How to self-treat headaches with Acupuncture point LI4 (HE GU)

LI4 or HE GU is in the center of the web between the thumb and pointer finger, on both hands. It is a powerhouse point for headaches and pain of many forms. Some of the Eastern applications for this point is to treat dizziness, reduces sweating from colds, relieves pain within the head, face and sensory organs and help to resolve a feeling of heat in the lungs.
There are many reasons why headaches can form:
Tension headaches: are primarily from overuse or misuse of the muscles supporting he head and neck and adjunct muscles, such as the shoulders and upper back. As tension increases in these muscles, restrictions form on attachments to the skull, spine and connecting joints. This can also relate to TMJ or jaw/teeth pain and misalignments. This increases torque and pressure on structure which creates imbalances which finally cause pain/headaches.
Sinus headaches: occur from the build-up of fluid and mucus within the sinus cavity due to a failure to drain via the lymph system from infection or a blockage via inflammatory factors from histamine responses. Pressure in the sinus will Occasionally this pressure can lead to earaches, sore throats and breathing issues.
Eye strain: is usually due to excessive time spent staring at a computer screen or phone, doing intricate or precision work, not wearing prescribed eyewear or biomedical conditions such as glaucoma. Regardless, the eye muscles are tired and strained. With any muscle in the body that is overworked, there will be pain and discomfort to that muscle.

Although the application of acupuncture needling is the best method for addressing headaches, self-application with manual pressure to this point can reduce the severity of your pain until you can get to your acupuncturist. Simply use your opposite thumb to pinch into the area. You will feel a local radiating sensation which tells you, that is the point! Hold point until the initial feeling subsides, then move to the other hand. You might need to switch a few times before the headache reduces. Also!!! Drink water, just to be sure your headache is not from dehydration, which is only alleviated by hydrating.
If your headache persists, there may be an underlying cause for your pain. Make an appointment with one of our Acupuncturists to assess your presentation and get you on the road to being pain free….
Eileen M. Egan-Russo, D.Ac. Lmt.

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