the head.
It is important to leave the day’s worries behind. Do not over think while you lie in bed. Take a deep breath, clear your mind and drift into a state of restful sleep.