4 Points on Your Feet for Headaches and Migraines: Acupressure and Reflexology Points for Fast and Natural Pain Relief

If you get headaches or migraines, here are four acupressure and Chinese Reflexology points that can help you feel better right away. Learn how to rub your feet for fast pain relief and for long-term improvement of your symptoms.

Chinese Reflexology Points and Acupressure for Headaches and Migraines

Let’s face it, headaches suck!

While I often write eloquently (or so I think!), there’s no other way to describe the stabbing pain that shoots up through your eye, the vise-like grip that radiates from your head to your shoulders or the incessant throbbing that leaves you feeling cranky, crabby and foggy.

If it sounds like I’ve experienced some killer headaches, your assumption is 100% correct. I’ve had stabbing migraines, headaches that follow you to sleep and greet you on waking, dull achy head pain, and ocular migraines too.  Fortunately, I learned how to bring my body into balance so that I now can’t even remember when I last had a headache.

No one should have to suffer from headaches or migraines. It sucks the life right out of you and keeps you from doing the most basic day to day activities. That’s why I’m writing today’s article. Plus, one dear reader wrote to ask me how to use Chinese Reflexology for headaches. You know who you are, this article is for you. Thank you.

In this article, you’ll learn four acupressure and reflexology points on your feet that can help relieve your headache symptoms right away and also help alleviate your symptoms in the long-term. And, did you know that you can “cure” yourself and be headache and migraine-free?  You’ll learn how right after the four points for pain relief.

Chinese Medicine 101: Headache and Migraine Pain

Okay, I’m going to simplify thousands of years of Chinese Medicine into a few sentences.  Make that, I’m going to try to do this!

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, there is one main reason why people get headaches and/or migraines:

  • Qi is not flowing smoothly through your head

So what does this mean?  Qi is a word to describe your life force energy. Similar to how our bodies have a circulation system for blood, we also have pathways in our bodies for the flow of energy. When energy is not flowing as it should, it may eventually show up as physical symptoms in the body.

In the case of headaches and migraines, Qi is not flowing smoothly through the head.  If there’s too much Qi going up to the head and it’s getting “stuck”, this causes headaches or migraines with intense pounding, stabbing or throbbing pain. If not enough energy is flowing through the head, this causes headaches that tend to be chronic and more “mild” and achy in feel.

The key to relieving the pain is to get the Qi flowing smoothly through your head. In Chinese Medicine, the cure for headaches and migraines is based on figuring out what’s disrupting the flow of Qi and then balancing the whole body so that the Qi flows smoothly again.

CAUTION: Some of the points in this article are contraindicated (not to be used) when pregnant as they can induce labour because they really get the Qi flowing.

In some cases, a headache or migraine may indicate a serious medical condition. Consult your doctor if your headache is severe, is different from previous headaches or occurs with other symptoms such as those listed in this article on WebMD.

In a nutshell, if your head hurts and you’re not sure whether to see a doctor, please go see your doctor. Now that the common sense disclaimer is out of the way, let’s get to these acupressure and reflexology points for headaches and migraines.

1. Chinese Reflexology Point for Migraines (Temporal Area)

If you experience migraines or headache pain in the temporal area (sides of your head), this point is especially effective for moving the Qi to help you get relief. The Chinese Reflexology point for Migraines (temporal area of your head) is located on the inside of your big toe between the big toe and second toe.

Migraine Reflexology PointTo massage this point, use your thumb to press and rub side to side on this area. Start at the tip of your toe and work your way down. When you get to the base of the toe, pick up your thumb, place it back at the top of the toe and repeat. Massage for 60 seconds to help smooth the flow of Qi.

If you are experiencing headache or migraine pain on the left side of your head, rub the Chinese Reflexology point on your RIGHT foot and vice versa if it’s on the right side of your head. The reason why you rub the opposite foot is because the energy meridians cross over at the neck and thus, flow through the opposite sides of your head. If you’re feeling pain on both sides, rub the points on both of your feet.

One thing to note is that this point is very likely going to be extremely sensitive to rub if you have a headache or get headaches frequently. Sensitive points indicate areas where Qi is not flowing smoothly. The more sensitive a point feels, the greater the disruption to the flow of Qi.

You can also rub this point daily even when you don’t have pain. The consistent massage will help the Qi to flow more smoothly through your temporal area and thus, help to alleviate your symptoms over the long-term.

2. Four Gates: Tai Chong (LV-3) and He Gu (LI-4)

The four gates are actually two acupressure points on your feet and two on your hands. They are commonly used in acupuncture to treat headaches.

WARNING: Do not massage the Four Gates points if you are pregnant. These points powerfully move Qi and are contraindicated (not to be used) when pregnant as they can induce labour.

Tai Chong (LV-3)

liver 3 locationTai Chong is also known as Liver 3 (LV-3) because it is located on the Liver meridian of your body. In Chinese Medicine, the Liver plays a key role in ensuring the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body.

The point is located on the top of the foot in the webbing between the big toe and the second toe.  Use your thumb to feel for the bones of the two toes into you feel where the bones intersect.  Then slide your thumb about a thumb-width above this intersection and press the depression between the bones.

Press and hold for one minute. As mentioned in the Chinese Reflexology point for migraines (temporal area), you’ll press on the foot opposite to where you’re feeling pain in your head. Press Liver 3 on both feet if you are feeling pain on both sides of your head.

He Gu (LI-4)

He Gu or Large Intestine 4 (LI-4) is a bonus point I’m including because it’s actually located on your hands. Combined with LV-3, these points are very powerful for moving Qi and are known as the Four Gates.

LargeIntestine4Large Intestine 4 is located on the top of the webbing of your hand between the thumb and index finger. It’s like the Liver 3 of the hand.  An easy way to locate this point is to press your thumb and index finger together.  This will cause the muscle to bulge upwards.  LI-4 is located on the highest point on the bulge.

Press on this area with your opposite thumb. Then relax your thumb and index fingers as you press and hold this point for 60 seconds. Remember the “opposite rule” for where to press depending on where you’re experiencing pain.

Reminder: Please do not press this point if you are pregnant.

3. Zu Ling Qi: (GB-41)

The English translation for Zulingqi is “foot overlooking tears”. It’s aptly named because when you press this point, it’s likely be so sensitive that it will bring tears to your eyes.  While there is a saying, “No pain. No gain.” please use  your common sense and go with what feels comfortable. It’s better to err on the lighter side than to press too hard or for too long.

Gallbladder41Zu Lin Qi or Gallbladder 41 (GB-41) is located on the top of the foot between your pinky toe and second last toe.  To locate GB-41, feel along the top of your foot for the bones of your pinky toe and second last toe. They’ll form a “V” where they intersect.

Gallbladder 41 is just above the point of intersection. Feel in the webbing for a slight depression. It will be just outside the tendon in your foot. It’s okay if you can’t feel the tendon. As long as you are just above where the V intersects, you’re close enough as the entire Gallbladder meridian runs through this area.  Once you locate this point, press and hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

Do I need to mention about the opposite foot?  I think you’ve got this down by now. Psst… I won’t even mention it for the last reflexology point.

Because the Gallbladder meridian is paired with the Liver meridian, this point will benefit the flow of Qi.  The Gallbladder meridian also runs through the side of your head and right through your forehead so it’s very beneficial for headaches to get Qi flowing smoothly through this channel. This is also a good point for menstrual issues, so if you get headaches with your period, this is a beneficial point to press.

4. Chinese Reflexology Point for the Face

FaceGeneralIf you are experiencing headache or migraine pain in your face, the Chinese Reflexology point for the face is a good one to massage. The top of your big toe corresponds to your face, all the way from your forehead to your neck.

Since it’s not convenient or recommended to massage the toenail, this point is best for just below the eyes, in your cheeks, the jaw area and the front of your face.  Use your thumb to rub the top of your big toe, side to side, working your way from the base of the toenail to the base of the toe. When you get to the bottom of the toe, start again at the top. Repeat for 30 to 60 seconds.

The “Cure” for Headaches and Migraines

Congratulations! You’ve just learned 4 (actually five if you include He Gu on the hand) points to get your Qi moving smoothly again so that you can get natural relief from headaches and migraines.

At the beginning of this article, I promised to discuss the headache and migraine “cure.”  The reason I put the word cure in quotations is because Traditional Chinese Reflexology is not about diagnosing diseases and curing them.

Fundamentally, the focus of this healing modality is to bring your whole body into balance by getting your Qi flowing properly. When Qi is flowing as it should, your body will be in a state of health and well-being. Chinese Reflexology is about finding Qi disharmonies and clearing them in order to support and promote your body’s natural healing process.

The “cure” for headaches and migraines is as simple as getting your Qi flowing smoothly through your body and your head.  Then, presto! No more headaches or migraines.

Ultimately, your body wants to be in a state of balance and harmony and Chinese Reflexology helps you achieve this.  There are so many underlying reasons and factors why someone’s Qi can be out of balance. (e.g. too much qi, not enough qi).  Diet, lack of exercise (or even too much exercise), stress, worry, emotions, environment — all of these things affect the flow of Qi in your body.

If you try to figure what the problem is, you can start overthinking things, which can also then impede the flow of Qi in your body!  Fortunately, with Chinese Reflexology, when you massage all of the points on your feet, it doesn’t matter what is it out of balance or how it’s out of balance. Simply massaging the reflexology point will help to balance the flow of Qi.

Then, your body can then focus on what it does best, which is heal itself. And that’s why Chinese Reflexology is an excellent companion to almost any healing practice (Western or holistic). It simply helps your body to heal itself.

Headache reflexology pointsWant a Quick Reference Chart on how to locate and massage the 4 points for headache relief?

Simply fill out the form below and you’ll also receive Chinese Reflexology foot charts, free mini lessons to get your Qi flowing, and a complimentary monthly newsletter. It’s a fun way to learn self-healing tips and techniques for the body, mind and spirit.

P.S. It’s my passion to share Chinese Reflexology with as many people as possible so that they can experience amazing health and vitality. It’s a big job to get the word out, so if you could please share this article with your friends and family, I would very much appreciate it.  Please click a button below to share this article on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Thank you.

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69 Responses to 4 Points on Your Feet for Headaches and Migraines: Acupressure and Reflexology Points for Fast and Natural Pain Relief

  1. n.g.hegde says:

    Good morning,,
    greetings from Bangalore
    ,India,,
    I am regularly getting your News letter with full of in-formations,on various health conditions
    Thanks for the nice narration with diagrams,,
    Highly useful,,
    Also,please provide the points for back ache problems,which is very common even in younger generation,
    with regards,
    N.G.Hegde
    Bangalore,India

  2. Julie says:

    Holly, this is one of the best written articles on the subject that I have read in a long time. I know this works, because like you, I know that it’s all about the Qi! As an eft-er, I work with the same, and see amazing results. OOOhhhhh I love your writing! Thank you! J x

  3. Jen Duchene says:

    Love this article Holly, and how you simplify this subject. I have suffered terribly from headaches, not as much any more but it is wonderful to know it is all about the qi. I will be practicing. :) Love the red background.

  4. Priyadarshi says:

    The best written article OM reflexology! Believe you me, I’ve read many articles on the web but nothing comes close to how and what you have written. Keep up the good work.

    Cheers!!
    Priyadarshi
    Bangalore, India

  5. David Caplan says:

    Thanks. Looking forward to trying this.

  6. Scarlett Gomes-leal says:

    Holly these illustrations and instructions are just wonderful…im a virgin to all this and understanding all….im not understanding about the Qi mind..is there amy way you could educate me on this in one of your brilliant lessons? Im totally engaged……
    Regards
    Scarlett

    • Holly says:

      Thank you for your kind comments Scarlett. I was wondering what to write about for next month and you just gave me the perfect answer. I’ll write about Qi as it’s something that everyone can benefit knowing more about. Thank you.

    • Holly says:

      Hi Scarlett,

      Your question inspired me to write more about the Nature of Qi. I hope this article helps to clarify what Qi is. Notice the article is “part 1”, so I’ll be writing more about Qi and being in the flow from a mental, emotional and spiritual perspective too!

      Lots of Love and Light,
      Holly

  7. Emily says:

    Hey there. Never done reflexology or anything like that before. Closest I’ve come is the Chiro or Chinese massage in the shopping centre. My husband tried the middle of the big toe trick for an AWFUL migraine yesterday, and to our surprise it worked! Thank you for sharing :)

    • Holly says:

      I’m so glad to hear that the Chinese Reflexology helped your husband with his migraine. That made my day today as I love hearing how what I’m sharing is helping people. Thanks for letting me know! Have an awesome day!

  8. Vidya says:

    Hi Holly,

    Thanks a lot for this article!!! Very well written.
    I am beginning to trust and use more of acupressure these days. Reason being : I had bad migraine for three days and I just chanced upon your article, which I read and used the technique and voila! it disappeared. My husband is a regular sufferrer of Migraine from years. I shall be trying this out for him too.

    I had a case or two of Vertigo. Is there anything for this?

    TIA,

    • Holly says:

      You’re very welcome. Thank you for sharing how the article helped you make your headache disappear :). Yes, Chinese Reflexology can help with the energy disharmonies that are related to Vertigo. I invite you to submit your question to my Q&A Monday “Got Questions” column. Because my blog has grown so much, I now receive more questions than I have time to answer. However, if you submit your question to the column, it lets me know what people are interested in and everyone can benefit from the answers. Thank you. http://www.chinesefootreflexology.com/gotquestions

  9. Reiko says:

    Hi Holly,
    Thank you for a wonderful article – so clear and easy. It removed my headache right away! I also passed it along to a friend.

    As a Feng Shui designer I know the importance of keeping the Qi flowing in the home or work place, and it is no different in the body. When the Qi is flowing, life is good!

    Thank you for so generously sharing your wisdom with all of us.

    Reiko

    • Holly says:

      Hi Reiko,

      You’re very welcome. I’m glad the article helped clear your headache. Thank you for sharing it with your friend.

      Feng Shui! Very cool! Having harmonious flow in your home is really important too.

      Warmest Wishes,
      Holly

  10. Kate Husband says:

    Thank you Holly, your excellent straight forward and clear diagrams helpedease a 3 am headache in my 11 year old son. Thank you for enabling his Qinghai to flow smoothly once more. Kind regards

    • Holly says:

      You’re very welcome Kate. I’m glad your son is feeling better. Thank you for sharing your story so that others can discover the healing powers of Chinese Reflexology and acupressure.

  11. mahesh says:

    Hi,,,,sir,,

    i feel good on reading this article..
    Its good idea,,to cure aches naturally,,,i love it,,,

    i have not experience it,,but i ll do it…

    Thanks….for pictorial representations

  12. Nerys says:

    Dear Holly

    I just came across your website and wanted to tell you how great it is! You have so much information on here and have relayed it in a way that is easy to understand and carry out. I look forward to reading more of your articles!

  13. Laura says:

    question…..can massaging the feet (as in physical therapy) cause migrains? I have had 2 pt sessions and they are hitting the points for the head but by the time i get home i am developing a major migrain

  14. Krystal says:

    Ive had a headache or migraine on and off for the last 4 days, I tried everything I used to do. Nap, drink lots of water, drink caffeine, drink Gatorade, take meds, cool cloth to the head, it can go on…and nothing seemed to help. I tried this out and I’m surprised it took the pain away so quickly. I hope this headache doesn’t come back this time, but if it does, I’m certainly going to do this! Thank you for a great description on this article. C:

  15. Jeff Tan says:

    Hi Holly your article on the 4 Points Chinese Foot-reflexology for migraine and headache are simple and easily understood by layman . Well done , keep it up.
    Thank you for sharing , Good health and happiness to you and family .
    Jeff Tan H.L.

  16. Caralee says:

    I’m going to try this in the morning I’m on day 41 of my migraine I really hope this works. As I have pretty much tried it all with no luck next is a neck MRI. Thanks for the info can’t wait to try it.

  17. Susan says:

    Wow, this just broke up a two-day migraine. Many thanks!

  18. Gary Williams says:

    Hi Holly, Please send the foot chart for headaches. My wife frequently has migraine headaches and sometimes they last for 2 or 3 days. It would be a fantastic blessing if reflexology could provide her some relief! Thank you

    • Holly says:

      Simply fill out the form at the bottom of this article to receive the foot chart. Practicing the complete system of Chinese Reflexology using a reflexology stick can result in the elimination of migraines. I know of a few people who have used Chinese reflexology to alleviate their pain and also eliminate their migraines.

      I hope your wife is feeling better.

  19. Harsha says:

    Please upload article for dry eye.

    • Holly says:

      There are many factors involved with eye issues as the underlying disharmonies in the body need to be addressed in order to heal the eyes. As this is such an in depth topic, I teach an online webinar on healthy eyes and I’m planning to teach it again in the late spring.

  20. Chala says:

    Hello Holly, I just found your website because I was looking for something to help my 13 year old son who has been dealing with migraines for the last 4 days and they get worse at night when the temperature drops until the morning when it rises. He has been seeing a Neurologist for 3 years with some success but there are times like right now where that is not enough. It is a close to 4 a.m. and I just tried this on him. I had him show me what side he felt it on when I rubbed or pressed on one side and he was very close to the opposite side where it should be. He did say it was sore in those spots on the toe. I was excited but I didn’t want to get too excited because it beena real challenge to get him done relief. I really pray this helps. How often should I do this while he is in crisis mood? I will keep you updated on his progress. Thank you!

    • Holly says:

      I hope your son is better. I would recommend three to four times a day. I’m currently working on a headache/migraine workshop, and hope to have it ready this fall/early winter 2015.

  21. Poornima says:

    God bless you! Very helpful info. Clearly described. Thanks a lot!

  22. mriya shri says:

    Hi Holly my wife is suffering from migraine and we are trying to convince a baby, so we can’t continue medication. Could you please help us out? This would be our first child..

    • Holly says:

      I am currently working on a headache/migraine workshop. Hope to roll it out in fall 2016. You can learn when it’s happening by subscribing to newsletter,

  23. sanjiv says:

    Hi Holly!
    Since yesterday i was struggling to control my Migrain which was getting unbearable. Your technique helped me to control it by 95% in 15 minutes. Thanks & God bless you.

  24. Laura Lawniczak says:

    You are awesome for sharing this art! I started with a sore throat last week and used the chart and your very well explained technique. I am a believer!Your kindness and generous heart is being shared with more people than you know!

    Laura

    • Holly says:

      Wonderful to hear. I feel so much joy when I hear people are using what I am teaching to make a difference in their lives. Thank you!

  25. Remi says:

    Good Morning I register for your newsletter etc…earlier this year I only received 3 lessons that was it I look forward on receiving your emails because you have some very powerful information IAM so grateful to have found you online Thankyou for telling the truth IAM forever thankful and grateful for your work

    • Holly says:

      Glad to hear you are enjoying the lessons. This article explains why there was a big gap in newsletters, but I’m back now! :)

  26. kuheli says:

    Hi
    my son gets headache especially while writing the pain starts from the place where our ear meets the temple a vein can be felt throbbing when he gets the ache. the ophthalmologist says his eye muscles are weak. and neurologist says he has migraine. he keeps getting the headache four or five times a day whenever he sits for study. he is in 12th so needs to study more. he sleeps when the pain starts, at times it stays for more than 4-5 hours, while at times it goes in 30 minutes. please advice. today i came across your article and i will massage the areas mentioned by you

  27. Ewa says:

    Hi Holly!
    Your article explaining the Qi energy flow is very much readers friendly. Love it! I myself am a Reflexologist and know how beneficial the routine can be for everybody from the infant to the elderly from colic relieve to stimulating lazy organs and glands to get back in to work. Reflexology done by a practitioner is a lot more pleasurable than working on ourselves. It leaves the receiver totally calmed down and happily relaxed. I am writing on your blog just to add that one more element is extremely important in getting rid off headaches. People who don’t drink enough water get more frequent and more intense headaches than those who are hydrating the body with the water (no coffee or tea). Everybody should be getting 2 liters of water every day. Blessings,
    Ewa

  28. Matthew says:

    Hello Holly!
    Thank you so much for this article. I’m just a kid, and my mom was experiencing a bad headache and I did everything you said, and now she says that she is starting to feel better.
    Thanks so much!

  29. Diane says:

    My granddaughter is 16weeks pregnant and suffers bad migraine what can she try to help as she is despair.

    • Holly says:

      I’m sorry to hear your granddaughter is suffering. Unfortunately, Chinese reflexology is not recommended for pregnant women as there are acupuncture points on the feet and around the ankles that are used to stimulate labour. Perhaps she could see a licensed acupuncturist as they will be able to treat her and use points that are not contraindicated during pregnancy. You’re a very loving grandmother to ask and I wish you and your family a healthy and happy new year!

  30. Hayley says:

    I stumbled across this while suffering with a horrendous migraine and I am so glad I did. I was instantly sick after pressing one of the points on my feet but very quickly felt much better. It took around an hour for the migraine to go off completely. Absolutely amazing! Very happy with the results. Thank you for sharing :)

  31. Debbie says:

    I enjoyed your class on headaches and migraines. Even though I don’t get them I know someone who does, so I told her about you.

  32. Rebecca says:

    I have suffered from hemiplegic migraines for nearly 3 decades, about 20 mins ago I realised that I was getting the aura, by chance I found this site and tried it. I have just stopped my migraine in 5 mins and normally I would end up in the stroke ward of my local hospital. Thank you so much, I think this will change my life.

    • Holly says:

      You’re very welcome. It’s stories like yours that give me so much joy and inspire me to keep writing and sharing on my blog. Thank you for taking the time to write. I’m glad you’re feeling better :)

  33. Holly, thank you for this great description! I have a tension headache right now and did the pressure points. I’m sure it will take more than just one time to get Qi flowing :-) But I signed up for your newsletter and look forward to learning more!

    Love,
    :-) Melanie

  34. Leon says:

    Great article! I love finding ways to help the body heal itself

  35. Carl Blythe says:

    Please address Adrenal Fatigue if possible.
    My left adrenal gland was removed 4 yrs ago.
    Energy is extremely low 80 to 90% of the time.
    Fronto-temporal headaches present 30 to40% of
    the time.
    My energy flow seems disrupted and I hope you will be able to help.
    Thank you very much.

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