Monday, July 9, 2012


Headaches are relatively simple. Most people reach for pain killers. I realized early that I didn't like what happened to me when I took pain killers, so I learned other mechanisms for getting rid of that pain.

I learned a number of strategies, but this is the one I use most often. It goes back to the fact that all nerves in the body lead to the brain.

The headache is probably localized on one side or the other. I have learned that for migraines I'm going to use the hand on the same side as the headache and for regular headaches I'm going to use the opposite hand. If the headache is in the center then either both lobes are involved or the headache is in one of the brain pieces that cross the center (such as the occipital lobe).

Walk your fingers firmly across your hand until you find a spot that crunches slightly under your fingers. It may also be very stiff, like a lump under the skin. At first this is going to feel strange, and may be difficult. You'll eventually get to the point where you can find it more easily. I find it more easily on other people, but I have problems finding it on my own hands.

The correct spot may be tender. The more severe the headache, the more likely that the spot you need to massage is going to be extremely tender, so pay attention to that. If it's too tender, massage the whole hand and gradually move in. The spot may also be on the back of the hand or between the bones, but it takes some practice to be able to find these.

Feet work better, but taking my shoes off in public to get rid of a headache is rather awkward.

There may be spots on both hands, but they'll probably be different. You may think the headache is centered on the left side, and massage the right hand (let's just say for argument that you find your spot under the pad of the thumb), then learn that a smaller headache was brewing on the right side. But when you massage the pad of the thumb on the left hand, there's nothing. You might find the "spot" for that hand on the side of one of the fingers. It varies, but over time you can learn where the headaches are most likely to be centered.

This may work for other sorts of pain too, but if you're dealing with back pain (as an example) you're going to have to use the feet because the nerves of the back aren't on the same nerves with the hands. My use of this technique has been primarily on headaches, so I can't say how useful it is for other things.

Note: It's NOT going to work with physical damage. You can't massage a hand to heal a broken arm, for example. You may be able to help the pain (a little) but nerve damage is going to make it problematic.


  1. Glad to have found this! Will definitely be trying it next time I have a headache (always on the left side - so I'll be going for the right hand!)