The Migraine Relief Center Blog

Here’s the latest from the Migraine Relief Center

Keep up with the doctors, patients, treatments—and results—from all our locations.

How to Use Reflexology for Migraines

Posted by Migraine Relief Center on Jan 28, 2015 7:00:00 AM
Do you think a series of hand or foot massages could bring you relief from migraines? In the United States, reflexology has been practiced since the first quarter of the 21st century, but this is a medical practice that dates back to ancient times. In some Asian countries, reflexology is sometimes combined with herbal remedies and conventional medicine to provide effective medical treatments. footreflexology

In 21st century London, reflexology clinics are seeing more patients who arrive with complaints of muscle pain, pre-menstrual syndrome and headaches. Reflexology is not so much reactive as it is preventative, which means that patients who live with chronic migraine conditions can certainly benefit from this alternative treatment for the purpose of preventing cephalalgia episodes.

Many reflexology practitioners encourage their patients to learn about the discipline so that they can treat themselves at home. The key to reflexology is to apply acupressure to certain points that can be found in our hands and feet. To this effect, reflexology follows some of the principles of acupuncture; thankfully, it does not involve the insertion of any needles.

How Reflexology Works

Reflexology is all about physiological inducement through certain points of the body can be stimulated to promote circulation and optimal neurological function. This is a form of holistic therapy, which means that it can be practiced to promote a healthy and balanced way of life. With this in mind, reflexologists have identified four points in our feet that can alleviate migraine pain and reduce the physiological strain of stress in our bodies. These points can be found on:
  • The inside folds between our large toe and the one next to it.
  • The metatarsal area between the webbing of the large toe and the talus.
  • The metatarsal area between the webbing to the little toe and the talus.
  • The top of each large toe between the nail bed and the metatarsal area.
When we massage the acupressure points above with our thumbs, we can stimulate the smooth flow of circulation and optimal neurological function through our bodies. For example, when the inside area between our left large toe and the contiguous one is stimulated with thumb pressure, the result will be relief in the left temporal region of our head. Migraine patients whose headaches are localized on just one side of their heads should keep in mind that acupressure should be applied to the opposite foot; thus, if the pain is localized on the right side of our heads, we should be stimulating our left foot.

Stimulation of the two metatarsal points above will result in relief to our midsection and internal organs therein, which in turn can minimize stress caused by ailments in this region of our bodies. The fourth point located on the top of our large toe can bring relief to our facial nerves that are so often associated with migraine episodes, which include those nerve clusters located close to our sinuses and the area just above our eyebrows.

Migraine Relief Through Hand Reflexology

Vertical reflex therapy is another reflexology technique that we can apply to ourselves. Traditionally, hand reflexology is administered to improve sleep and for the treatment of jet lag. It so happens that hand reflexology can also help with migraine and stress relief.

To perform acupressure on the hand, we must locate a point on our palms that is located below the space between the middle and index fingers. As with our feet, we should apply acupressure to the opposite hand of our headaches if they are localized on just one side. The massage should be applied with our opposite thumb while the rest of our fingers are relaxed and slightly curled. Our hand must remain still through the massage, and the pressure should be applied slowly in a four-second rocking motion. Three sets of five rocking massages should can bring headache relief, and they can also be incorporated in a daily routine as a preventative strategy to manage our migraine conditions.

Before Trying Self-Reflexology

As with any other type of medicine, migraine patients should consult their primary physicians before trying reflexology. This ancient therapy is not meant to replace other forms of treatment; in fact, it works better when combined with other holistic therapies such as herbal medicine and yoga.

In some cases, reflexology could actually be contraindicated; this is sometimes the case with pregnant women and patients who have suffered hand or foot trauma. For this reason, it is better to consult a physician or a professional reflexologist before attempting DIY therapy.

*Photo courtesy of

Share this on social media:

Topics: Treatment

Feel free to leave a comment below.