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Reflex Points for Migraine Relief

Reflex Points for Migraine Relief - Natural Treatment

Migraines are one of the most devastating forms of headaches. With an intense throbbing sensation and persistent pain typically on one side of the head, they can incapacitate the body and last anywhere from two to 72 hours.

Treatment for migraine sufferers includes some effective over-the-counter medications that combine nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin with caffeine, physician prescribed medication including vasoconstrictors like tryptans and ergots, antiemetic’s for nausea, and opioids or glucocorticoids for pain relief. But, is it possible to self-manage recurring migraines or provide symptom relief? The Mayo Clinic suggests that nontraditional therapies like alternative medicine along with diet and lifestyle changes have shown promise in the prevention and effective treatment of migraines.

For self-care, the alternative medicine practices of acupuncture, acupressure and reflexology may be useful in migraine therapy. Each modality targets responsive points or areas on the skin’s surface to create a systemic bodily and energetic response for the relief of pain or symptoms associated with a migraine.

Acupuncture – As one of the oldest healing practices in the world, the traditional Chinese medicine practice of acupuncture is thought to correct the imbalances in the flow of qi by removing blockages in energetic channels known as meridians. Using needles on skin reflex points, it can stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue to relieve migraine pain and symptoms. A Chinese practitioner will often focus on a collection of “head wind” and unilateral headache points along with eye, nausea and sensory disturbance relieving points. The following combinations are useful in treating migraines.

Acupressure – Acupressure uses the same reflex points as acupuncture, but the areas are stimulated with gentle pressure using fingers, hands or small seeds in place of needles. Points can be held, rubbed or tapped until a change in temperature, sensitivity, pain or pulse is observed. For migraine sufferers whose head and temples are particularly sensitive, three clusters of self-applied acupressure points on the neck, the base of the head and extremities such as the hands and feet are useful.

Reflexology –  Known as zone therapy, reflexology is a system of areas on the surface of the feet, hands and ears that when stimulated, can effect a physical change in a specific organ, region or body part. With traces of its origin in Egyptian tombs and evidence of its use in the writings of Hippocrates, reflexology was introduced to the Western world in 1913 by William H. Fitzgerald, MD, and popularized in the 1930s and 1940s by the nurse and physiotherapist Eunice Ingham. Six reflex regions on the feet are easy to access for migraine sufferers and may provide significant relief when stimulated or massaged.

By: Julie A. Cerrato, PhD AP CYT CAT


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