If you suffer from regular headaches, you know that you don’t want to rely too heavily on pain medication. From potential addiction to rebound headaches to kidney and liver damage, there are too many negative consequences of pain medication–including over-the-counter medications–to make them your go-to solution for headaches.

The good news is that there are many potential drug-free treatment options that you can try to control headache pain, including acupressure.

Acupressure Claims of Effectiveness

Some people make very strong claims about the effectiveness of acupressure for headache control. According to proponents, you can get instant headache relief utilizing the proper pressure points.

A woman relaxing, while getting acupressure treatmentThe most commonly recommended pressure points are known as the “gates of consciousness,” which are at the base of the skull at the back of the neck. Some of the more comprehensive claims for effectiveness go beyond headaches to say these acupressure points can relieve other conditions, including high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, tinnitus, and, oddly enough, a judgmental attitude.

There are also other acupressure points you can try, such as the meaty part of the hand between the index finger and thumb and your foot where bones from your index toe and big toe meet. There are other pressure points on the head, too, including the temples and your eyebrows, just inside the curve and close to the bridge of the nose.

Does Acupressure Work for Headaches?

This is where claims of effectiveness break down, because there is little evidence that supports them.

One study found that acupressure was better than muscle relaxation therapy for headaches. A review of studies showed that acupressure might be effective against many types of pain, including headaches. And it seems that there is even evidence for a mechanism by which acupressure might relieve pain, making it a more credible technique.

However, we know that the technique doesn’t work for everyone, so it’s important to figure out who might benefit most from this technique. One study suggests that although acupressure works for just 55% of people with tension headaches, for the right candidates effectiveness might be as high as 80%.

Effective Headache Relief

Acupressure is likely a harmless thing you can try to help relieve your headaches. If it works, great, but if not you should seek a more proven drug-free headache treatment.

TMJ treatment can help many people who have chronic headaches. By addressing the root cause of muscle tension that leads to headaches, we can reduce the frequency and severity of headaches. Some people see their headaches go away completely.

If you would like to learn whether TMJ treatment can help you, please call (303) 691-0267 for an appointment with a Denver TMJ dentist at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado.