Can you stand the pressure?

I am prone to headaches. Not full blown migraines like some of my friends get, but your everyday tension headache. It is the most common type of headache, a pain in the head, scalp or neck that is a result of the surrounding muscles getting tense.

Tension headaches can be caused by stress, depression, anxiety, fatigue or any activity that causes the head to be held in one position for a long time. Like when I sit staring at the computer all day.

There are many ways to deal with this type of headache that do not include the use of medication. When I am feeling less than whole I like to use the simplest, least invasive techniques first and only resort to chemical alteration when nothing else has worked.

One of the simplest forms of headache relief is acupressure. Quick and easy, acupressure is a natural solution for tension headaches. Acupressure has been used in China for at least 2000 years and is recommended today by a growing number of wellness practitioners, massage therapists and even some enlightened doctors!

I am by no means skilled in acupressure but the points for relieving tension headaches are so simple that anyone can take matters into their own hands.

The first acupressure point for relieving headaches is called GB20. It is located below the base of the skull in the hollows on both sides of the neck. Put your hands on your head and use your thumbs to locate the depression at the base of your skull, about 2 inches out from the middle of your neck outside of the large muscles running down the back of your neck.

Press your thumbs in and slightly upward in the direction of your eyes. Press until you feel no more than a comfortable pain, then hold the pressure while you knead the points in very small circular movements for 1-2 minutes. Close your eyes and focus on the points as you press them. If the points are very tender ease off the pressure a bit.

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