Acupressure for Nausea and Headache Pain
I apologize in advance if this is in the wrong forum. I thought it fell under the category of "health" and, for me, relates to phsyical training.
Anyway, for about the past month or so I have been educating myself on general TCM, and I have had two occasions recently to use acupressure ony myself for the relief of pain and nausea associated with migraine headaches. Any migraine-sufferers out there know just how debilitating these headaches can be, and how difficult it can be to find a helpful treatment (migraines run in my family, and my mother and brother have tried lots of medications).
I know that there are some threads floating around on the proof or lack thereof for acupuncture in general, but in this case I'm getting real specific.
I use two points in conjunction:
which has produced pretty reliably good evidence for posoperative and chemotherapy related nausea
The second point is supposedly helpful for headaches, although I am not sure if this point has been researched for use alone for headaches, there is some relatively good evidence that acupuncture in general is good for migraine prophylaxis (although the specific point may be less important according to this research).
Anyway that second point is called LI4
By applying pressure to one point and then the other I was able to have a shorter and less severe migraine experience this morning, and once earlier in the month. The end result here being that I can actually go to class tonight and can get some work done during the day. This isn't scientific evidence of course, but is pretty promising for me, a dude whose headaches generally put him out for a whole day and night on the rare occasions that they occur.
Another interesting fact, I used to get migraine's much more frequently before I started doing relaxation training and meditation. Frquency decreased from once every 2 weeks or so, to more like one every 2-3 months. In either case, if the placebo effect is really what is at work here, I'm happy to enjoy the fruits of that as well.
I find rubbing my temples works, until I stop doing it.
I'll give this a go though because I'd love to see if it works on me, no offense but reading your account and how much you like meditation etc it makes me think placebo. But hey, if it works then more power to you.
Yea I'm pretty open to the idea that it could be placebo. Some of those Cochrane report summaries are pretty positive for a Cochrane report though, so it seems as though it provides a pretty consistent placebo effect if it is indeed one. Especially when it comes to postoperative nausea and vomitting.
"Plain language summary
P6 acupoint stimulation prevents postoperative nausea and vomiting with few side effects
Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) are two of the most common complications after anaesthesia and surgery. Drugs are only partially effective in preventing PONV and may cause adverse effects. Alternative methods, such as stimulating an acupuncture point on the wrist (P6 acupoint stimulation), have been studied in many trials. The use of P6 acupoint stimulation can reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting after surgery, with minimal side effects. The risks of postoperative nausea and vomiting were similar after P6 acupoint stimulation and antiemetic drugs."
Whether those findings generalize, however, is a different story, and I haven't read that much into it.
That's not really how acupressure/puncture works.
You don't go, "Hey I have condition X, I should press/needle here."
Two people with migraines might get entirely different points worked on.
There is also the supporting/reducing aspect, mother/son relationship, 5 elements, diurnal cycle etc, etc.
That said, Hegu is a common headache point.
Are you sure you're even on the points?
This stuff is all related to acupuncture imo:
I got the points out of Bisio's book "A Tooth From the Tiger's Mouth" and from one of the trial's reviewed in that Cochrane report for what its worth, but I may have mis-remembered their names. I think the complexity of traditional acupuncture is one of the reasons that TCM practitioner's cite for some of the equivocal results found in Western medical literature (which focus pretty exclusively on randomnized clinical trials). But my knowledge up to this point is pretty limited.
That does make it interesting that stimulating that single point has shown some robust results though.
On the other hand, like I said, it worked pretty well for me a couple of times, with what felt like pretty stark results.
You should be targeting a really specific point, not just "pressing".
Remember a needle goes in there and you would normally have to avoid innervation and vasculature, while focusing on the point, which is typically found in the fascia.
Poke around that site and try to get a grasp on how the "trains" relate to the meridians, posture, and the individual points. The superficial back line and the arm lines are related to migraine.
The Gracies have quite a few books out there, but no one is gonna tell you that you'll learn much with those alone.
That's essentially what you're doing.
Cool I'll definitely check out that site. Thanks for the advice!
If simple "do-it-yourself" acupuncture or acupressure has some experimental evidence, I'd be interested to have actual acupuncture with a trained professional to see if/how that helps me. Since my headaches are so well-controlled, however, it's probably not worth it.
I found one study reviewing the use of acupressure by cancer patients for chemotherapy induced nausea:
Lee, J., Dibble, S., Dodd, M., Abrams, D., & Burns, B. (in press). The relationship of chemotherapy-induced nausea to the frequency of P6 digital acupressure. Oncology Nursing Forum.
It seems like in these cases, just simply applying pressure is what they did (although this is just for that P6 point which is supposed to be pretty easy to find).
Anyway, interesting stuff!
Last edited by lordbd; 7/16/2012 8:40pm at .
Reason: adding content so the post isn't worthless
Sure, try to get worked on by a pro and pay attention to where and how they treat.
You're right I think it would be a cool learning experience. If I had the time I'd do more formal training but alas I've already chosen a field of study. What's your experience with acupuncture been like? Is Chinese massage or TCM a part of the king tu training you do?
Originally Posted by ChenPengFi
I've been injured a lot, and i credit acupuncture and tui na as being a substantial part of my recovery process.
I have some formal TCM/acu/herbology training, in addition to a bit from KF.