Episode 23: Self Administered Shiatsu for Headaches

Shiatsu is a Japanese style of pressure point massage that literally translates as “finger pressure”. It has been used and popularized as a way to maintain health since the early 1950s by its founder Toru Namikoshi. The pressure points are also called “tsubo”, and are synonymous with acupoints and trigger points. These points are actually either neuromuscular junctions or fascial crossing points (both of which, are areas where electrical tissue resistance are lower compared to other tissue types). Points have different functions that are based on both their location and neurology. When they are treated, they are pressed with a gradually increasing strength, until a dull, good feeling ache is achieved, then released (which is about 3 to 5 seconds), with each point being pressed 3 times.

Like acupuncture, Shiatsu is very effective at helping with pain of all types, specifically headaches. Although a session of acupuncture or Shiatsu generally takes an hour, you can self administer some points to relieve your headache pain in 2 minutes.

That brings us to the intervention for today. For headaches of all types, 5 basic points can be used.

Point 1 is located on the webbing between the index finger and thumb of each hand.
Point 2 is located on the underside of the inner eyebrows.
Point 3 is located 1 inch lateral to the outer ends of each eyebrow.
Point 4 is located 1 inch medial to your mastoid processes (which are one inch lateral those bony bits behind your ear lobes) in the depression under your skull.
Point 5 is in the depression where your hairline meets your neck on the midline.

To press them properly, I have attached how-to photos below. Cycle through these points 3 to 5 times spending 3 to 5 seconds pressing each point.


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Tune in next week where we’ll talk about vitamin B12.

Be Well and Be Zen

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