Acupressure uses gentle but firm hand pressure against meridian points in the body to release tension, enhance body circulation and promotes body relaxation and is an ideal treatment to relieve pain. Long before the invention of modern pain medication, people used pressure points to relieve toothache pain. Unlike acupuncture–which involves inserting thin needles into meridians and requires more training–a novice can generally perform acupressure anytime pain rears its head. And few pains are as frustrating as toothaches. Acupressure to relieve toothache pain is slowly becoming popular nowadays. As a number of over-the-counter medications become available to relieve toothache pain, the awareness to explore alternative relief also increases. All you have to do is press the points shown to you here.
There are varying techniques on how to administer this alternative medicine, and also makes use of a multitude of pressures. The firm pressure is the most basic technique; this is used to apply steady pressure to relieve pain. This calms the nervous system, relaxes the tensed muscles and promotes better and faster healing. Slow and circular motion massage makes use of the thumb and index finger to relieve instantly general stiffness and tension.
Simultaneously apply pressure to both sides of the face in the area just below the cheekbones, directly beneath the pupils when they are looking forward. Press the point upward and inward toward your cheek bone. Much of your face will go numb including your upper jaw.
- Use fingertips to apply pressure between the upper and lower jaws on the muscle just in front of the earlobes. If you have trouble locating this muscle, clench your back teeth and feel the area for a bulge–this is the target muscle.
- Position the tip of a finger in front of your ear hole (Picture 1) . Open your jaw and feel for a gap that forms. Press the point inside that gap. Do this carefully. You will feel a tingling sensation in your jaw. This partially paralyzes the nerves causing you so much pain from your toothache.
- Reposition your finger directly under your ear where it meets your head. It should be in the gap behind your ear lobe. When you open your jaw the gap will get bigger. Press the point inside the gap. You will feel a numbing sensation in your ear and side of your head.
- Apply pressure to the outer surface of the upper arm a couple of finger widths away from the posterior base of the deltoid muscle (the muscle forming the rounded contour of the shoulder). Bring your thumb and forefinger together and locate the muscle on the hand that forms the “web” between those two fingers. Locate the highest position on that “web” muscle. Separate your fingers and relax your hand. Apply pressure to this area. Gently massage this area, which should be located the same as the side of the toothache, for about 5 minutes using a circular motion, in 5 second intervals. Also, you can try running an ice cube on the same area for immediate relief.
As with all kinds of toothache, the pain generally spreads to your neck and upper nape area resulting to a migraine-like pain. You can gently apply acupressure on the base of your head, using your thumb and index finger, gently massage these points to loosen your neck muscles. Gently run them down towards the bottom of the neck area and do a circular massage motion for a couple of minutes in five second intervals.
- If your toothache still recurs after application of the above, another meridian point to administer acupressure upon is the area right behind your ankle. Apply firm pressure inward, up and down towards the heel for about 2 to 3 minutes. Reapply after a few seconds using the circular motion technique.
Tips & Warnings
- Use gradual and steady pressure for at least 3 minutes per meridian point for best results.
- Using one or two of the pressure points outlined in Steps 1 to 7 is often sufficient. Find which ones seem to work best for you and concentrate on those.
- The best acupressure technique for most of the areas described above uses the middle finger for pressure with the index finger and ring finger on either side for support. But applying pressure with thumbs, knuckles, palms, other fingers or the sides of your hands is effective as well.
- Some slight discomfort is normal when applying acupressure techniques. If you experience too much discomfort when first applying pressure to a spot, decrease the pressure a bit until you locate a balance between pleasure and pain.
- Do not apply pressure to any point that causes extreme pain or discomfort.
- Acupressure is not a substitute for proper dental care and will not cure a toothache. Use the techniques outlined above to ease pain only long enough to get to a doctor or dentist for medical attention.