Ever since humans began to experience pain, they have been seeking ways to reduce pain sensations, increase comfort, and prevent the discomfort from reoccurring.
Some conventional methods of pain reduction and management include over-the-counter or prescription medications, massage therapy, application of heat or cold, physical therapy, and mental techniques such as distraction, visualization, or meditation.
One technique that is equally or more effective at relieving pain though less commonly discussed is pressure point therapy. In pressure point therapy, one area of the body is gently stimulated with the fingers, hands, or an instrument to relieve pain that is located in another area of the body.
Trigger points are sensitive areas of muscle or tissue in the body that become stressed and contract when another area of the body experiences pain. Applying pressure to these points can release the tension held in associated muscle tissue or organs and provide near-instantaneous relief of pain and discomfort.
Best of all, once you learn pressure point therapy techniques, you can apply them yourself for pain relief and comfort whenever it is needed.
How to Stimulate Pressure Points to Reduce Pain
The best way to learn to stimulate your pressure points is to book an initial consultation with a chiropractor or holistic health practitioner. They will discuss with you the type of pain you are experiencing, its onset, and how pressure point therapy can help if it is appropriate.
Myofascial trigger point therapy is a form or pressure point therapy that is often recommended for pain relief in people with a variety of acute or chronic medical conditions that result in pain. People who have used this therapeutic modality report an increased quality of life and decreased pain when compared to people who do not pursue pressure point therapy.
To stimulate your pressure points, use the pads of your fingers to provide gentle pressure in a slow circular motion around the pressure point you intend to stimulate.
It is best to start with a light touch and then gradually increase the pressure you are applying until pain relief is achieved. For even greater pressure point therapy stimulation, use the tips of your fingers instead of the pads for a more pointed touch. Massage therapists can also recommend other tools that can be used for stimulating different pressure points.
Common Pressure Points for Pain Relief
The human body is filled with pressure points which are associated with pain in the muscle and connective tissues of other areas of the body.
For people who suffer from headaches or migraines, there are pressure points located in the temples of the forehead and the lateral aspects of the feet that can be stimulated to relieve pain in the head. If you experience emotional stress, stimulating pressure points on the temples can alleviate stress and pain that results in headaches as well.
Another extremely common pressure point that is highly effective for pain relief is located on the inner aspect of the wrist. Applying pressure to the inside of the wrists is a highly effective method of relieving pain in the abdomen and especially discomfort in the stomach and the rest of the gastrointestinal tract.