Self Care for Headaches & Migraines

Do you suffer from headaches or migraines?  Unfortunately, I’m a long time migraineur, but luckily I have learned a thing or two since I began studying Chinese Medicine way back in 2002…  (wow, I’ve had Chinese medicine in my life for 20 years now!)

Acupuncture is well researched in the field of headache and migraine and there is strong evidence showing a positive effect for both tension headaches and migraine prophylaxis. (Acupuncture Evidence Project, McDonald J, and Janz S, 2017). 

These points on the feet are some of my favourite points to massage (and acupuncture) when I actually have a headache or migraine, and you won’t believe how exquisitely painful (and releasing) these points can be.

These points are fantastic for drawing down the heat and pain from the head and although super tender, I find these to be deeply calming also.

Combine with a Hot Foot Bath

One trick I found to be really useful whilst in the midst of a migraine is to have a Hot Foot Bath.  Add some salt and/or lavender oil (if you find that useful) to hot water, sit back in a comfy chair, pop on an eye pillow and soak your feet up to about 3 cm above the ankles.  Make the water hot so you can only just tap the soles of your feet until the water cools a little and you can slip your feet in.  This stimulates all the reflexology zones on the feet.  Soak for 20 mins.

After this, get in deep and strongly massage these points on the feet – with the direction starting at the top point and drawing it out to the toes.  If you can get someone else to do it even better, otherwise using something like a chopstick or pen with the lid on and really digging deep into each point is very releasing.

These tips are only recommended as an addition to your usual care.  Once a migraine kicks you know what you need to do, but these ideas can help to calm and turn the volume down a little. 

It is important to remember to seek immediate medical attention if you’re experiencing the worst headache you’ve ever had, lose vision or consciousness, have uncontrollable vomiting, or if your headache lasts more than 72 hours with less than 4 hours pain-free, or if your usual pattern of headaches has changed.

As always, we are here to support you, so let us know if you need a bit of extra help with some acupuncture. 

Until next time,

Dr Renee

Dr Renee Knott

About the Author:
Dr. Renee Knott is a passionate and highly experienced, nationally registered Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist and Herbalist with 15 years clinical experience.  Dr Renee enjoys providing her patients with exceptional natural health care, utilising the tools of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, dietary and lifestyle advice (Yang Sheng). Find out more about Dr Renee here.

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