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Tension headaches are the worst. As a former massage therapist, I still use acupressure massage for headaches whenever I feel tension pain coming on. 

And I know that tension headaches are a common ailment experienced by people across the globe. Characterized by a dull, persistent ache often accompanied by tightness or pressure around the head, these headaches can significantly impact one’s daily life.

In short, tension headaches and migraines suck.

While over-the-counter medications and alternatives like CBD oil may offer headache relief, many individuals seek natural and holistic alternatives to manage their pain. Acupressure facial massage, a technique rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, has gained popularity as a soothing and effective method for tension headache relief.

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Understanding Tension Headaches

Tension headaches, also known as stress headaches, typically result from muscle tension in the head, neck, and shoulder regions. Factors such as stress, poor posture, dehydration, and prolonged screen time contribute to the development of these headaches. Acupressure facial massage leverages the principles of acupressure, which is based on the idea that applying pressure to specific points on the body can promote healing, relaxation, and pain relief.

The Fundamentals of Acupressure

Acupressure is an ancient healing technique that has been practiced for thousands of years. It is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine and is believed to stimulate the body’s vital energy, known as “qi,” by applying pressure to specific points along energy pathways called meridians. By targeting these points, acupressure aims to restore balance and alleviate various ailments.

Acupressure Facial Massage for Headaches: How It Works

Acupressure facial massage for tension headache relief involves gentle and deliberate pressure on key points on the face and neck. (And facial massage also improves the texture and tone of your face, making you look younger. Win, Win!)

These pressure points are strategically chosen based on their connection to the meridians associated with headache relief. Here are some essential points to focus on during the massage:

1. Yintang (Third Eye Point):

Located between the eyebrows, this point is believed to relieve stress, ease tension, and promote relaxation.

2. Zan Zhu (Gallbladder 2):

Found at the inner end of the eyebrows, near the bridge of the nose, massaging this point can help alleviate eye strain and sinus congestion that may contribute to tension headaches.

3. Yingxiang (LI20 – Welcome Fragrance):

Situated on both sides of the nostrils, massaging these points can help open up the nasal passages, reducing sinus-related tension headaches.

4. Tian Zhu (Gallbladder 10):

Located at the base of the skull, in the hollows on either side of the neck, massaging this point can provide relief from neck tension that often contributes to headaches.

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Acupressure Facial Massage Technique: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Preparation:

Find a quiet and comfortable space to perform the acupressure facial massage. Ensure your hands are clean and your nails are trimmed.

2. Relaxation:

Begin with deep, calming breaths to center yourself and prepare for the massage.

3. Pressure Application:

Using your index and middle fingers, apply gentle but firm pressure to the selected acupressure points. You can use circular motions or hold the points for 1-2 minutes.

4. Symmetry:

Repeat the pressure application on both sides of the face to maintain balance.

5. Progression:

Start with the third eye point and gradually work your way through each selected point. Take your time and listen to your body’s response.

6. Massage Routine:

Perform the acupressure facial massage routine daily or as needed for headache relief. Consistency is key to experiencing the full benefits.

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Benefits of Acupressure Facial Massage for Headaches

Acupressure facial massage offers a range of benefits beyond tension headache relief:

1. Natural Pain Relief:

By stimulating specific pressure points, acupressure promotes the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, providing relief from headache discomfort.

2. Stress Relief

The rhythmic and gentle massage motions induce relaxation and help lower stress levels, contributing to overall well-being.

3. Improved Circulation:

Massaging the facial and neck muscles enhances blood flow, which can reduce muscle tension and alleviate headaches.

4. Enhanced Energy Flow:

The practice aims to unblock the flow of qi along the meridians, promoting balance and vitality.


Acupressure facial massage is a non-invasive, holistic approach to tension headache relief that draws upon ancient wisdom and the body’s innate healing abilities.

By applying gentle pressure to specific points on the face and neck, individuals can experience natural pain relief, reduced stress, and improved overall well-being. While acupressure can be a powerful tool, it’s important to remember that it might not be a standalone solution for severe or chronic headaches.

Consulting a healthcare professional for a comprehensive approach to headache management is recommended. With consistent practice, acupressure facial massage can become a valuable addition to one’s self-care routine, offering a path to relief that aligns with the body’s natural healing processes.

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