For some people, stimulating pressure points in the body to relieve muscle tension and promote blood circulation can reduce pain. If you press on the pressure point, it is acupressure; if you use a thin needle to stimulate the point, it is acupuncture. Pressure points are found in the ears, hands, feet, face, and neck. One of the most useful points, of the more than three hundred Chinese acupuncture points, is LI4 (or Hegu). Applying pressure to this dime-sized spot, located between the thumb and forefinger, can help with anxiety and pain. To self-administer acupressure on your Hegu point, put your thumb on top of the point and your forefinger/index finger on the other side of the hand. Press down firmly for about five minutes, moving your thumb in small circular motions. Repeat on the other hand. Do not do this if pregnant as it can induce labor. While more research is needed, a few studies indicate acupressure may also reduce nausea and fatigue associated with migraines.
—Alice N.S. Wong, NP