Wellbeing is one of the core pillars at Banyan Tree. From our Wellbeing Sanctuaries and dedicated wellbeing-centric resort Banyan Tree Veya, to the award-winning resort spas backed by our Spa Academy in Phuket, which is accredited by Thailand's ministries of Education and Public Health. Our skilled massage therapists work wonders on body, soul and mind, using ancient healing wisdoms and time-honoured massage traditions.
Acupressure is one such therapy – an ancient Chinese healing technique that uses firm pressure to achieve similar results to acupuncture, without the need for any invasive needles. It is believed to help control symptoms such as pain or digestive issues by applying pressure to specific key points on the body.
Stimulating five key points on the neck, face and hands can help reduce muscle tension, ease headache symptoms, lower stress levels and even improve sleep. So the next time you have a headache, try taking things into your own hands with a self-soothing face and head massage, based around the principles of acupressure.
Start with the Yin Tang pressure point or ‘third eye’, set at the midpoint between your eyebrows. Stimulating this area can help relieve eye strain and sinus pressure, both common causes of headaches.
Simply use the index finger of one hand to apply firm pressure for one minute, then release and repeat up to three times – and feel the tension release as you do so.
Next up is the Tai Yang pressure point, which sits on your temple, midway between the outer end of the eyebrow and the hairline.
Press down on it with your thumb and apply steady, stationary pressure for one to two minutes. Targeting this area should help to tackle headaches or migraines, especially those that start in the temples or around the eyes.
You’ll find the Jing Ming pressure point on both sides of the bridge of your nose, just below the tips of each eyebrow. It holds the key to soothing headaches caused by eyestrain as well as sinus pain or pressure.
Use both of your index fingers to apply firm pressure to both points at once. Hold the pressure for 10 seconds, then release and repeat the process one to three times.
Some headaches are caused by tension in the neck, and stimulating the Feng Chi pressure point is an excellent way to tackle them. Locate it at the meeting of your neck and skull, on the top of the sternocleidomastoid muscle that runs from the back of the head to the shoulders.
Place the index and middle fingers of either hand onto these pressure points and press firmly upward on both sides at once for 10 seconds. The result should be a reduction in pain and tension in the neck and head, as well as a sense of serenity and calm.
Last in your acupressure arsenal is the He Gu pressure point, which you’ll find on the back of the hand between the base of your thumb and your index finger.
Pinch this area firmly (but not painfully) with the thumb and index finger of your opposite hand for 10 seconds. Next, make small circles with your thumb in the same area, first in one direction and then in the other, for 10 seconds each. Repeat the process on your opposite hand. This type of pressure point treatment should relieve tension in your head and neck, along with any associated headaches.
As with most things in life, your acupressure technique will get better with practice. Do so regularly and you’ll have all the necessary tools for an at-home treatment right at your fingertips.
Banyan Tree Spa Academy Phuket was launched in 2001, with the mission of combating poverty and promoting gender equality, while enhancing skills and improving professionalism in the wider industry. Accredited by Thailand's ministries of Education and Public Health, we have trained almost 4,000 spa therapists over 20 years and conducted more than 600,000 training hours.