More than half of migraine sufferers have symptoms besides a headache. One of the most common is nausea or vomiting. In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is often used to relieve migraine and nausea. An effective acupuncture point for this is Neiguan or pericardium 6 (P6).
P6 is helpful for the relief of nausea due to many causes. Especially for nausea associated with migraine, motion sickness and morning sickness. It also is effective for relieving nausea induced by chemotherapy and for post-surgical nausea.
Acupuncture is effective for both prevention and treatment of nausea. But it is not always possible or convenient to make an acupuncture appointment during a migraine attack. An alternative to acupuncture that can be self-administered is acupressure.
Acupressure is like acupuncture. But acupressure uses pressure to stimulate the acupuncture points rather than needles. The pressure is usually applied with fingertips or thumbs.
Acupressure may not have the same intensity of response in the body as acupuncture. Yet, it is a simple and convenient method that can be used as often as required. P6 is an effective acupressure point.
There are different methods of applying acupressure at this point. First locate the point. It is easily located on the inside of the wrist. Three finger widths from the inside wrist crease. And between the two tendons. As shown in the image. Then use one of the following methods below, that describe how to relieve nausea with acupressure:
1. Place the thumb or a fingertip, three finger widths below the wrist crease. And between the tendons in the middle of the arm. Gradually increase the pressure, or use circular movements of the thumb or finger, with some pressure. The idea is not to cause pain, but it may feel a little uncomfortable. Breathe deeply through the treatment. Continue to press for around 30 seconds to one minute and then repeat on the other arm. You may need to repeat this for a few minutes.
2. Press with the thumb on the P6 point as above. Place the fingers on the opposite side of the forearm, and squeeze the arm through the P6 point. 30 to 60 seconds is usually enough. And then swap to the other arm. Again repeat the procedure for a few minutes. And, breathe deeply through the acupressure treatment.
3. Another method is to press the palm of the hand backwards to stretch the wrist on the inner forearm side. This gently stimulates the acupuncture point.
4. You can also try a specially designed wristband which includes a bead in the band. One brand is the Seaband. It is advertised as a treatment or prevention for seasickness. Place the wristband so that the bead rests at the acupuncture point P6. The bead provides a constant pressure at the point. So you don’t need to press. You can wear a band on each wrist, or alternate. A study of women that suffered with nausea during migraines tested wearing the Seaband. The Seaband wearers had significantly less nausea and vomiting.
As well as reducing the symptoms of nausea an additional benefit is that the reduced incidence of vomiting means that oral medication for migraine is likely to be more effective.
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