Acupressure helps migraine

Migraine is a prolific and damaging disease. It affects somewhere between 10 and 15 per cent of the population and 23 per cent of households contain at least one migraine sufferer. According to Headache Australia virtually 100 per cent of people with migraine experience reductions in their capacity for work and socialising. So anything to reduce the severity of migraine is welcomed and a new study has suggested that a drug-free solution might be quite literally at hand.

It should be noted that this study was done using a commercially available wrist band to stimulate the acupressure point on the wrist. The fact that a commercial product was involved does not invalidate the results and as we shall see, you probably don’t need an external product to make use of the findings.

For the study patients were recruited who experienced an average of 33.1 migraine days during the previous three months with an average nausea intensity of 6.2 out of 10. Patients were given acupressure wristbands instead of anti-vomiting drugs during a migraine attack. Results showed that 83 per cent of patients noticed reduction of nausea. Reported nausea after therapy was rated a 2.9 out of 10 and relief was reported after an average of 28 minutes. Nearly all participants (98 per cent) said they would use the wrist band again for migraine nausea.

The study was utilising an acupressure point known as Nei Guan which is commonly used to help relieve nausea, upset stomach, motion sickness, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches. Nei Guan (P6) is located three finger breadths below the wrist on the inner forearm in between the two tendons. If you don’t want to use a wrist band, to find and use this acupressure point, locate the point by turning your hands over so the palm is facing up then apply downward pressure between the two tendons, massaging and stimulating the area for four to five seconds.

There has been plenty of research on Nei Guan and this study is just the latest and it offers considerable hope for migraine sufferers. An added bonus may be that as a study in the American Journal of Medical Science has shown, stimulating the point may relieve hiccups and other research has shown that it can stimulate digestion. It’s easy to try stimulating P6 but it’s up to you whether you want to try it of course… no pressure.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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