Pressure points for headaches

Occipital neuralgia nerves can be relieved with the use of an occipital neuralgia pillow.

Millions of people experience headaches every single day. Take a moment to consider that… millions are suffering every day with the same affliction. We would wager that an equally staggering amount of people could prevent them in the first place, just by drinking water and using a little acupressure to target pressure points for headaches.

We often use a simple trigger point massage tool to perform acupressure on our upper backs and trapezius muscles for occipital neuralgia and tension headaches. We would say it’s 100% worth exploring your pressure points for headaches as you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

Pressure Points for Headaches

With that in mind, let’s dive right in and review some of the most championed pressure points for headaches.

Pressure Point LI-4 (Hegu)

Handily located between the base of your thumb and index finger is one of the most famous pressure points for headaches and pain, the Hegu.

This one still amazes us… here’s how to do it.


  1. Pincer the area between index finger and thumb.
  2. Apply pressure here for 3-5 minutes. Don’t press so hard it hurts.
  3. Massage in small circular motions.
  4. Relax a little, then repeat on your other hand.

You can perform this as often as needed; it can get a little tender, so take it easy at first.

Scientists have long studied the positive effect massage can have on chronic tension headaches. Here’s a link to the fascinating results of a study that clearly demonstrated that headache frequency was significantly reduced with a single week of using self-massage.

  • Link one
  • Link two
  • Link three

The Drilling Bamboo 

The drilling bamboo points reside on either side of the nose where the ridge meets the eyebrows; here’s how to apply pressure in this area to reduce your headache pain.

  1. Using both index fingers, apply steady pressure to both spots at once (it shouldn’t be painful).
  2. Hold here for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Release and repeat up to 5 times.

Stimulating these pressure points can relieve headaches that are triggered by eye strain and sinus pain or pressure.

Gates of Consciousness

These grand, mystical-sounding pressure points can transport your headache to another dimension where pain doesn’t exist. We use these pressure points often and combine them with chin-tucks for extra relief.

Steady pressure on these pressure points can help relieve pain by triggering the body’s own pain relievers, endorphins.

Residing at the base of the skull, the Gates of Consciousness live in the recessed areas between the neck muscles. Here’s how to use them:

  1. Place your thumbs onto the pressure points.
  2. Take a deep breath and gradually apply pressure.
  3. Close your eyes, tilt your head back slowly, take slow, deep breaths, and hold for one to two minutes.

Applying steady pressure to these tender areas can help ease tension headaches by releasing tight neck muscles.  

Third eye (Yin Tang)

Arguably the most famous of the pressure points because of the volume of online images showing its location. The third eye sits between your eyebrows, where the nose meets the forehead, and it couldn’t be easier to activate.

  1. Use the index finger and apply firm pressure to this area for 1 minute.
  2. We like to add a little upward force to this as it feels great when you have a tension headache, or the eyes feel strained.

There are said to be numerous benefits of applying pressure to the Third Eye, including the relief of Sinus Pain, Tension Headaches, Eye Strain, Insomnia, and anxiety, but to name a few. We can tell you without a doubt that this works for us to help relieve a tension headache from mega-frowning, a bad habit we can’t seem to break.

Shoulder well

Now this area is perfect for a neck massager.  As you can see from the image below, the shoulder well sits midway between your shoulders and the base of your neck. You can pinch this area between forefinger and thumb yourself or get someone else to do it for you.

To use this pressure point:

  1. Pincer the area between forefinger and thumbe for 1 minute.
  2. Switch and repeat on the opposite side.

Applying consistent pressure in this area can ease stiffness and pain in your neck and shoulders, which has a knock-on effect of preventing tension headaches.

Buy a cheap neck massager

The Shoulder Well area responds 

Learning to activate pressure points is an easy, drug-free, and convenient way to treat headaches and other tension-related pain. 

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