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Pressure Points for Migraines

What You need to know about Acupressure and Pressure Points for Migraine Pain Relief

Are migraines ruining your life and turning it into a never-ending battle against pain? Say goodbye to those debilitating headaches and find quick relief with pressure points. In this article, I will reveal several methods to alleviate migraine pain using simple yet effective techniques. Whether you're a long-time sufferer of migraines or experiencing your first attack, understanding the power of pressure points can make a world of difference.


Don't let migraines control your life any longer. Get ready to experience an effective and natural way to alleviate migraines and enjoy your life more. 

Do you have headaches instead of migraines? Read the page 

Pressure Points for Headaches 

What are pressure points for migraine relief?

pressure points on the hand, Li 4

Pressure points are little areas on your body that when pressed can produce pain relief, increase circulation, and help to relax muscles. They are located all over your body including on your hands, feet, arms, legs, head, ears, shoulders, and face. 

There are several keys to get relief from migraine pain when using pressure points. The first thing to know is where the points are located. Second, you must use an appropriate amount of stimulation intensity and for a proper amount of time. This is very important. If you do not hold the points with enough pressure, or if you don't hold them long enough, you will likely not get good results. A final tip for getting pain relief from migraines with pressure points, is to use more than one point. For the best results, you typically need to use at least 3 points and up to 10.

The Best Pressure Points for Migraine Headaches

Some of the best pressure points for migraines are located in the ear. These points have a direct connection to your brain and the nerves that go to the face. While it is possible to use these points at home, simply pressing them with your fingers will likely not be strong enough. However, it is possible to use these pressure points at home and it's best to use tools such as an ear probe, ear seeds, or an electric pressure point pen. I will talk about these more below.

When I use ear points in my clinic, patients often get pain relief within minutes. This is because acupuncture provides strong stimulation with the needle. Another technique acupuncturists use is to place electricity on the needles to provide electrical stimulation. This is especially powerful because the needle and electricity provide strong enough stimulation to stop the pain. Doctors and researchers know that this works because your body releases its natural endorphins in response to acupuncture and electricity.

Ear pressure points for headaches and migraines

While electrical acupuncture in your ear may sound uncomfortable, it is not as bad as some people think. This is because acupuncture needles are very small and the electricity is very mild. 

The good news is that you don't need acupuncture needles. Instead, you can use an electric acu-pen at home on your own to get pain relief.

In my class, Pressure Points for Migraine and Headache Relief, I go into all the details about how to use these devices at home.

Electric Acu-Pressure Pens and Tools

electric acupuncture pen

You may have seen a device like this if you have ever had acupuncture. Many acupuncturists will use these for locating points in the ear or for providing electrical stimulation without using a needle. These devices allow you to locate points and stimulate pressure points with a gentle electrical current. 

These are also great to use at home because they are easy to use and provide quick relief for migraine pain. While acu-pens are easy to use, the challenge is finding the right points, and stimulating them with the right intensity for the right amount of time. 

As an acupuncturist with over 25 years of experience, I can honestly say that it can take two or three sessions to find the right points and combinations of points to get people long-lasting relief. While I may be able to stop pain quickly and within minutes for many of my patients, the trick is to get lasting pain relief that lasts weeks or months, rather than just pain relief that lasts for a few hours or days. Medications work in a similar way, they give pain relief for a few hours, or for a day, but then the pain comes back.   

My Goal is to Get You Long Lasting Relief from Migraines and Headaches Using Pressure Points, and in a Way that Allows you to Manage the Pain on Your Own

You are a Unique Person and Your Migraine Pain Pattern Is unique

While there are common patterns to migraines such as intense pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound, there are also unique differences between people who suffer from migraines and headaches. 

For instance, some people with migraines also have sensitivity to sound, and loud sounds may be enough to cause a migraine. Similarly, other people are more sensitive to light, and bright lights may be what initiates or intensifies the pain. While light and sound sensitivity are common in people suffering from migraines, not everyone has such severe sensitivity to sound. 

Nausea and vomiting are also other common symptoms that occur with migraines. However, many people don't get these symptoms but may have more trouble with fatigue, neck stiffness, or mood changes. Since each person is different and has unique symptoms that occur with their migraines, the best results and relief occur with pressure points when each person's specific condition is addressed. 

Finding the Right Combination of Pressure Points for Migraine Relief

woman with a headache using pressure point yin tang

One of the most important things to know about when using pressure points for migraines is how to find the right combination of points specific to your personal needs. Typically, it requires at least 3 pressure points, but I will frequently use 5 or more points.


Getting the right combination of points is essential and will also allow you to see benefits with other symptoms you may have. For instance, for those who get migraines with neck pain, it is often possible to get relief with both the migraines and the neck pain simply by using the right combination of points. Similarly, if you have migraines and nausea, you can get relief from both of those conditions, but it requires a different combination of points than I would use for someone who has neck pain but not nausea. 

Since you are a unique person, with you own set of symptoms, it's important to get the right combination of 3 - 5 points specific to your needs. Let me show you a system for how to find the right points!


A Pressure Point Protocol & System for
Migraines & Headaches

I want to give you a system for how I approach working with migraines and headaches in general. This allows for a holistic personalized approach that accounts for your specific needs. I have used these methods on thousands of people with over 25 years of professional practice as an acupuncturist. These methods are also adapted so that you can take control of your life and use tools and techniques at home to get fast relief from migraines. Here are the specific steps we can start with, and I will explain them in more detail below.


1. List Your Top 3 Health Concerns

2. Start With Pressure Points in the Ear for Migraines and Headaches

3. Notice What Changes Occur

4. Take Notes on How Different Points Work

5. Use Pressure Points on Your Hands, Feet, and Body for Migraine Relief

6. Repeat What Works

7. Continue to Refine the System Until You Get Long Lasting Benefits 

1. List Your Top 3 Health Concerns

This is an important step that people often overlook. However, to get effective long-lasting results we need to understand the big picture of what is going wrong with your body. Make a list like this but replace the 2nd and 3rd points with your own primary health complaints. The list below is from an actual 28 year old patient that had a long history of suffering from migraines.


     1. Primary Health Complaint - Severe Migraines with Light Sensitivity and Nausea

     2. Second Concern / Complaint - Menstrual Pain and PMS

     3. Low Back Pain with General Pain and Fatigue

1. The patient's first concern was migraines that were so severe that she could not go to work when she had one. She was also nauseous 3 - 5 times a day when she had a migraine. She was very sensitive to light, so much so that she had to wear sunglasses even when indoors. 

2. Her second concern was PMS pain which was also debilitating and her migraines and PMS would often occur together. In fact, sometimes the period pain would start first and then lead to a migraine. The migraines were always worse with her periods. Sometimes she would not have a migraine between her periods. The migraines and PMS always occurred together.

3. Her third concern was knee pain from a sports injury.

What we did for her Migraines

To begin, I started by applying gentle electricity using an electric acu-pen as seen in the picture above. I stimulated the first pressure point for 5 minutes and she felt some decrease in the pain level. When we started the treatment she reported a pain level of 8 and after only 5 minutes the pain decreased to a 4. 

She was very happy with how quickly that worked and we waited another 5 minutes before stimulating another point. I then chose a second point, based on her specific needs, and we stimulated that point for another 5 minutes. This time she reported only slight improvement with a pain level of 3 - 4. I then finished with a third point and applied the electric pen several times over the course of another 5 minutes. The whole procedure took about 20 minutes.


When she left my office she said the pain decreased from being intense at a level 8, but that it went down to a low level of 3 - 4 after using the electric pen. She was concerned it would come back soon because they usually last all day or even several days.


She called me back 3 hours later and reported that the pain was gone completely. 


On her follow-up visit two days later, she reported that the pain had only returned that morning and that it was only at a level of 2 or 3. She was almost in tears when she told me this, because the last few years of her life had been ruled by migraine pain. This was some of the best relief she had in years.   

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Pressure Points on the Feet for Migraines

There are several pressure points on the feet for migraines and headaches and these are some of my favorites to use. One reason is because foot massages can be very relaxing and they calm the nerves while also promoting good sleep. This occurs via the parasympathetic nervous system that helps us to relax and rest. 

For migraines and headaches caused by stress and tension, getting regular foot massages can play a vital role in reducing the pain. Fortunately, electric foot massage machines can also be very useful and you can use them at home. 

Some of my favorite pressure points on the feet for migraines are shown in the image, and getting the appropriate stimulation can produce quick and effective relief for migraines. 

Pressure points LV 3, ST 42, GB 41, GB 42

Liver 3 (LV 3) - This is one of the most effective points for migraines and it is also great for pain in general. The point is located between the big toe and second toe. Typically, it is best to use two points in this area rather than just one. These points are best for headaches that occur behind the eyes, in the temples, or at the top of the head. Migraines that also occur with light and sound sensitivity respond well with this point. Other good things about using LV 3 is that it also helps with period pain, PMS, digestive problems, and jaw pain. This is one of the most common body points that I use for migraines.

Stomach 42 (ST 42) - This point works a lot like LV 3 and should be used for frontal headaches and when the pain is in the forehead. I also like this point for migraines and headaches that occur with sinus problems, eye pain, digestive disorders, and PMS. Often I will use ST 42 and LV 3 together.

Gallbladder 41 & 42 (GB 41 & GB 42) - These points can be just as effective as LV 3 and ST 42 but they are more specific for pain in the temples. I will also use these points when a patient has light or sound sensitivity, jaw pain, and shoulder pain that is related to the migraines. Like LV 3 these points can also be useful for pain in general.

Pressure Points on the Hands for Migraines

The hand has many pressure points for migraines and headaches. The most well known acupressure point is LI 4 located between the thumb and index finger. This is an easy point to apply pressure to and it often gives good results. However, it is important to remember that it requires pressing the point strong enough for a long enough time to get results and pain relief. Too often I see people apply a little bit of pressure for a very short time, and they expect that doing so little will produce dramatic results. This rarely happens! Instead what is required is to press the point firmly, and in fact, you should press hard enough that it is a little painful. If you don't feel a little pain when you press the point, either you're not pressing hard enough or you're not on the right pressure point. You need to feel some pain when you press the point or your body will not release it own natural painkillers - endorphins.


pressure points on the back, shoulders, and hands

The other thing to know is that you need to press for at least 30 seconds and up to 2 minutes each time you press the point. If you only press for 10 - 20 seconds with soft pressure, don't expect to feel results and pain relief from your migraine. However, if you hold the point with firm to strong pressure and feel some discomfort while you press the point, then you can get results. Remember, hold for at least 30 seconds and up to 2 minutes. Doing this one time is referred to as one set. You will likely need to do 3 - 5 sets over about 3 - 15 minutes. 

After you complete one set by holding the pressure point, wait for 30 seconds - 2 minutes and then repeat the process of holding the pressure point. This constitutes the second set. Again, you will likely need to do 3 - 5 sets to get the best relief. However, you should start to notice the pain decrease fairly quickly. 

For some people and for those with very intense pain, it will likely be best to use an electric pen. In many ways these are more convenient and easy to use, and because they use electricity, it produces a strong response in your body. Many times I have seen people only get mild relief with using pressure but when they switch to using an electric acupuncture pen, the results improve significantly. You can start with pressure at home, but I highly suggest investing in an electric pen because the results will be much better. For instance, if you apply pressure to the pressure points with your thumb and fingers you may get 10% - 60% percent improvement. However, if you use an electric pen, it is likely you can get 50% - 100% improvement!

Learn More About Pressure points & Natural Remedies for Migraines

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Research on Electrical Stimulation of the Ear

A lot of studies have been done on stimulating the ear with electricity and acupuncture for migraines, headaches, and other conditions like epilepsy, heart disease, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more. The findings are very promising. The research also corresponds with what I have found to be true in over 23 years of clinical practice. Below I reference research articles on these topics.

Management of auricular transcutaneous neuromodulation and electro-acupuncture of the vagus nerve for chronic migraine: a systematic review; Fernandez-Hernando, David; Fernández-de-las-Peñas, Cesar; et al.; Front. Neurosci., 15 June 2023, Sec. Translational Neuroscience, Volume 17 - 2023,


Anatomo-Physiologic Basis for Auricular Stimulation; Beniamina Mercante, PhD,* Francesca Ginatempo, MSc, et al.; Medical Acupuncture, 2018 Jun 1; 30(3): 141–150.,


Electrical stimulation of cranial nerves in cognition and disease; Adair, Devin; Truong, Dennies, et al.;  Brain Stimulation, Volume 13, Issue 3, May–June 2020, Pages 717-750,


Visualizing the trigeminovagal complex in the human medulla by combining ex-vivo ultra-high resolution structural MRI and polarized light imaging microscopy; Henssen, D.J.H.A., Derks, B., van Doorn, M. et al., Scientific Reports 9, 11305 (2019).

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