Acupressure for Pain and Headaches

View on MSKCC.org

This information explains how to use acupressure to reduce pain and headaches.

Acupressure is an ancient healing art that’s based on the traditional Chinese medicine practice of acupuncture. With acupressure, pressure is applied to specific places on your body. These places are called acupoints. Pressing these points can help release muscle tension and promote blood circulation. It can also relieve many common side effects of chemotherapy.

You can do acupressure at home by using your fingers to apply pressure to different acupoints. Watch the video or follow the steps below to learn how to perform acupressure to reduce pain and headaches.

Pressure Point LI-4 (Hegu)

Figure 1. Finding the space between your
left thumb and index finger

Pressure point LI-4, also called Hegu, is located between the base of your thumb and index finger. Doing acupressure on this point to relieve pain and headaches.

  1. Using your right thumb and index finger, find the space on your left hand between the base of your left thumb and index finger (see Figure 1).
  2. Press down on this point for 5 minutes. Use a circular motion. Be firm, but don’t press so hard that it hurts.
  3. Repeat the process on your right hand.

You can perform acupressure several times a day, or as often as needed for your symptoms to go away.

To learn about other complementary therapies available at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), call the Integrative Medicine Service at 646-888-0800 or visit our website: www.mskcc.org/IntegrativeMedicine

Last Updated

If you have any questions or concerns, contact a member of your healthcare team directly or call 212-639-2000 for help.